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I Belong

Early Review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Her Dark CuriosityTitle: Her Dark Curiosity   

Author: Megan Shepherd

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: The Madman’s Daughter (Book 2)

Publication Date: January 28, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062128051 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062128058 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father’s island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.

Quick & Dirty: Unique YA paranormal book with interesting characters, action, and mystery.  I didn’t love everything about this book, but overall it was an enjoyable read.

Opening Sentence: The air in my crumbling chamber smelled of roses and formaldehyde.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Juliet has left behind the island and all the horrors it held, but it seems that not all her nightmares are over just yet.  When she was born she would have died if her father had not medically experimented to save her life, but ever since she was a baby she has had to take special medication to insure she stays healthy.  Now that she has grown into womanhood the serum her father created for her is no longer working, and she needs to find a cure or there’s no telling what the consequences will be.  With her father gone it is up to her to go through his research and run experiments to find a solution. But Juliet fears that the road to recovery may come at a price that she isn’t willing to pay.  Science drove her father to madness and there is a dark side to Juliet that she is constantly trying to hide.  Will madness find her in the end like her father or will she be able to overcome the temptation.

Meanwhile on the streets of London there have been mysterious murders accruing and it turns out that Juliet is acquainted with all of the victims.  They are calling the killer the Wolf of Whitechapel because all his victims have been brutally marked by 3 claw like slashes.  This signature mark is all to familiar and Juliet is afraid that she’s not the only one of her fathers experiments to leave the island.  She is determined to stop the killer and hopefully she can not only cure herself, but him as well.

Before I go into what I thought of the characters, I want to say that I have not read the first book in this series.  I heard that this would be fine as a standalone so I thought that I would give it a try.  Honestly it was fine as a standalone, I never felt lost or confused by the story because Shepard does a great job of giving you just enough of the back story to always know what is going on.  But I think that if I already had a connection with the characters, I might have liked them a little bit better.  Personally, I would suggest you start with the first book, I think that it would have made this a better read.

Juliet was a very interesting character.  She has two very drastically different sides to her personality.  On one side she was sweet, smart, caring, and thoughtful, then she had a much darker side.  One where she was smart, driven, and had hints of madness.  She really struggles with combining the two parts of herself and it was fascinating to watch her try to balance everything.  For the most part, I really liked Juliet but there was one thing about her that drove me crazy and that was how she reacted to the boys in her life.  There is a love triangle in this story, and personally I don’t mind triangles if they are done the right way, unfortunately this one was not done well.  I felt that it really took from the story and made me dislike Juliet.  She is so flimsy and insensitive.  She was very rash and indecisive, but only when it came to her love life.  So for me the triangle really hindered my regard for Juliet and that made me sad.

Montgomery was the boy that Juliet has been in love with since she was a little girl.  He was a servant and assistant for her father.  While she was on the island their relationship really developed, but when she left the island he choose not to go with her.  She hasn’t had any contact with him since that dreadful day that he broke her heart.  Montgomery is a character I think I would have fell in love with in the first book, because that’s where most of his and Juliet’s relationship develops.  For me there was really nothing amazing about him and to be honest I felt like he was a jerk.  He shows up after not talking to Juliet for a year and expects her to have just waited around for him.  But I wonder if I already had a connection with him if I would have felt this way as much.  Overall, I wouldn’t say I am a huge Montgomery fan.

Edward makes the third part of the triangle, and he was by far my favorite character in the story.  I thought the whole Jekyll/Hyde persona he had going was very interesting and sexy.  He has been in love with Juliet for years, but obviously there are reasons why they can’t be together (I’m not going to say what it is to avoid spoilers).  I felt that he and Juliet had so many things in common and in a lot of ways they really complemented each other.  He was the only character that I really understood and could sympathize with.

Overall, I would say that this was a good read for me.  The story was full of action, mystery, and romance.  The plot was full of surprises and it kept me intrigued through the whole book.  I love how it used the original Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but it added its own unique take to the story.  While I didn’t love all the characters, I did find them interesting and I hope that in the next book I will be able to connect with them better.  There is a pretty abrupt ending, so I am eager to read the next book to see where Shepard takes the rest of the story.  I would recommend this to anyone that was a fan of the first book or anyone that is looking for a unique YA paranormal read.

Notable Scene:

Almost as though…

I hesitated, telling myself I might possibly be going mad.

…almost as though someone was watching out for me.

I shivered uncontrollably, as the bones in my hands and arms shifted and popped, threatening another fit.

The nature of the victim’s wounds was familiar too.

A premonition that had been growing now gripped me hard, as my mind flashed back to all the bodies on the island. Alice, Father’s sweet maid, dripping blood from dead feet. A beast-woman separated from her jaw. Those wounds, as well, had been lovingly made by a monster.

By Edward.

Edward is dead, I told myself. The dead don’t come back.

The Madman’s Daughter Series

1. The Madman’s Daughter

2. Her Dark Curiosity (January 28, 2014)


FTC Advisory: Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Her Dark Curiosity. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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