Monthly Summary: January 2014

IN JANUARY…

January’s been pretty uneventful, except for getting a lovely cold. Fortunately I’d scheduled a ton of reviews ahead of time, so my blog didn’t go silent for the week it hurt to look at a screen.

I read 20 books, wrote a ton of reviews, and did a couple of maintenance things on the blog. The big thing was renewing my hosting and domain name: www.leeanna.me is sticking around for at least 2 more years!

I intended to do a bit more at the end of the month, but I’ve been speeding through the Milkweed Triptych by Ian Tregillis. A friend had been wanting me to read the series forever, and now that I finally did… I don’t know why I kept putting it off! I read the books for fun, but now I’m toying with reviewing them. Do you ever read books for fun and then end up writing reviews anyway?

Onto what I read:

bracelet of bones branded diamonds & deceit freakboy
her dark curiosity independent study mistress of the wind night owls
relic salt secret lies stolen songbird
the companions the godborn witch born witch fall
witch song bitter seeds the coldest war hatshepsut's collar

Reviews Posted:

  1. Ruined (The Eternal Balance #1) by Jus Accardo.
  2. Pretty When They Collide (Pretty When She Dies #0.5) by Rhiannon Frater.
  3. Mistress of the Wind by Michelle Diener.
  4. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge.
  5. Salt (Salt #1) by Danielle Ellison.
  6. Gated (Gated #1) by Amy Christine Parker.
  7. Witch Song (Witch Song #1) by Amber Argyle.
  8. Witch Born (Witch Song #2) by Amber Argyle.
  9. Witch Fall (Witch Song #3) by Amber Argyle.
  10. The Companions (The Sundering #1) by R.A. Salvatore.
  11. The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charbonneau.
  12. Independent Study (The Testing #2) by Joelle Charbonneau.
  13. Diamonds & Deceit (At Somerton #2) by Leila Rasheed.
  14. The Godborn (The Sundering #2) by Paul S. Kemp.
  15. Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman’s Daughter #2) by Megan Shepherd.
  16. Relic (Books of Eva #1) by Heather Terrell.
  17. Secret Lies by Amy Dunne.
  18. Hatshepsut’s Collar (Artifact Hunters #2) by A.W. Exley.
  19. Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark.
  20. Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown.

Waiting on Wednesday:

The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons.

I’m going back to doing Waiting on Wednesday – it’s such an easy way to feature upcoming books I’m looking forward to, as well as an easy way to find more books to be excited about.

Blog Tours:

Blog Tour: Branded (Sinners #1) by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki.
Blog Tour: The Sorcery Code by Dima Zales.

Other Book Posts:

2013 Favorite Books of the Year.
Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist.

 

IN FEBRUARY…

My big goal for February is to try and create a review posting schedule. I’d like to try and post reviews for upcoming books a week or two before the release or just after, since I think that’s the best time to post, if possible. So this will require some organization, because I’ve already got some reviews written for February/March books. Yay to being halfway organized!

– leeanna

Book Review: Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

Book Review: Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce BrownRed Rising by Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising #1
Published by Del Rey on January 28, 2014
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Science Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Goodreads
5 Stars
The war begins...

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable - and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda...

Book Review:

I bloodydamn loved RED RISING. It was a “stay up until my eyes bleed and keep reading anyway” book. I just couldn’t get enough of Darrow and his dark, violent world, and as soon as I turned the last page, I wanted to read it over.

I hate making comparisons, but if you took The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, Ender’s Game, Game of Thrones, and maybe even Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, threw them all together and put them hundreds of years in the future, you have RED RISING. However, this book isn’t a copy of any of those, but you can definitely see elements or inspiration from all of those (and probably more that I missed). Also, mentioning all those is the easiest way I can think of to describe it, since I don’t want to spoil a second of this book.

