Discussion Review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Sheperd

Her Dark Curiosity
Megan Sheperd
Series: Madman's Daughter, #2
Released: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Ratings: 2 and 2.5 stars
Fright Scale: 2.5 out of 10
Reviewed by: Blythe and Mel

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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.

This review contains spoilers for The Madman's Daughter, as well as minor spoilers for Her Dark Curiosity.

B: *sigh* This book. I was such a fan of The Madman's Daughter, but...this book was just...why?

M: It was a real disappointment!

B: Definitely. And you weren't even a huge fan of The Madman's Daughter and you were still disappointed.

M: The Madman's Daughter at least had a creepy setting on an island, but this setting was rather bland.

B: Everything was bland, honestly. I didn't know that London could EVER be bland, but...

M: LAME. Boring. Nothing exciting really happens, either. 

B: Until the last quarter or so, but even then, I wouldn't go as far as saying the things that happened were exciting. Just more engaging than the rest of the novel, which isn't much of a feat. 

M: Exactly, there's only the repitition of some same old murders but other than that, this book was just filled with ROMANCE. 

B: UGH, I can't even with the romance in these books. I excused its awfulness somewhat in book one, due to some of the later twists, but NOPE. Her Dark Curiosity it basically like, "Let's negate every single twist that took place with the romance in book one so that we have something that happens in book two. Because why not." Who needs logic when you have a love triangle?

M: I was actually thinking that the romance was going to disappear, but nope. Juliet can be so naive. And she listens to everything Edward says. No decisions for herself. BLEH.

B: So was I! And Juliet is so indecisive. What annoyed me most, though, was that THE ENTIRE FIRST HALF OF THE BOOK IS ANGST, and Juliet thinking, "Oh, I can't believe Montgomery did that to me. I'll never forgive him. 'Twas the ultimate betrayal." But when he MAGICALLY and INEXPLICABLY travels back from a secluded island to LONDON, of all places, "Monty! Oh how I've missed you so!" And how did Montgomery even know Juliet was in London? Another coincidence?

M: Yes! Juliet can't make up her mind. Ever. I was just like: 
B: I was more like this, after I started Her Dark Curiosity and realized it was nothing but angst:
But what about when she kisses either Edward or Montgomery? With Edward, it's whenever they're in the middle of a fight. One page, they're yelling at each other, next page? Oh. They're kissing passionately. That's cute. And Montgomery? "Oh, you're in London, even though you were seen last on an island miles and miles away? Okay, I won't ask questions about how you got here, even though I spent the last few months hating you. Let's kiss."

M: *gag*

B: "Edward isn't a monster! The Beast is the monster! It just so happens that he is the Beast! But he's not really the Beast! Only technically! I LOVE EDWARD!" - Juliet Moreau, author of the memoir, I'm Not Fickle, I'm in Love. Soon to be published by Balzer + Bray. 

M: Oh dear, what a damsel in distress. 

B: Juliet is the epitome of a damsel in distress. 

M: Ugh, this book has the worst kind of love triangle. All terrible characters.

B: I  think it may be one of my least favorite love triangles. I just hate the fact that not one, but BOTH of them came back, despite the fact that one was presumed dead, and the other was on an island with no reasonable means of getting to London. 

M: Exactly. Which includes another pet peeve of mine: coincidences. He just happened to come back and he just happened to be alive. How coincidental. 

B: Ah yes, coincidences; this book is chocked full of them. And what about predictability? Or redundancy? Chocked full of that, too. 

M: Yeah, I felt some of the twists twists were just obvious, and pointless.

B: Now, what about the positives? (Because there were some, believe it or not.)

M: Yeah, the writing!

B: Agreed. I like Megan Sheperd's writing style. It's atmospheric. 

M: Yeah, it's full of atmosphere (but not as much as in TMD) and probably one of the main reasons why I persisted through with the book.

B: It's a shame the actual plot of the novel couldn't live up to the writing. But, with that having been said, I did enjoy the last quarter or so of the novel somewhat. Or, at least I enjoyed it more than I did the rest of the novel. So that's something, I guess. 

M: But not enough to make up for the boringness.

B: Oh, it was absolutely not enough to compensate for how dull the rest of the novel is. I also feel like this novel as a whole was just...unnecessary. Almost entirely filler. 

M: And Juliet could've forgotten Montgomery altogether. It would have made it much less frustrating.

B: She should've forgotten Montgomery altogether. Or at least not give into him immediately after seeing him again, despite what he did to her. Way to be a strong example for women, Juliet.

M: Not to mention the world building and character development were rather lacking. What did you think of Juliet's best friend, Lucy?

B: Eeeeeh, no impression, really. I didn't get a feel for the strength of their friendship, to be quite honest. The most I really got was when Lucy's suitor told Juliet that Lucy always talks about her. All talk, no show. 

M: Yeah, I was so-so about Lucy. But, what I've always wondered is why there is always just one best friend in YA books. Like can't they have two?

B: Why have two best friends when you can have two love interests? #JulietMoreauLogic

M: Oh that makes TOTAL sense now. You've got to love Juliet's logic. 

B: "I need a man to save me!" #JulietMoreauLogic

M: This should be a trend on Twitter.

B: Let's make it happen.


