Monday, January 19, 2015

Be True To Yourself

"We choose our own fate."
--Megan Shepherd, A Cold Legacy

Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Science Fiction
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 400
Publication Date: January 27th, 2015
Source: eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: The Madman's Daughter & Her Dark Curiosity
Goodreads 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.
The Drama

Now, I mean that title in the best way. The conclusion to Megan Shepher's Madman's series was not a walk in the park. This book was steeped in tension, moral dilemmas, and matters of life and death. Shepherd does not leave a stone unturned in regards to tying up loose ends from the previous books but in a way that does not feel like a rush to the finish line. It was paced well and had plot progression as well as resolution. I just really loved where the story went and how things were tied up. Obviously I am not going to give any spoilers but I am completely happy with how things concluded. The battle to get there was STRESSFUL because just as one thing ends and you breath a sigh of relief something else pops up to destroy our tenuous bubble of comfort. I honestly couldn't read fast enough  because I NEEDED to know if our characters were going to be okay.

Frankenstein's Monster

This part of our trilogy is a re-telling of Frankenstein and what a representation it was. The science and morality Juliet faces is epic. She was constantly struggling about what was right and what SHE believed it. While I felt it got a little tiresome at times, it definitely makes sense for her character. She needed to work through the painful process of examining her own beliefs and values and that she is NOT solely her father's daughter. She is her own person and can do what she wants to do. I loved seeing her go through this process especially after re-reading Her Dark Curiosity. I felt her journey was completely on point with where we left off in the previous books and I really just loved her working through her personal morality issues. I can't say enough how much I loved reading about this idea. The exploration of morality, life vs death, and the pros and cons of scientific advancement was amazing. It was so interesting to see each character have their own personal opinion on the matter and how it clashed with each other. Who believed what and what exceptions would each character make and why was just so interesting. The theme of this throughout the trilogy is fantastic and I kind of want to go back and re-read from the very beginning knowing now how it all ends.

The Genetic Dynamic

I love Juliet and I LOVE Montgomery but I was a little annoyed with how they both dealt with the aftermath of Juliet's father's experiments. I know that these two love each other deeply but it bothered me when Montgomery would try to push Juliet to be more like her mother or be like somebody she's not. And Juliet focusing solely on her father and thinking she had to be just like him was equally irritating. I understand this was part of the process she had to work through to find herself but it was irritating nonetheless. I wanted to shake them both a few times.

One Resolution 

While I'm really happy with how everything ended there was just one thing I was not happy about with a certain character. I really grew to like this character and wanted a happier ending for them. I know that's asking a lot but it really made me sad how this character ended up. *sigh*

Reserved Seating
I really enjoyed this series and loved what Megan Shepherd did with it. Fans of Victorian era books, Gothic stories, issues with morality, and character progression will really like this. And fans of this series already will not be disappointed in the final book. 

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