Monday, March 17, 2014

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd | Book Review

(OMG the cover... gorgeous!  And have you ever seen a picture of the author?  I think that could totally be her, on her own book's cover.)
(Megan Shepherd)

My Thoughts

LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE this trilogy!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE the author!!! 

(I am so sorry for shouting and exclaiming right off at the beginning of the review like that. But oh-my-goodness that's just how I feel about it. Really. And I really hope that you'd have the same feels if you read it.)

This is the 2nd book in a trilogy, so this review will contain spoilers for the first book, The Madman's Daughter, but I won't spoil this one. Pinky promise.

Her Dark Curiosity picks up a couple of months after The Madman's Daughter ends. Juliette is back in London and living with her father's old colleague. So very nice that she's no longer scrubbing floors and living in an attic. HOWEVER, her life is far from peachy-keen. She still has that whole vague "sickness" thing going on. Her original formula medicine doesn't seem to be cutting it anymore, and her father is dead so he can't help her and Montgomery is still back on the island, maybe dead, maybe not, but he can't help her. So she keeps paying rent on the attic apartment and uses it for a lab. And then someone from her past... Spoiler 1... shows up just as people around her start dying. Could there be a connection? The person from her past is vehemently denying that he could kill anyone. 

I felt like The Island of Dr. Moreau was very visible in The Madman's Daughter, and that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a bit more subtle in Her Dark Curiosity. It took me about 1/4 of the book to realize the connection and which character was Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. In The Madman's Daughter the connection is blatant: Juliette's last name is Moreau. And her father is a doctor. Who lives on an island. So in the first book we're right inthe parallel story; in this one it feels more like retelling or adaptation of the original. I loved it. I am just beyond-words impressed with Megan Shepherd's writing! To take the same cast of characters from Dr. Moreau's island and put them in a new setting and weave them together in such a way as to retell Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and have it all be so well-written and fascinating and quickly paced to grab the reader and not let them go? Ms. Shepherd has SUCH GREAT talent! I'm so looking forward to the next one in the trilogy, and I imagine that review is going to be a mess. I predict that I'll love the book to pieces, just like the first two, but that I'll be concurrently experiencing allllll the stages of depression/grief at the ending of this trilogy.

I've seen quite a few reviews where readers were very upset with Juliette and the love triangle and the sometime poor decisions that Juliette made. BUT-we readers must must must remember that Juliette is only 17 and do you remember when you were 17? I do. I was still not always making the best decisions when I was 17 either. I mean sure, I didn't Spoiler 2 or Spoiler 3, but I wasn't perfect. I'm still not perfect. Sometimes I too get upset with a book's MC when they make really stupid decisions, and then I too have to remind myself that the MC is a teenager. I think Juliette is doing ok. She has a-lot-a-lot on her plate, ya'll. Let her have her boys.

A couple of weeks ago I went to an author panel & book signing and Ms. Shepherd was there and she said something really interesting about doing the research for this trilogy. She said it was interesting to learn all the flirtations and courting rituals of the late 1800s, and how she found it so sweet that just touching the inside of a lady's wrist was considered almost risque. If the lady's ankle showed, that was definitely risque. But I had already read Her Dark Curiosity and let me tell you Spoiler 4 Don't worry, you could still hand this book to older teens; the whole thing is very short and very non-descriptive. But whoa! It came out of nowhere!

And finally, this book had a setting match to my life as I was reading it, and that nearly always makes me enjoy a book even more. It's set in December in London, so there's all these references to how cold it is outside and how it's snowing and all, and I read this book straight through on a snow day, so I was cold and watching the snow falling. Love it!

I know this review was really vague, but it's because I didn't want to give anything away. Ya'll, the action and the story start right away and it doesn't stop. Even the at the end... it's a little bit of a cliffhanger ending. I can't wait for the next one! If you read the last couple paragraphs of the book you get a major whack-you-on-the-head hint about what parallel story the third book will follow.

1. Edward
2. get my freak on with an honest-to-goodness monster
3. withhold important evidence from the cops
4. a LOT MORE than the inside of the wrist or the ankle are exposed in that attic loft!!!

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