Review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Genre: fantasy, horror, romance Age Level: Young Adult Series: The Madman's Daughter #2
Genre: horror, romance
Age Level: Young Adult
Series: The Madman’s Daughter #2

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.


I think I have a thing for horror. Not the scary keep-you-up-all-night horror, rather horror that is used to portray the dark side of human nature. So I guess its no surprise that I enjoyed Her Dark Curiosity much more than The Madman’s Daughter. Shephard’s writing shows notable improvement and the pacing of the plot was superb. The character development as well as the romance really shone and veered away from the norm.

The atmosphere is vastly different than in the first book and in some ways feels a lot darker. Things felt more real and imminent against the backdrop of London with its dark alleyways and masked balls. The island was her father’s domain so it is easy to accept that it would be a source evil, while with London the experimentation seems more out of place.

The darkness that crept into Juliet at the end of Madman’s Daughter takes a much stronger hold. I find it extremely interesting to read about characters who do evil things and have evil urges. There’s no fun in reading about a happy-go-lucky person because there is no deeper level you can reach, whereas with someone like Juliet there are many different angle to explore and many different layers to her personality. She has strong morals, and an even stronger resolve and though I admire her and love her as a character, I don’t think I’d feel safe around her. She does many detestable things, all of them extremely questionable. Below all of her dark impulses, she really is just a girl who wants to be loved and accepted. Many questions are brought up, including -are you defined by your family? Can you be born with a tendency for evil? Can dark impulses ever be good?The book ends with Juliet in the midst of very twisted decision.

I really did not mind the love triangle in this book, and may even go so far as to say I liked it. Yes Juliet’s thoughts kept flitting from Montgomery to Edward, but it was less eye roll worthy. She spends intimate time with both guys and develops close bonds with both of them in different ways. Lucy was a great character and I can see why she is friends with Juliet – just as stubborn and willful. She surprised me quite a bit too and was not the flirty, weak girl I thought she was.

The plot, was much tighter and the underlying mysteries added suspense. I was unable to put the book down once I’d started because I was so captivated by the story. As I’d suspected there were a bunch of twists at the end like in Madman’s Daughter and I love all the possibilities they hold for the next book. I cannot wait to find out what classic horror novel Shepard is using as her inspiration, though I can definitely hazard a guess, and am curious to see how deep Juliet’s madness runs.

Check out my review of The Madman’s Daughter!

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear from you!


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