So, that said, RED RISING is original and super creative. I cannot remember the last time an author has surprised me so much. It’s so packed with action, betrayals, and plot twists that I was never sure who to trust, or even who was good and who was bad. At its deepest, RED RISING is about power. Who has it, who doesn’t, and what to do with it.

RED RISING is the story of Darrow, a 16 year-old miner who lives beneath Mars’s surface. He is a Red, and his job, along with all other Reds, is to prepare Mars for the other Colors. In Pierce Brown’s world, there are castes of colors, with the most powerful, Golds, on top, and the least, Reds, on the bottom. And when I say Darrow’s Red, I mean it — his hair, eyes, and skin are red. Same with the other colors. Browns (servants) are Brown. Grays (police) are Gray. The colors lock everyone into their slot in society, into their specific role and job.

Although Darrow is 16, he reads much older, and so I think RED RISING is a great crossover book, with wide appeal for both teens and adults. Reds mature quickly; at 16, Darrow is already married. He loves his wife Eo more than anything else, and when she is killed for an act of rebellion, her death thrusts Darrow into a search for vengeance and power. The beginning of the book is a bit slow, but it really establishes Darrow’s world and the difficult lives he and the other Reds have, as the “pioneers” of Mars.

Recruited by the Sons of Ares, a rebel group, Darrow undergoes a painful and lengthy transformation into a Gold. I loved that the whole transformation was detailed, since too often that sort of thing is swept over in books. The process was also a good bridge between the “Red world” and the “Gold world,” showing the differences between both. Gold society is influenced by Ancient Greek culture, something else I really liked.

Once Darrow passes the tests for the Institute, that’s when the real story begins. From that point on, I kept trying to flip ahead, because I was so eager to know what would happen next.

RED RISING easily makes my list of favorites, and I cannot wait to read the rest of this trilogy. With such a powerful debut, I know it’s going to be fantastic.

Socialize with the author:

Pierce Brown:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

Book Review: Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth ClarkFreakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) on October 22, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads
4 Stars
From the outside, Brendan Chase seems to have it pretty easy. He’s a star wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly perfect match, Vanessa. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why his body feels so wrong—why he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft skin, and gentle curves. Is there even a name for guys like him? Guys who sometimes want to be girls? Or is Brendan just a freak?

In Freakboy's razor-sharp verse, Kristin Clark folds three narratives into one powerful story: Brendan trying to understand his sexual identity, Vanessa fighting to keep her and Brendan’s relationship alive, and Angel struggling to confront her demons.

Book Review:

I’m not a fan of verse novels, because I just can’t read poetry or anything resembling it, but I took a chance with FREAKBOY, and wow, am I glad I did. If you’re considering checking this book out, try to read it in one setting. I think it packs the biggest punch that way, because you’re really immersed in the narratives of Brendan, Vanessa, and Angel.

FREAKBOY is mainly Brendan’s story, showing the confusion and pain he feels at being different, and the struggle of trying to hide those feelings. Brendan’s not sure what wanting to be a girl means … he doesn’t want to wear skirts, but he’s envious of Rapunzel and her long, long hair. He likes sex with his girlfriend, so he’s not gay … right?

Brendan’s passages are accompanied by ones from Vanessa, his girlfriend, and Angel, a transgender girl who volunteers at an LGBTQ center for youth. Vanessa’s narrative gave me the chance to see Brendan’s confusion from the other side, as Vanessa really does love him, and is hurt and confused herself when Brendan starts pulling away from her. Angel was my favorite, though. I loved how confident she is in herself, and how positive she is, even though she’s been through some terrible stuff.

I also want to give the author a shoutout for using World of Warcraft as a way for Brendan to be his true self. Video games also provide a way for Brendan and Angel to bond, and to show Brendan that maybe he isn’t a freak.

“Virtual me has long legs,
blue hair,
a killer body.
It’s as close as I can get
to being a girl.

I’m Larissa.
I’m Larissa and
I can kick ass
and I can lose myself
in the anonymous world
of online gaming (p. 206).”

