Author: Megan Shepherd
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Horror
Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Two
Synopsis can be found here.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Juliet is back in London, months after having been sent off her father’s cursed island of secrets and monsters. Now, having been adopted by a wealthy former colleague of her father’s, Juliet’s life has gone back to normal, before her father’s fall from grace. Her best friend Lucy can be openly best friends with her again. But Juliet’s time on the island scarred her and her father’s old recipe for her health infliction no longer seems to be working. Racing against time, she needs to find a cure for herself. But in the background, vicious murders are happening all over London. And the victims are all who have harmed Juliet in some way. Could a monster have escaped the island and come after her?
This book may even been better than the first. While I loved The Madman’s Daughter, and the island setting, Her Dark Curiosity delves deeper into the blackness of human nature and what we all hide there. I loved Juliet’s struggles with herself, her murderous thoughts, her sympathy towards the murder. I really like Juliet’s character. She’s flawed and human, thinking bad thoughts and then feeling guilty for them, all the while terrified of becoming like her father. And maybe realizing that she doesn’t care.
I love the plot, which unfolds slowly filled with tension. Juliet is experimenting in a lab, growing sicker by the day. When a mysterious stranger from her past shows up, she has to help him even though it may ruin them both. The tone of the book reminds me of wonderful gothic stories written during the time where unexplained eerie things are happening and the protagonist can’t trust anyone.
There’s a lot going on in this second book, including a somewhat strangely forced love triangle. While in the first book, the love triangle seemed natural, this one was both better and not as good in different ways. Better- I liked the Jekyll and Hyde character (who I will not call by name), his dark side, beast side and the dangerous yet alluring draw he has on Juliet. I loved how that in itself pulls her towards him, closer and closer, forcing herself to confront her own demons. I liked how Juliet is still genuinely torn between these two interests, each representing something very different from her life. And by the end of the book, I’m still not sure which one I’d rather have Juliet with. Bravo, Ms. Shepherd. A good love triangle with two equal love interests. But even so, sometimes I felt like there was too much back and forth. One minute, she’s decided that she’s in love with one while the next, she’s confused and stringing the second along. I know the girl can’t make up her mind, but there was too much flipping back and forth. And I’m not talking about what happens between her and one of the love interests. That doesn’t bother me at all. (And if you’ve read it already, then you know what I’m talking about.) It just makes Juliet more human to me.
Overall, Her Dark Curiosity is a wonderful sequel, filled with suspense, horror and a slow burning build. I can’t wait for book three.
Rating 8 Cookie Worthy