Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Her Dark Curiosity

Monday, January 13, 2014

Just Finished Reading ... Her Dark Curiosity

Her Dark Curiosity (Madman's Daughter #3)
by Megan Shepherd
To be published on January 28, 2014
by Balzer + Bray

Source: Thanks to Balzer + Bray for allowing me to read an e-ARC via Edelweiss.

Connect with the author: website | Twitter.

Synopsis of the book from Goodreads: 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.
My take:  I requested Her Dark Curiosity because I thought it was a companion book to The Madman's Daughter and would feature different characters. Nope. Her Dark Curiosity is a continuation of Juliet Moreau's story, while also incorporating aspects of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

My reaction to Her Dark Curiosity was pretty much the same as my reaction to The Madman's Daughter. I loved the author's writing with a capital L. She writes like a dream, weaving in historical details to create a story world that feels both authentic and atmospheric. The London setting is sublime. Yes, Dr. Moreau's island is super creepy, but I loved the way that this book takes place in equally creepy urban settings. Her Dark Curiosity also delves a little into some Jekyll and Hyde themes -- the dual nature thing -- but focused more on the romantic aspect of that duality than the philosophical.

The thing that bothered me most about The Madman's Daughter is still operating in full force in Her Dark Curiosity: the maddening, incomprehensible love triangle.  I didn't think it was necessary in the first book, and was even less of a fan of it in this one.

In Her Dark Curiosity, Juliet believes she may be the only person who can stop a murderer who feels like a creepy combination of Mr. Hyde and Jack the Ripper. I am ALL for that kind of plot, but it didn't pan out that way I hoped. Juliet half-heartedly "discovers" clues that are dropped in her lap while spending 99% of her time being preoccupied with her love life and the two not-so-great guys she's still obsessed with, even after all the lies and betrayal that went on in Madman's Daughter. It all began to feel like 19th century reality TV: Juliet sleeps with one guy, gets engaged to the other, lies to both and sneaks around with both and everyone wants each other desperately for reasons I couldn't fathom and pretty soon I didn't care if they all ended up in a ménage à trois or dead or in jail.

If you've read The Madman's Daughter, you'll know exactly what to expect from Her Dark Curiosity and can proceed according to your opinion of the first book.  If you have had it with YA love triangles and/or are exceedingly squeamish, these may not be the books for you.

One last note: I was wandering about the London library near St. James Square and I found this page from Juliet's journal tucked into a copy of Wuthering Heights...

WARNING: contains spoilers




26 comments:

  1. Definitely skipping this! Though I love the cover and find the premise engaging, I was so sick of the triangle in book one and do not want to read any more. Thanks for the warning!

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    1. I was really really hoping for no triangle in this one :(

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  2. I was so sad that this one rehashed so much of the love triangle angst of the first. I dislike both men and just wanted to thump Juliet for even spending time thinking about them. I imagine it will be in full force in the third book? I'm guessing I'll skip it until reviews come in. I do love the writing, but not sure it's enough.

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    1. Well.... maybe. Based on the ending and the fact that the third book is based on Frankenstein. Yeah, I'd say the triangle continues and gets even more twisted??

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  3. The premise was interesting, but the romance was pretty bad. I just wanted Juliet to make up her mind about the guys and stop playing around with them on a moment's whim only to regret what she does later. I'm not sure what I feel about reading the third book. Great review, Jen!

    Kris @Imaginary Reads

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    1. If Juliet had to come back, why couldn't she just be alone? As Tina Fey would say, Juliet needs some "me time." That would have made me SO happy.

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  4. I'm not reading this! Really sick of the love story, even if I'm really interested in the mystery part of it. Hope she'd just make up her mind.

    Thanks for the review!

    -Kimi of Geeky Chiquitas
    www.geekychiquitas.blogspot.com

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    1. I wish it had been more mystery, less romance!

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  5. Oh there's a love triangle in these. I did not know that. I do have them to read. I can usually deal with them if done right but you have me a little worried. lol

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    1. You might like the triangle! Can't wait to see what you think.

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  6. Love triangle totally killed this series for me, sadly. So this one is definitely a pass. However, I'm curious how the author adapts the Jekyll and Hyde story. Hmmm...

    :)

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  7. Awesome review! Though, I'm not sure how I feel about the love triangle. Hopefully, I can overlook it.

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  8. Ohhhh. I really loved the writing in the first book, but I HATED that ridiculous love triangle, too. Since the last book ended on sort of a cliffhanger but I was told that a new book was going to be incorporated into the sequel, I wasn't sure how that was going to work, but it's kind of disappointing to hear that it's all the same characters. Hmm. I'll probably still read this at some point, but it's good to have tempered expectations.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. Sadly, the triangle is back...
      Yes, the format of the trilogy is sort of like Lunar Chronicles -- each book incorporates new retelling elements. But I wish this one had introduced more new characters instead of reviving that triangle.

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  9. I've not read the first book, but I'm curious about the series but since you mentioned love triangles, I'm now skeptical. I can't stand them and the way this one sounds it just might now be for me. Great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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    1. As triangles go, it was not my favorite. And I don't always mind triangles!

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  10. Ya know what's so weird, I remember loving this book, but I cannot for the life of me remember a love triangle or either love interest. Maybe I blocked it out?? ha. I want to read this one, but I obviously need to reread book 1!

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    1. Maybe you blocked it out. I don't think the book needed it!

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  11. Hmm ... I haven't read the 1st book yet, but want to. The whole triangle thing in books needs to chill already. lol.

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  12. This one was so disappointing compared to the first novel. The love triangle, angst and MC just ruined it completely.

    Fab review, Jen! <33

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  13. Yes Yes Yes! I'm dying to pick up The Madman's Daughter and I can't wait to see how this one turns out especially since you said it was a rendition to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

    Happy Reading!

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  14. Hrrrmm. I was initially under the impression that this was a companion, as well, so already my anticipation is less than it was. Then you speak of the angsty triangle again. Why?!? I loved the writing, though, so I think I'll still pick this up when I have a lull. (Ha!) Thanks for the honest review, which works well as a warning. :P

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  15. I liked the first book too, but wasn't a fan of the love triangle either. I kinda wish I hadn't requested it, because I think I'll be disappointed. But, we'll see. Trying to keep an open mind!

    Great review. Jen.

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  16. I've heard so many mixed reviews for this series, but have always intended to give it a go. Totally understand the whole love-triangle headache. It's frustrating when authors continuously use that as a substitute for a plot. Great review!

    Joy @ Thoughts By J
    http://thoughtsbyj.com

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