FREAKBOY doesn’t give a lot of concrete answers, which is usually something that bugs me. I’m the type of reader that wants an answer and conclusion to everything, but here, I didn’t mind the open-endedness. It fit the style of the book, and gives readers something to think about. I think it’s an important book, because while the number gay and lesbian YA books is slowly increasing, there are not as many trans books.

Socialize with the author:

Kristin Elizabeth Clark:
Website
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Twitter

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

the deep end of the seaThe Deep End of the Sea
Release Date: February 13, 2014

What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.

But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again. (summary from goodreads)

Amazing cover? Check. Awesome sounding story? Check.

I have some serious cover lust for THE DEEP END OF THE SEA. But aside from that, I’m intrigued by the story. I’m always interested in books inspired by Greek mythology, and I think Medusa is rather underrepresented.

Socialize with the author:
Website
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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Book Review: Hatshepsut’s Collar (Artifact Hunters #2) by A.W. Exley

Book Review: Hatshepsut’s Collar (Artifact Hunters #2) by A.W. ExleyHatshepsut's Collar by A.W. Exley
Series: Artifact Hunters #2
Published by Curiosity Quills Press on November 13, 2013
Genres: Adult, Adventure, Romance, Steampunk
Pages: 280
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
4 Stars
"Loving you is easy, it's living with you that's killing me."

An ancient Egyptian artifact is driving Queen Victoria insane, and that's not top of Cara Devon's growing list of problems.

Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is a man of numerous secrets, but there is one in particular that threatens his fledgling relationship with Cara. Stunned by Nate's revelation, and before she can absorb the ramifications of his actions, he is arrested, charged with treason and imprisoned in the grim Tower of London. He stole something the mad queen wants, and only has days to deliver, before his date with the executioner.

Although sorely tempted, Cara can't let him die on Tower Green, not when their connection means she would share his fate.

Only together can Cara and Nate figure out how to wrestle Hatshepsut's Collar from around the queen's neck, before she plunges Britain into a world war. The search for answers sends Cara to the opulent Winter Palace of St Petersburg and the frozen depths of Siberia, with every step shadowed by an enemy with his own dark plans.

Book Review:

Last year, NEFERTITI’S HEART was a book I enjoyed a lot. It’s a quirky, unique book, blending steampunk and Egyptian mythology along with romance and adventure. When I read it in April 2013, I wasn’t sure if it was the start of a series or a standalone, so I was quite pleased to see HATSHEPSUT’S COLLAR come out this year. I couldn’t wait to join Cara and Nate on their next adventure.

And boy, HATSHEPSUT’S COLLAR is one hell of a ride. The book starts about six weeks after the events of NEFERTITI’S HEART, and doesn’t waste too much time recapping the past. I don’t think you need to have read book one to be able to read this book, but you’ll have a better understanding of Cara and Nate’s relationship if you’ve already read NEFERTITI’S HEART.

That fledgling relationship is put to the test when Nate drops a gigantic bombshell on Cara (really, I wanted to take his head off myself). But before Cara react, Queen Victoria’s troops arrest Nate for high treason. Even though she’s tempted to let Nate rot in the Tower, Cara has to help rescue him, because if he dies, so does she, thanks to the bond they have through the Nefertiti’s Heart artifact. Another Egyptian artifact is influencing the queen, the Hatshepsut’s Collar of the book’s title, driving her towards worldwide conquest.

HATSHEPSUT’S COLLAR takes Cara and Nate from England to Russia as they try to clear his name. I really enjoyed the glimpses of the author’s version of St. Petersburg, as well as two new characters, Nikolai and Natalie, acquaintances of Nate’s. They, as well as Loki the air pirate, provided amusement and seriousness, as needed. There’s a good dash of humor amongst the more dangerous moments. There’s nothing like laughing just before or even while characters are charging into danger. I mean, where else can you imagine a pirate blasting Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries as he attacks the Tower of London in an airship?

