Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: Her Dark Curiosity

Author: Megan Shepherd
ISBN: 0062128051
Book Genre: YA Fantasy / Paranormal
Release Date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Book Source: Edelweiss

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.


Welcome to another book I have no idea how I feel about. It's rather disconcerting feeling this way about something, this ridiculous feeling of complete uncertainty, did I like it? Did I hate it? Did I love it? I'm not exactly sure. 

Let's start with the thing I am certain I didn't like, and that would be historical accuracy. After reading so many historical regency books based on my preferred time period - which this book is set in - I noticed a lot of things that didn't sit right with me in this story. The way the dialogue was written, the way London was described, the customs and the severity of the rules of the ton in England at the time. They seemed to be so blasé about so many things that I've read various other books where they definitely wouldn't be. I don't know, but the mix of all of that didn't give me that exact feel of that period I usually got, which was such a shame because it could have added a perfect portrayal to the setting Shepherd was trying to accomplish. 

That being said, it doesn't necessarily mean her writing was bad or didn't give the desired effect. Did it portray London life back then perfectly? Not so much. Did it successfully give a creepy and daunting impression to perfectly suit this dark tale? Yes, yes it did.

This book doesn't commence exactly from where it left off in The Madman's Daughter, it's months later where her life has improved much more than the last time she was in London. Well, her life wasn't great when she got there straight away, but it did get there when Professor Von Stein decided to be her legal guardian. Now the thing is, people are dying in the city, and they seem to be connected to Juliet somehow, which tells her there has to be some sort of link to the murders but she's not sure how. To add insult to injury, her serum is failing and she needs to come up with a new one to help fix herself, making her feel like her father's daughter with experimenting. Not only that, but there's something sinister going on hidden from everyone else, and she needs to find out what's going on in the city.

Now, back onto my first thought, how do I feel about this book? I am not quite sure. Usually dark and creepy books with heinous and wickedly flawed characters would automatically make me lower the rating of the book and go against me liking it. On the other hand, with this book in particular, I think it made them all the more endearing; characters so bad you love them. I am not going into details with this just in case I let out some sort of spoiler, so all I'll say is that there's darkness in all of them, they're all broken and flawed in some way or the other, the fun part is finding out who has redeeming qualities that outweigh their inner evilness. 

But I'll say this, I think I prefer this one so much more to book one, definitely. There was much more action, there were more people involved in things, secret societies and conspiracies, questions about who to trust and, it was just very lively. I wasn't a big fan of the island part in book one because it just felt empty with monsters and a few characters, I wanted exciting things to happen and people to not be exactly what they seem - which is why I gave book one the four star rating, the thing with Edward had been genius - so this book held so much potential and followed through with a majority of it. There's a lot still unknown to us, and the story leaves off on yet another cliffhanger, but also, more things become abundantly clear, just not enough of them.

So maybe I loved it? Maybe not? I just don't know.

Rating: 4/5.

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