Title: Her Dark Curiousity (The Madman’s Daughter #2)
Author: Megan Shepard
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Summary: 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 is the second book in The Madman’s Daughter trilogy, and I loved the first one with it’s spooky tale, strong heroine, and deep questions about humanity. This book starts off with Juliet, having made it back to London and now in the care of one of her father’s old friends. Her injections are no longer effective and she’s desperately looking for a cure while trying to forget everything that happened on the island and the people she left behind. Then a string of brutal murders happen across London, all the people being killed somehow connected to Juliet.
I can’t help but adore Juliet as a heroine since she is so smart and intense for a girl in 18th century London, and she is so advanced in science. Watching her use her talent to try and find a cure in a secret attic, only to rush back to the huge mansion she is living in and put on pretty dresses and act demure, it’s almost funny. In this book, Juliet is having trouble accepting who she is and the things she discovered and did on the island. This book kind of explored her dark curiosity (hehe, see what I did there?) and whether her interest in science and the things her father did make her just as bad as him. Whether her morbid thoughts are because of what her father did to her or because it’s in her nature, something she can’t escape. Watching Juliet struggle to understand who she is and what she could do was so interesting and it was never really black and white.
With all the murders happening, Juliet knows Edward escaped the island is the one doing it. That’s not really a spoiler since we find out almost immediately, so the real question is how and why. My favorite part of this book is watching Edward struggle with his weird split personality, between the Edward that loves and wants to protect Juliet, and the Beast who wants to kill people and make Juliet like him. Seeing his struggle was so sad to watch because you really just feel like the whole situation is hopeless, but he wants to live so badly. Juliet has to ask herself if her father making Edward the way he is makes him bad, if it really makes it his fault. She wants to help Edward, to give him another chance at life and being a good person, but how can she when the Beast takes over and murders people without feeling?
That’s the thing I really enjoy about these books, is that they kind of address deep questions, questions that usually fall on the morally gray line. Juliet has to constantly question her father’s work, how far it’s acceptable to go for science and what sacrifices should be made for discovery. Then she has to decide whether Edward is responsible for Beast’s crimes, if he deserves to die for them, and whether it’s crueler to keep him alive. As you read, you personally feel Juliet’s struggle, her indecisiveness about everything. I mean, I love Edward as a character and I really feel awful for him, so I obviously wanted Juliet to help him find a cure. But then Beast comes out and kills people and tries to force Juliet to do things and is so creepy and sinister that I find myself wanting her to kill him. If I’m having an internal struggle, Juliet’s definitely having a hard time.
Montgomery comes back in this book too, hunting Edward through London and him and Juliet eventually cross paths. I have a bit of a hard time with Montgomery. I don’t care that Dr. Moreau was like a father to him, in the last book he still helped with the experiments and knew what he was doing. After all of that, he still judges Juliet for the things she has done and the darker side of her. I feel like Montgomery is in love with an idea of Juliet, the way he thinks she is and should be, instead of accepting her how she actually is. I feel like Edward understands Juliet more and loves her despite that and would never try to change her.
While the romance in this book was more tolerable than the last, I still wish it would have toned down a little bit. It feels like with Edward, she has lust and with Montgomery it’s love. Or at least she thinks it is. Juliet was constantly jumping back and forth between boys and it got a little annoying. I’m all for a girl in this time period not giving a damn about what’s proper and all of that, but she needed to calm down just a little. Besides that, the only other thing I had a problem with was that it wasn’t quite as spooky as the last book and there was some shoddy police work going on. Juliet is smart for sure, but she figures out some fairly obvious stuff that the police have been working on for months, which is just sad. Also, there was a certain surprise bad guy that I found fairly predictable, I knew he was bad right away, but it didn’t really take away from the story.
Overall, I thought this was a great sequel to the first book. I loved seeing Juliet change and struggle with accepting herself and her inner darkness. Even more than that though, watching Edward struggle with Beast, it broke my heart and gave me such conflicted feelings. This book was fast paced, suspenseful, and had some great, thought provoking questions. I can’t wait to get my hands on A Cold Legacy.