Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd

Series: The Madman’s Daughter (bk. 3)

Genera(s): Gothic Horror/Historical Fiction/Sci-fi

Subjects: retellings, experiments, scientists, love, death

Setting: An estate in the Scottish Moors

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense: Juliet Moreau

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 388 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover 

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen: Balzer & Bray

Summary/ product description: “After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love—even our own humanity.”

My Review:  As I’ve said before, this is the only Historical Fiction series I have enjoyed, and the only hist fic series I had read to completion. These books are dark, gothic tales with a mix of horror and sci-fi. They are very different from most Hist Fic YA out there that usually fall into two categories: Steam Punk/Hist Fantasy and Realistic. These books have mystery and romance and horrifying acts of science.

A Cold Legacy is the third and final book in the Madman’s Daughter trilogy. All the books are retelling of classics that have Doctor in the title. This one is the retelling of Dr. Frankenstein. The first book was a retelling of the Island or Dr. Moreau and the second was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Retellings are wonderful because they take elements from stories you already know about and change them or twist them in some way. I personally have not read any of the books that these books are based off of, but I’ve seen some movies.

Set with a backdrop of the Scottish moors, a cold legacy is especially creepy. It’s winter in the book. Likely February. There’s misty fog and storms, but no snow. The setting becomes a character itself. There’s characters from the previous book and new characters. There are many twists and unexpected ones at that. I was caught by surprise by some of the events. One near then end didn’t surprise me so much, but it wasn’t fixed the way I thought it would be.

Without spoiling the book, I can tell you that Juliet learn about the secrets of Dr. Frankenstein from Elizabeth and she tries to revive someone. Lucy becomes less of an airhead and more determined and important. Juliet and Montgomery plan to have a wedding at the mansion. There is no long triangle issue at all here. Juliet helps Lucy find a way to rid Edward of the Beast since Lucy and Edward love each other, and the Beast is still obsessed with Juliet. Stuff happens in this book. The climax is epic and the story isn’t open ended, but I would like to read an enovella from a different character’s POV. I can’t wait to read Megan’s next series, The Cage. If she can make Hist Fic interesting to me, then I’m sure her regular sci-fi will be just as awesome.

Cover Art Review: Interesting landscape image. The girl is wearing a red bow on her dress like the previous books. The cover when printed looks too dark compared to the image online.

~Haley G

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