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