Book Review

Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman’s Daughter Trilogy, Book 2) *Spoiler-Free*

Goodreads synopsis:

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.


Book 1 in this trilogy was based off of The Island of Dr. Moreau, and this one The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  I hadn’t read The Island of Dr. Moreau, but I have read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I really like how Shepherd takes classic horror stories and expands them into a brand new trilogy, complete with it’s own gruesome, juicy bits.

Wow. This book started off with a sentence that set the tone for the entire novel: “The air in my crumbling attic chamber smelled of roses and formaldehyde.” The first thing that came to my mind was that describes a funeral. From the start, Her Dark Curiosity (from here on, HDC) evokes a sense of death, dread, and morbidness. Juliet says the winter in London is a deadly time…and how true she is. I also love the first part of the summary: To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it. After reading the novel, that statement cannot be more true!!

So, some back-story here. I read the first book in this series last year, I spotted it while browsing the new arrivals shelf at my local library and I immediately had to read it. And it was SO. GOOD. It was twisted and weird, but I loved it.

In HDC Juliet is back in London, having set fire to her father’s island laboratory and, thinking her love Montgomery is returning with her, sets sail back to London. Except…Montgomery betrays her, and stays behind. Edward Prince, the monstrosity Juliet’s father successfully created, is dead, so Juliet believes. Juliet was adopted by Professor Victor Von Stein, a former colleague and friend of her family. She has lavish dresses, attends parties, is well fed on French cuisine, yet she sneaks away to a decrepit attic loft to experiment with serums to heal herself with.

I really like Juliet. Sometimes while reading books where the MC is flawed and struggling I have to bash my head against the book saying things like “You’re an idiot, why?” But with Juliet, I felt everything she did was justified. Sure she is flawed and twisted, but as she said in the first book, she is her father’s daughter. I think she is a very strong female, having gone through unthinkable horrors but she still pushes on. She never plays the damsel in distress. I like how she struggles with feelings (mostly brought on by The Beast) of how she is twisted inside like him, and I kiiiinda want her to just bust out her madwoman-ness… She is a kind, caring female, but she still has glimmers of darkness that she feels frequently. As to stay spoiler free, I won’t say who said this to Juliet, but I completely agree with their statement that she “see[s] a chance for redemption in even the darkest beast.” (295) I love that quote about her! Basically, the book deals with Juliet’s past coming back to hit her head on, and she has to decide how she’s going to deal with it. Murders are happening in the city, and they are slightly linked to her… Also back to the scene is Juliet’s best friend, Lucy. In the first book I didn’t care too much for Lucy, but after finishing HDC I really like how she is developing. She becomes a very strong, supportive friend.

Overall, I think I liked this book better than the first because of all the juicy twists! And I can’t wait for the last book, especially now that it’s based off of Frankenstein!


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