Cara spends a lot of the book wondering if she should stay with Nate, as she’s tired of him hiding things from her, including Very Big Secrets that impact her too. Even so, they don’t hold back on the physical side of their relationship; they have a lot of sex. I wish those scenes had been more consistent, because some were more explicit than others, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but one or two pulled me out of the story. Until I got to the middle half, that is, where the action really picked up. Then there wasn’t as much time for shenanigans between the sheets, and I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I did like that Cara thought a lot about Nate and their relationship, and just didn’t forgive him off the bat.

HATSHEPSUT’S COLLAR takes everything I enjoyed in NEFERTITI’S HEART, from the world to the action, to kick butt Cara to scene-stealing Loki, and builds upon it. The book is a fun romp through a steampunked London and St. Petersburg, and the ending promises more such adventures for Cara and Nate. Definitely recommended, especially if you want some romance along with your steampunk and mystery.

Socialize with the author:

A.W. Exley:
Website
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– leeanna

Winter 2014 Mini Bloggiesta

bloggiesta

I always manage to miss Bloggiesta, and even now I’m signing up late for the mini winter one, but I’m still signing up. I’ll probably miss the Twitter chat because I’ll be driving home from work (and with the weather, that might take all night!), but I’ll have Sunday to get stuff done.

Here’s my list of what I need to update on the blog:
01. 2013 Books Read list: Add titles and links to books reviewed.
02. 2014 Books Read list: Add links to books reviewed.
03. Redo template for monthly summary posts.
04. Start January 2014 summary post.
05. 2013 Blog Events page: Update with banners/links to tour posts/etc.
06. 2014 Blog Events page: Update with banners/links to tour posts/etc.
07. Make February review schedule.
08. Prep some review posts.
09. Possibly prepare graphics/information/post about a new meme: Love Letters to favorite books, authors, characters, series, etc.

Update January 29: I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped, but I did get three big items done. I am so keeping my list of 2014 books updated – I had to find links for a ton of reviews.

–leeanna

Book Review: Secret Lies by Amy Dunne

Book Review: Secret Lies by Amy DunneSecret Lies by Amy Dunne
Published by Bold Strokes Books on December 16, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
2 Stars
Would you face your biggest fear, to save the one you love?

Nicola Jackson escapes from her abuser, only to realize she has no one to turn to and nowhere to go. In a twist of fate, she accidentally bumps into Jenny O’Connor, the most popular girl at school. They strike up an unlikely friendship. As their trust in each other develops, they share their darkest secrets, and their relationship blossoms into a secret romance.

Jenny loves Nicola, but she is fearful that if their secret relationship is discovered, she might lose her family, friends, and her seemingly perfect life.

Nicola confronts her abuser and blackmails him to leave for good, but things go terrifyingly wrong. Jenny is left with a life-changing dilemma: should she face her fear and accept who she is, or let Nicola take the blame and pretend their relationship never happened?

Book Review:

I’m really torn on SECRET LIES. On one hand, I liked the relationship between the two main characters, and also liked that their love gave them both the strength to face their demons. But on the other hand, I didn’t believe how quickly that relationship developed, with Jenny bringing Nicola into her house after knowing her for a day, and then “I love you” being said within two weeks.

I did like how the author handled Jenny’s character. Jenny hurts herself so she can feel the pain she can’t express, but has already realized she’s in an unhealthy cycle. At the start of the book, Jenny is in counseling, and I liked that she was proactive and wanted to help herself. I also felt for Nicola, who has endured years and years of vicious abuse at the hands of her step-father. It was nice to see that neither one of them judged the other for their problems, but tried to help and be supportive.

I was also happy to see sex scenes in this book. One of my big peeves with young adult books is they often focus just on kissing and unresolved sexual tension which is unrealistic, so it was awesome to see two girls experimenting and going beyond kissing.

