Watch out because Megan Shepherd is back. Last we left Juliet Moreau, she was floating away from an island in the middle of the ocean. Now she's arrived back in London and everything should be fine, however, she still isn't able to outrun her father's crimes or his influence. I entered Shepherd's second novel with a full understanding that she would blow my socks off. I wasn't disappointed. Much like before, we see that no one can be trusted, even those closest to Juliet - not even the characters we find ourselves routing for.
Her Dark Curiosity is richly atmospheric. The novel's entire tone is carefully tempered between Juliet's encroaching madness and her slipping sanity amongst the terrible murders plaguing Scotland Yard. Much like we saw in The Madman's Daughter, no place is truly safe. Juliet is positive she's identified the killer, but the truth is too horrible to even contemplate until it is staring her in the face.
Of course, the killer isn't Juliet's only problem. A victim of her father's experimentation, her health is declining and she is desperate to find a cure. Unfortunately, the cure's costs may be beyond those she's willing pay; that is, as long as her sanity is intact. Throughout the novel, Juliet fights to keep believing that everything her father's science created and brought to light is evil. Here we see that those she trusts most, are causing her to doubt this belief.
Juliet is petrified of becoming her father and the Beast doesn't help her out too much. No single character is truly helpful when it comes to aiding Juliet in dealing with her own madness and that of her deceased father's. We do see multiple characters commenting that science itself is not evil. Instead, they insist that it's what people do with that knowledge that makes it good or evil.
The love story was... I'm not even sure how to explain it. Considering what she did, I do feel like Juliet moved on a tad too swiftly; yet, at the same time, she hasn't really moved on at all. However, part of me wonders if perhaps this is a reflection of Juliet's madness because I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind her latest decision.
There were a few things I saw coming, but I think knowing they were going to happen caused me more anxiety. Things kept happening and the people and the other future events that had seemed liked they were just around the corner weren't showing up when I desired.
Her Dark Curiosity is a masterful continuation of The Madman's Daughter trilogy and I'm eagerly awaiting the conclusion to this epic story.