by Megan Shepherd
Genres: Historical, Science Fiction, Thriller
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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
Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Her Dark Curiosity, the second book in the Madman’s Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepherd continued Juliet Moreau’s story while introducing a mystery that kept me enthralled. Old characters and love interests appear and we get fresh faces as Shepherd continues this dark and macabre tale. Mini review: A dark, atmospheric and beautifully written tale that suffered because of the characters.
Juliet is back in London after escaping the island, and the journey has not been an easy one. Her condition is worsening, and she works in secret to correct the formula. Around her, a killer is on the loose and has Scotland Yard scrambling. The murders are gruesome as the killer slashes his victims to death and leaves a calling card. As the body count rises, Juliet cannot help but notice that those dying have offended in her in some way. Somehow she is the link, and she is determined to stop the killer. In doing so, she will have to confront the past and access her darker side. Her path crosses with the men she thought never to see again, and she finds herself torn between them.
In Madman’s Daughter, I felt Juliet was the perfect heroine for the tale and that she was the thread that allowed us to believe. Juliet is still strong, determined and courageous but her actions regarding the men in her life left me frustrated. While I get Shephard’s intent with the love triangle it was aggravated me. Maybe because I like the bad boys and Montgomery irritated the heck out of me. He is so opinionated and looks to steer others his way. His “do as I say, not as I do” attitude completely turned me off, and I wanted to shake Juliet for not slapping him. Edward and his dark passenger are far more exciting. Despite his affliction, he is the stronger character and commanded scenes. Whereas Montgomery made me feel like the principal walked in. We meet old characters and new. I really liked Lucy, and liked how she got into the thick of things.
You already know I had some issues with the romance department and characters of Her Dark Curiosity but what kept me from tossing this tale was the mystery surrounding the King’s Club, Edward and Shepherd’s beautiful writing style. The influence of Dr. Jekeyll and Mr. Hyde is evident throughout and I enjoyed Shephard’s version. Even when her characters made me pull my hair out she held me captive. The book grabs you and I read this in just three sittings as the tale engulfed me, and I slipped into the foggy cobbled streets of London. The ending was heart-wrenching and beautiful. Shepherd revealed things that set us up perfectly for the final book.
Her Dark Curiosity both frustrated and delighted me as a reader. This was a good second book, and while I had issues I would still recommend it for the right reader. I am anxiously awaiting the final book which is based in part on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Three cups of coffee out five
Tabitha the Pabkins
sometimes I think those are the hardest kind of reviews to write – when you get frustrated by so much but still enjoy it. And here I am having not even read the first one and I love the sound of the premise.
While I have had one issue or another, I never felt the urge to set it down her stories are captivating.
Aww… beautiful review Kimberly! I am intrigued by this book. It’s hard when a love triangle frustrates you, but I hope it works out in the end!
Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace
thank you Naomi, I am enjoying this unique series despite some issues.
Hmmh, I haven’t read the first book yet but even with the issues you mention, I’m more drawn to the setting of this one. Gothic Victorian London, yes please!
Can I read it without reading the first book or do I need to read them in order?
You might be a little lost at first but she weaves a clever tale and despite issues I am truly enjoying this series.
I’m sorry to hear this one wasn’t as strong for you as the first book. The love triangle can definitely be annoying! Montgomery is definitely an annoyance, but I’m glad to hear the mystery kept you turning the pages. Lovely honest review!
Thanks Lauren, but I think it says a lot about the story if the characters annoyed me and I still couldn’t put it down…LOL
Hmm… I think the Author did a great job – getting such a strong reaction out of you, even if it was only a 3 star rating. Great Review as always Kimba 🙂
Hmmm… it does sound a bit frustrating. The romance and stuff. I’m glad that the writing is great though and that you still look forward to continuing the series.
Oh boy, I was already on the fence about reading the first book, so I don’t know if I will now. I get the feeling that characters will peeve me off.
I alway get excited about your 4 star and of course 5 star reviews, but I get a little afraid of 3 star, but the blurb and your review still have me very curious to look more into book one.
Thanks Kimba 🙂
A good ending can cure a lot of ills. Great review Kimba, glad you liked how it wrapped up. It is interesting to me she is adapting some classics- I thought it was all just Dr. Moreau too.
It is quite clever and unique, and as much as the characters made me crazy..i am so excited for the next one!
Kimba, I’m glad you liked the dark atmosphere and beautiful writing despite a few of the characters (looking at you Montgomery & Juliet)actions and the romance. But, I’m thrilled with it’s ending, and cannot wait for the final conclusion- and it’s inspiration from Frankenstein!
I loved the ending too Kim and I am anxious to see where she takes book three.
I’m even more curious to read the first book now! I love me some gothic mysteries! Too bad this one fell short on the character aspect. Hopefully the third one will hit a home run and be a 5 star read!
That would be lovely April!
Melissa (Books and Things)
I though it was all just a retelling of Dr. Moreau and not the various horror classics. Why didn’t I know this? Well, I know now. 🙂
Hm… I think some of the characters would bug me as it did you so I may library book it. I do like retellings, so I must try these.