But … the speed of their relationship. Yeah, I know teens can move quickly with relationships, but it was just so awkwardly done between these two that I couldn’t buy how they met and were attracted to each other. Nicola runs into Jenny in the street, Jenny invites Nicola to her house to fix a scraped palm, and after spending the whole day together watching movies, Nicola ends up staying at Jenny’s house for the next few weeks.

Overall, I didn’t feel like SECRET LIES was a YA book. Jenny and Nicola are in their teens, but they talk and sometimes act much older. If the story had been about two girls in their twenties, and spent some more time getting to know each other, it would have felt more authentic to me.

Socialize with the author:

Amy Dunne:
Website

– leeanna

Book Review: Relic (Books of Eva #1) by Heather Terrell

Book Review: Relic (Books of Eva #1) by Heather TerrellRelic by Heather Terrell
Series: Books of Eva #1
Published by Soho Teen on October 29, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Goodreads
2 Stars
The truth will test you...

For fans of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games: high fantasy and dystopia meet in this high-stakes tale of a civilization built on lies and the girl who single-handedly brings it down.

When Eva’s twin brother, Eamon, falls to his death just a few months before he is due to participate in The Testing, no one expects Eva to take his place. She’s a Maiden, slated for embroidery classes, curtseys, and soon a prestigious marriage befitting the daughter of an Aerie ruler. But Eva insists on honoring her brother by becoming a Testor. After all, she wouldn’t be the first Maiden to Test, just the first in 150 years.

Eva knows the Testing is no dance class. Gallant Testors train for their entire lives to search icy wastelands for Relics: artifacts of the corrupt civilization that existed before The Healing drowned the world. Out in the Boundary Lands, Eva must rely on every moment of the lightning-quick training she received from Lukas—her servant, a Boundary native, and her closest friend now that Eamon is gone.

But there are threats in The Testing beyond what Lukas could have prepared her for. And no one could have imagined the danger Eva unleashes when she discovers a Relic that shakes the Aerie to its core.

Book Review:

Okay, so RELIC is billed as a cross between THE HUNGER GAMES and GAME OF THRONES. It’s not. It’s nowhere near either one.

I struggled a lot with this book. Here’s an example of one reason why: “The Gods told our Founders that we needed a Triad of strong leaders, ones who could teach the New North people the dangers of our past, worshipping the false god Apple. Leaders who could show the people we must live in accordance with the Lex, which dictates mankind live as we did in the Golden Ages, that idyllic time before the false neon of modern advancements set mankind on a path to wickedness and lawlessness (p. 16).”

WHEW, right? I was constantly rereading passages, trying to figure out Eva’s world. The first few chapters gave me a headache because I was trying to keep everything straight. Once I quit attempting that, the book did get more bearable, but I never really got into it.

Another reason I struggled with RELIC is the unbelievability and flatness of main character Eva. Eva is, well, she’s boring. As the first Maiden to Test in 150 years, you would think she’d be a dynamo, and have some compelling reason to break the Maiden mold. Nope. She’s just doing it so her brother’s dream doesn’t die like he did. Now, I can understand that motivation, but once Eva started the Test and had NO TROUBLE at all, I just didn’t believe it. She had three months of training. The other Testors, including her brother, studied their whole lives. So I didn’t buy her being the fastest dog sledder, or that she could kill a gigantic ox, or that she built a picture perfect igloo, all on her own.

To top it all off, RELIC just seemed like setup for the rest of the series. Yeah, stuff happened, but not a lot. Only near the end did the book really get going, and then it was over. Would I read the second book? Most likely not, because I just wasn’t impressed by RELIC.

I only kept reading RELIC because I did want to find out what the author had in mind with Apple as a false god. There’s a lot of brand/name dropping, from Apple to Coke to MasterCard, all of them being seen as evils that led to the Earth being flooded. Unfortunately, I was never sure if the author was being serious or going for an attempt at satire at how we live life now.

Let’s talk about it:

What do you think of books being compared to other popular books?

