Review Detail

4.3 1
Creepy Gothic Goodness
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What I Loved:

In HER DARK CURIOSITY, Ms. Shepherd once again delivers a dark, gritty Gothic horror story sure to thrill fans of classic Gothic novels as well as fans of horror in general. Unflinching prose and a consistent escalation of suspense make for a page-turner. Ms. Shepherd pulls no punches with both her narrative and her characters. Expect blood, unsettling revelations, and a main character who is both compelling and sometimes terrifying. Readers who enjoy shows like American Horror Story or the I Hunt Killers book by Barry Lyga will enjoy this series.

I found the heroine Juliet's character arc fascinating. Her sharp mind, fierce spirit, and unquenchable thirst for knowledge are still paramount, and she's still markedly different from other girls of her era, but now she also struggles with the understanding that there are things inside of her that are frighteningly similar to the things that she believes drove her father into madness. Some choices she makes are uncomfortable, both for other characters and for the reader, and the line between what she thinks she must do and what she believes she should never do becomes blurred. While I didn't always agree with Juliet, or even always like her, I found her character consistently intriguing.

The plot is relentless. Twists and turns, conspiracies and revelations--all of it combines to ratchet up the tension chapter by chapter, making it hard to put the book down. The plot is consistently driven by character choices and raises important questions about ends justifying the means, the line between morality and progress, and what constitutes humanity and makes a person's life valuable. Even Juliet's most uncomfortable choices, choices that may not sit well with some readers, are interesting discussion points for those who love to dig into the deeper themes of a book.

What Left Me Wanting More:

The romantic aspect of the story didn't quite connect with me. While I felt strongly connected to Juliet in most circumstances, I didn't quite believe her romantic feelings and never got the warm swoonies over any romantic encounter. Perhaps that was due to the secondary characters involved in the romance. Perhaps it was intentional on the author's part as the horror that eclipses Juliet (from the inside out) becomes far more paramount in her thinking than something as innocent as romance. Whatever the reason, readers drawn to more romantic horror might not find what they're looking for here.

A note: there are a few scenes that more squeamish readers may find difficult. Fans of horror will take it all in stride, of course, but it is worth noting for those who are reluctant to read disturbing or bloody scenes.

Final Verdict:

Gritty, Gothic, and relentlessly suspenseful, HER DARK CURIOSITY will keep fans of the horror genre reading late into the night.
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January 30, 2014
I really loved the first book and I cant wait till I can get my hands on this one.
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