“Her Dark Curiosity” by Megan Shepherd
4 out of 5 stars.
Juliet Moreau is different. Losing both your parents and childhood friend can make a mess out of a sane person, and finding out that your father is actually alive and living on a mysterious island can only mess with someone even more. But being abandoned by the boy you love and cast out into the ocean all alone is the worst experience that Juliet has endured by far. Months have come and gone since that last night on her father’s island, but the memories she has of it and then being abandoned still haunt her dreams. The only real comfort is that they are just dream and memories of the past, and that she will never have to face them again. The past is the past, and it should stay that way.
When someone begins a killing people in London, Juliet knows that her past has come to haunt her and that she is the only one who can stop him. Matters become even more complicated when Montgomery unexpectedly shows back up in her life, and Juliet is hesitant to trust him again after what he did to her heart. But more is at stake than feelings, and Juliet and her long lost friends must work together before it is too late. Can Juliet discover how to stop the murderer roaming the streets of London, or is there a much more sinister force at work that meets the eye?
I had read “Her Dark Curiosity” back in January of 2014 when it first came out, and at that time I did not love it. After eleven months passed, I picked this book back up to read sin preparation for “A Cold Legacy,” which comes out late January, and I am so glad that I did. Without a doubt, “The Madman’s Daughter” is my favorite, but I really do love “Her Dark Curiosity” now that I’ve read it again.
Second books are always hard for me to read because they are usually the darkest point in a trilogy; the tone becomes darker, the characters begin showing more and more of their flawed, human nature and sometimes that is difficult to see as a reader. Such was the case with Juliet and her surrounding characters. Everyone has their dark secrets and they are desperately trying to hide them behind fake smiles and 19th century chivalry, but there is a certain darkness that became more apparent with each passing page. It was hard at times to read, but it added a lot to the story in the sense that I was beginning to wonder who would make it out with their humanity (and maybe a little of their innocence) in tact. The whole time I was reading “Her Dark Curiosity,” I was questioning how Megan Shepherd could fix everything that was going wrong and how she would redeem the main characters in this story. I still don’t know how she can do that after finishing this book, and I am anxious about the crap that’s going to go down in “A Cold Legacy.”
Juliet was a very different girl from the one I read about in “The Madman’s Daughter,” and it made me so sad to see how the island and the experiences on it changed her. I couldn’t imagine how awful it would have been to go through what she did, and so these changes in perspective were believable as well as understandable. The longer I read, though, the harder it was to watch what Juliet was doing, and I wanted to scream at the pages, “Don’t DO THAT!” It was difficult to see her family’s “curse” creep up on her and I don’t know how Megan will resolve it all! I think that the biggest thing I want to see happen in “A Cold Legacy” is for Juliet to believe in herself and to choose a different and better way than her father did.
Edward was very interesting in “Her Dark Curiosity.” I felt bad for the Edward half because he was such a sweet boy and he had never been given a real chance to live a happy life. I thought that it was sad and interesting how he brought out Juliet’s darker side; she brought out the good in him (most of the time), but he didn’t bring out the best in her. I thought that was interesting considering both of their physical circumstances: Juliet went through some of her father’s procedures to save her life much like Edward, only his had been much more drastic. They are very much alike but that is not always a good thing when it comes to relationships. I don’t really know if Megan was trying to give a hint as to who was good for who, but to me it didn’t seem like the healthiest of relationships. But really, that aside, my heart broke for Edward and there are some major scenes where I teared-up because he was such a broken person. It was truly heartbreaking and I want to know what happens to Edward in the end of this trilogy.
Montgomery, Montgomery. I still love this boy even after he abandoned Juliet! It was so not okay what he did, but I just love this character so much!
Oy! And his reappearance at the masquerade was FREAKING awesome! Judge me all you want, people, but I still love him. That being said, Montgomery, just like Juliet and Edward, changed a lot in the six months or so that it took him to get to London. It is so heartbreaking to see the changes in him, knowing what changed him, but underneath it all he was still the sweet, strong, and smart Montgomery from “The Madman’s Daughter.” I loved any and every moment of this book that he was present, and I loved how Montgomery helped bring out the better side of Juliet. She feared he wouldn’t love her after she told him the truth, but Montgomery was still Montgomery and I love them together.
An unexpected character that really shined in “Her Dark Curiosity” was Juliet’s friend, Lucy. In the first book, a reader got a scene or two with her, but in this book she was present for a good amount of time. I grew to love Lucy and I thought that she had such a beautiful heart. By the end of “Her Dark Curiosity,” Lucy was blooming into a beautiful, strong young woman and I am rooting for a happy ending concerning her. She was a great addition to this trilogy!
So much happens in “Her Dark Curiosity” to the point that it was kinda overwhelming; I had to sit and process it once I had finished reading before I could think about anything else! It was so good, but I don’t know how Megan is going to fix everything that went wrong in this book. Uhhhh, and that secret that Montgomery was keeping?! I am so worried as to what it is and I hope Megan Shepherd doesn’t pull a Tahereh Mafi with him in the last book! P.S. My condolences to the Adam fandom. I feel for you guys!
Overall, “Her Dark Curiosity” was an amazing book, and I loved it! I am looking forward to reading “A Cold Legacy” to see how Megan Shepherd will wrap up this trilogy.