***I was granted permission to read Her Dark Curiosity by the publisher (Harper Teen, Balzer + Bray) in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Harper Teen and Balzer + Bray! Spoilers may be revealed in the review.***
Rating: 5 stars
Pub date:28 January 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen, Balzer + Bray
Genre:Young Adult Fiction
Format:eARC via publisher
Status:Book two of The Madman’s Daughter trilogy
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.
Her Dark Curiosity picks up shortly after The Madman’s Daughter ends. Years ago, back when I was a wee high school freshman, we read The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I was very excited to see where Megan was going to take this retelling.
Victorian London once again comes vividly to life when Juliet returns and tries to rebuild her life. She’s taken in by the professor who turned her father in to the police for his experimentation. He never intended for Juliet and her mother to suffer as they did and wants to help Juliet in any way he can to make up for what happened. However, time is running out for the recently returned to high society Juliet. The serum her father created is starting to fail. As each day passes, her illness continues to worsen while she secretly works to create a cure. On top of the race to find a cure for herself, there is a serial killer on the loose.
All around town, people are being murdered and the murderer is leaving a calling card – a flower. The murder aspects, I felt, as well as being the distinct differences alluded between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, gave off a Jack the Ripper vibe. I’m not sure if Megan intended that or if it was just me. Either way, the macabre nature of the murders was very well done.
Juliet learns that she is connected to the victims and becomes increasingly concerned. A certain detail on the victims’ bodies brings back things from the island Juliet had hoped were gone forever. Combining the mutilation of the victims’ bodies and consumed with guilt for events that transpired on the island, Juliet is uncertain what is happening and why she is involved.
Juliet, again, is an incredible heroine who shows true strength and determination in order to help herself and others. Despite being extremely clever, she can also be too trusting and quick to jump to action. This almost gets her into all sorts of terrible trouble more than once. On that note, Juliet’s ability to cling to hope even when things are incredibly bleak is very inspiring. She rises to each challenge and refuses to give up.
Megan does a fantastic job of weaving new and old characters together in this incredible sequel. I was VERY excited to see a certain character return. *swoon* I won’t say which character, cause it’s something that concerns Juliet for a while and that she thinks of often. Megan also does a great job at making you continuously guess at who the villain is. Every time a clue pops up and you’re convinced you know who it is, Megan throws in another twist.
Her Dark Curiosity does NOT suffer from the dreaded sophomore slump. As dark and mysterious as The Madman’s Daughter was, Megan manages to take Her Dark Curiosity on to a whole new level with each twist and turn. Even though it should’ve been glaringly obvious, I completely failed to pick up on the clues for the key book for the trilogy ender. I had a suspicion, but I brushed it off. Sadly, if I had kept with it, I would’ve been right! I am so excited about it though. Part of me wants an ARC and for it to be out now and part of me wants a single release and for it to be savored.
Her Dark Curiosity was absolutely spectacular and I think it will be one of 2014’s best. This gothic thriller is definitely one you don’t want to miss! Darkness, mystery, intrigue, romance, excitement, the works are packed in on every single page. Many thanks to Megan for writing this great book and to HarperCollins and Balzer+Bray for granting me permission to read the ARC.I highly recommend this series and hope you check it out!