B: "One of my boyfriends is a monster, but it's okay, because I love him anyway." #JulietMoreauLogic

M: Key word: boyfriends.

B: Juliet should have her own show on MTV. "My fiancé is a liar, and my boyfriend is a murdering beast. *flips hair* What can I say, this is my life!" *camera pans around Juliet, her hands on her hips sassily* 

M: It would be a worldwide sensation! 

B: Juliet Moreau's Beaus: coming soon to MTV. 

M: "Forgiveness is easy. Just one look at the person and all the past is forgotten." UGH.

B: Yeah, if they stole a cookie from you, maybe. Not if they murdered multiple people or left you on a raft, alone, to London (and he didn't even know where she'd end up. She could have died on that raft). Oh, Juliet. #JulietMoreauLogic. The bottom line is that everything in this installment was as dead as the victims of its murderer. The characters, the romance, the plot...dead. On its face. Too late to have been saved.

M: The characters all face-planted right into the earth. 

B: I wish they did; it would have made for a more enjoyable story. 

[after 150 pages of Juliet's angst] *Juliet spontaneously collapses to the floor* *book ends*

M: Perfect ending!

B: Maybe even spontaneous human combustion. 

M: With the epilogue some gruesome description of Juliet's corpse.

B: "...yet even in her death, if you listen closely, you will be able to hear Juliet's anguished cries of Montgomery's betrayal from beyond the grave." THE END.

M: *applauses erupt* LOVE IT.

B: I love it more than Juliet loves Montgomery AND Edward!

M: BLEH. They all turned horrible in Her Dark Curiosity. This is on 'my worst sequel list' now.

B: Ditto. One of the biggest disappointments of the year. 


  1. Huh, I'm not so sure if I want to start this series at all now since that the characters also turned out to be a poor aspect. I mean, what's the point of a horror-esque novel if the characters a plain bad and the romance is angsty? I'll probably hold off for the time being. Other than that, lovely (and funny) discussion interview ladies! I love the #JulietMoreauLogic hastag!

    1. Eh, I personally wouldn't (because honestly, this one is just plain bad. I'll go out and say that). And the romance is not only angsty, but it doesn't make SENSE. Gaaah. But thank you! :)

  2. That sounds. . . horrible. And I was looking forward to this one too! I didn't LOOOOOVE The Madman's Daughter, but I did like it, & I have an ARC of Her Dark Curiosity, which I'm now sort-of regretting. The focus on the romance bothered me in book 1 too but at least there was other events happening that held my interest. Great review, though. At least now I'll know what I'm getting myself in to.

    1. I thought it was pretty damn bad, but I'm going to be keeping my eye out for other reviews. Really curious how other people will take this one. I think it's incredibly frustrating, but I think others might not. Who knows. And yes, lowered expectations! Maybe you'll like it more because of that.

  3. YAY. I'm glad you did this, because I was really curious what happened here.

    Um, wow. Boring to the max. Even the interesting part is boring? *backs away*


    "Juliet Moreau, author of the memoir, I'm Not Fickle, I'm in Love." <- SNORT!


    " Juliet should have her own show on MTV. "My fiancé is a liar, and my boyfriend is a murdering beast. *flips hair* What can I say, this is my life!" *camera pans around Juliet, her hands on her hips sassily* " Blythe, you are so hilarious. I can't even.

    PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS NOT A REAL LINE: "Forgiveness is easy. Just one look at the person and all the past is forgotten." <- I feel the need to hurl.


      But yes, incredibly boring. And even more frustrating. The romance is the WORST. And it DOESN'T justify both of them coming back. For starters, Montgomery put Juliet on a fucking raft. It's not like he knew the raft was going to London, so I don't know why he decided to just go to London, and oh look, she's here. And then there's the question of how he got there. Whatever. We have to go with it. And then Edward shows up. Even though there is NO REASON WHY HE SHOULD BE ALIVE. He just is. You have to go with that too.

      And yes, that is a real line. Shout-out to Mel for highlighting it--I'm pretty sure I was near throwing the book at that point. Just gives you a little taste for the book, doesn't it?

  4. "Why have two best friends when you can have two love interests? #JulietMoreauLogic"


    Juliet Moreau? More like... Juliet MORE BEAUX! *ZING*!

    I am SO disappointed by this. I wish I could un-download it. I wish I could go back in time and make this book come out differently. *wails*


      But yes, ugh. Awful disappointment. Let me know when you start this one (start it soon, you know...to get it over with. Not because I want to know if I'll be the black sheep. Not all all.)

  5. Uhhhh noooooo!!! I stopped reading so as not to see any more spoilers but I am sadz. I liked the first one! (Not that I'm not going to check #2 out, now, I still will, but still.) :(

    1. You'll have to let me know what you think of this one when you get to it! I'm curious if Mel and I are in the minority with this one.

  6. Love the review, disappointed about how this one turned out. I wouldn't be surprised to see #JulietMoreauLogic start trending on twitter when this releases! THE ROMANCE SOUNDS TERRIBLE. AVOIDING.

  7. Having loved the first book, it makes me sad that HDC was no good, but I'm glad it was a terrible book just so it produced this glorious conversation. So funny! Thank you for making me laugh :)


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