Library is a good call, it is still memorable and I am anxious for the final book..LOL
I’m really curious to see how the story of Jekeyll and Hyde is built into this, but I’m not sure that I want to continue this series. I’m trying to avoid love triangles at the moment, and I just know that this one will frustrate me. 🙁 I really enjoyed the first book though. Great to get your thoughts, Kimba! Lovely review as always.
The love triangle however annoying served a purpose and despite it I cannot wait for the final book.
This series sounds like it would be right up my alley, but there are a lot of lackluster reviews of both this book and the previous one. I think I will wait until the last book is out and see whether I should pick it up. Great review.
I have done that Pam, the only thing I can say to its strength is that even with lackluster reviews most want to continue the series.
Great review! I totally agree, and with Monty being so annoying, I started leaning towards the bad boy. 🙂 I’m excited to read the third book. I want to see how it ties everything up!
I am too, and yes I like Edward..wrong and creepy but I did.
So far I haven’t read a positive review for this one. Everyone seems to be irritated by the change in the MC and the love triangle. I wanted this series to pan out, but I think I am going to pass even though I really am curious about the upcoming Frankenstein book.
You know what is curious Heidi, we all had issues with the characters/love triangle but all of us cannot wait for book three…to me that says a lot about the author. *scratches head*
Dr. Jekeyll and Mr. Hyde interesting… Sorry that you struggled with romance in this one thought ;/
A Voracious Reader
Even with the issues you mentioned, I’m game. 🙂 I need to get to these books this year. And I think I’ll read the classics, too. Maybe on audio…yes, I think audio would be the best way to work them in. *runs off to the library website*
You convinced me to read book one only yesterday, and now I’m dying for book two! lol This is another gorgeous cover; and even with the “aggravating” love triangle, you have me so curious about these characters and this series! Fantastic review, Kimba!
Enjoy Michele this is an interesting tale 🙂
I have the first book on my Kindle but I’m still not sure about reading it. I have no idea why. It does sound interesting but I’m not sure. I’m glad you enjoyed this one overall, but that guy Montgomery sounds truly annoying. Great review 🙂
ha he was annoying Tanja! I would read a few chapters and see what happens.
I enjoyed the first book, especially for the atmosphere but I don’t think I’m going to continue. To me, this is one that could have been a standalone with no follow-up whatsoever.
It could have you are correct, but this was unique.
I have been so in love with the idea of re-tellings lately, and Dr. jekell and mr. hyde is one that I think I would find really interesting. I have seen mixed reviews on this series, but I am still intrigued. The romance might be frustrating for me.
This is one that I think I may read if I ever get my current TBR pile under control (maybe after march 😉 )
Michelle @ book briefs
If you go into it realizing the romance is annoying but has purpose it may help. I enjoyed it despite the issues.
I really enjoyed the first book, and I’m a little behind in my review reading so I haven’t read this one yet (it’s next!). Most of the reviews I’ve read have been a little reserved, so I’m worried that it won’t be as good. But we’ll see. I guess the only way to form my own opinion is to read it! Thanks for the review, Kimba!
Agreed Tammy, and as much as this annoyed me at times the tale itself kept me engaged and the ending made it worth the rest.
Boo on the love triangle, but I do like Juliet so I have to hold out some hope for her. I will get to this one soon. 🙂 Great review.
Enjoy Jenea, I am looking forward to the final book.
I’m thinking this is not going to be the sequel for me Kim. I’m already frustrated with what I do know of Juliet’s actions regarding both boys, and I know her behavior will likely be a deal breaker for me no matter how brilliant the other aspects of the story are for me. I’m glad despite your issues with the romance you enjoyed this one overall and are looking forward to book 3!
I will tell you the triangle while annoying made sense by the end.
Great to hear that Juliet was the perfect heroine for the book. I have heard good things and endorses it more that you enjoyed
Juliet made me crazy but the story kept me engaged 🙂
There is just something to be said about an author that can still captivate you with their writing even if you don’t love everything that is going on.
I agree Ali 🙂
I had similar issues with this book too, Kim. I hated the love triangle and it took away from the plot for me. I will still read the last book in the series because I like how it ended.
Great honest review, Kim.
It is so funny that it annoyed us, yet the story itself keeps drawing us back..LOL
Felicia the Geeky Blogger
I put the first one on hold at the library last night. 🙂 🙂
I look forward to hearing your thoughts 🙂
I never read the first book. I don’t know why but I never felt drawn to this series. Happy you enjoyed it though.
It’s dark and while at times annoying I enjoyed it. Thanks Jennifer 🙂
Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)
BLEH. This one. I completely agree with you about the romance here, Kimba! That girl has got to make up her mind–and I did not like the MC’s logic either. 🙁
Fab review, hun! <33
hehe..agreed but yet I could not stop reading..LOL
I love how these books are based on gothic classics. I’m a bit nervous to read this one so I might wait a bit. I’ve seen some so-so reviews for it, which is a bit disappointing.
Despite my annoyance at times the tale itself was interesting and I am anxious for book three.
I love how dark and gothic this series sounds like but still YA. I’m in a funk right now but once I’m back on the reading saddle I will most definitely make time for this. It’s been some time since I’ve been captivated by a YA novel. I hope this will be it
This didn’t have a YA vibe to it because of the historical setting and dark tones. Enjoy 🙂