Her Dark Curiosity is the second book in The Madman’s Daughter series. The first book is titled The Madman’s Daughter. The second book takes place in London and is a retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Her Dark Curiosity tells the story of what happens to Juliet Moreau after she leaves her father’s island by herself. She is rescued by Professor Von Stein, her father’s old friend and he raises her like a daughter. Unfortunately for Juliet, her father’s treatment for her is failing and she is plagued by weakness and seizures. Running against time, she is struggling to find a cure when she finds out about the Wolf of Whitechapel who has been killing people who have hurt her in one way or another. Ultimately, she is plagued by lost loves and pain and the struggle to find a cure for her.
Before you proceed reading my review, I would like to warn you that there are SPOILERS. I found it hard to try leaving out the spoilers in writing my review. I will try to mention as little as possible, though. Read at your own risk!
I love Her Dark Curiosity. Ms. Shepherd has seamlessly combined two different classic books: The Island of Dr. Moreau and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, to tell a continuous Gothic tale. I love how she tells this story. Very Gothic and creepy and fascinating at the same time. Naturally, Edward is the one referred to as “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” as he tries to control the monster in him. Apparently, the monster is also in love with Juliet and he is growing stronger every day. Juliet and Edward strike a bargain and both of them try to find a cure for Edward and for her.
Again, the story is a page-turner (if I were reading a book) but in my case, I just couldn’t stop listening to it. Everything that happened in The Madman’s Daughter is seamlessly integrated into Her Dark Curiosity and I wasn’t lost at all. I did not think that both were different stories because Ms. Shepherd has added flashbacks of what happened on the island as the book proceeds further. I was creeped out by Edward’s transformation and the descriptions the author used added to the whole imagery of Mr. Hyde. Montgomery also comes back with Balthazar (one of my favorite characters) who is trying to stop Edward.
I was horrified by the book as the story unfolded. Horrified in a good way, I guess. The choices that Juliet makes is just scary and I liked that the author added Juliet’s creepy thoughts in the book. She is still haunted by her father’s legacy but the decisions that she makes are really shocking.
The mystery of Her Dark Curiosity is discovering who Dr. Henri Moreau contacted and shared his secrets in London. Apparently, this person (or persons) is trying to duplicate Dr. Moreau’s research and creations. I actually guessed right when the villain was revealed but I liked how the author built up the thrill of discovering who it really is.
There was a scene that I did not like though, which was the one that Juliet gave herself to Edward. I get that this also fueled the monster’s desire for her and it drove the plot a little bit but it was just wrong. The love triangle trope here was just weird and I did not like it. Despite not liking this scene, I still gave this book 5 hearts because the execution was just amazing. The story was gripping and thrilling at the same time.
The ending was perfect. It set the tone for the next and last book A Cold Legacy, which would be a retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Narrated by Lucy Rayner, Her Dark Curiosity is more riveting and thrilling. I could not stop listening to it and I actually had to stay in the car for a few minutes just to finish the scene! Rayner’s narration is flawlessly done, accents are distinctive between characters and most importantly, the female voices are not irritating to the ears. I love that in a narrator. Her pacing is just right and her tone gives off an ominous feeling perfect for this Gothic novel. 5 stars!
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