Socialize with the author:

Heather Terrell:
Website
Facebook

– leeanna

Jolly VoxBox Review

jolly voxbox

I’ve been sitting on the Jolly VoxBox for a bit, trying to figure out how to review it. I’m used to reviewing books, not makeup and candy!

The box contained one of each: Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer, NYC New York Color HD Trio Eye Shadow, Ducklings Mini Roll, Puffs, and Skinny Cow Candy. The best items for me were the Puffs and the Ducklings tape.

jolly voxbox

I’m allergic to a lot of lipsticks and chapsticks, so I didn’t try the Rimmel London Lip Lacquer, because there weren’t any ingredients listed on the tube! To me, this seems like an odd thing to leave off the product.

The Puffs tissues were great because I was sick for almost two weeks. In that time, I went through four boxes of tissues and a ton of Neosporin for my nose. I’m pretty sure I lost a pound of nose skin, as icky as that image is. Anyway! I liked the Puffs because they came in a nice package, that opened and resealed easily. The size was perfect for a coat pocket, and the tissues were soft and thick. The Puffs were much nicer than the cheap tissues I was using :)

jolly voxbox

I used the Ducklings Mini Roll to decorate my Moleskine notebook. I carry it with me everywhere for whenever inspiration strikes, but I’ve never liked the red cover. The size of the roll of tape made it easy to cover the notebook. The tape seems like it will hold and not peel off. And the paint print feels much more writerly than the old plain red cover!

jolly voxbox

I had my mum try the Skinny Cow Peanut Butter Creme filled treats. I don’t like peanut butter, so I used her as a guinea pig. Here’s what she had to say: “There’s a really strong taste of peanut butter. One piece is enough for a snack, since the peanut butter is almost overpowering.” There are 6 individually wrapped packages in the box, and each package has 3 candies.

Disclaimer: I received the Jolly VoxBox through Influenster. I received these products on a complimentary basis for testing purposes.
influenster

– leeanna

Book Review: Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman’s Daughter #2) by Megan Shepherd

Book Review: Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman’s Daughter #2) by Megan ShepherdHer Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd
Series: The Madman's Daughter #2
Published by Balzer & Bray on January 28, 2014
Genres: Gothic, Historical Fiction, Horror, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads
3 Stars
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.

Book Review:

Inspired by The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, HER DARK CURIOSITY is the second book in the Madman’s Daughter trilogy. Picking up months after the end of THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER, Juliet has escaped her father’s island, and is now living in London, the ward of one of her father’s old friends. But life isn’t peachy, as she’s still struggling with her illness and having trouble fitting into “respectable” life. Juliet is also missing Montgomery, one of the boys she loved.

One of the few things that bugged me in THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER was the love triangle between Juliet, Montgomery, and Edward. Unfortunately, that love triangle is back in HER DARK CURIOSITY. Although Juliet thought Edward was dead at the end of book one, he actually survived, and follows her to London. Montgomery eventually shows up too, hunting Edward, as his Beast side is slowly taking over his human side. I didn’t mind what she did with them, but I didn’t get behind her flipping between them. Meh. I’m just not a fan of love triangles.

Otherwise, I liked HER DARK CURIOSITY. When I started the book, I got halfway through it before I realized it. It’s very easy to sink into this book and keep flipping the pages. My favorite parts where whenever Juliet’s thoughts went into a dark direction, such as when she asked Edward what it was like to be the Beast. The title of this book really fits, as Juliet does a lot of thinking about her father’s experiments, wondering if he was right or wrong to try and create human life from animals. There’s a part near the end where Juliet does something very dark, and I liked that the author went there.

The book does end on a cliffhanger (boo!), so I am looking forward to the end of the trilogy to see how everything wraps up with Juliet and the rest of the characters.

Let’s talk about it:

What do you think of love triangles?

Socialize with the author:

Megan Sheperd:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

– leeanna