Thursday, April 02, 2015

Book Review: A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd (Madman's Daughter #3)

A Cold Legacy (The Madman's Daughter #3) by Megan Shepherd

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars :star :star :star :star :star

Source: eARC viaHarper Collins | Edelweiss

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Published: January 27th, 2015

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

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

“When you can never die, do you ever really live?” -loc 4184

WOW. *cues applause* This book was amazing. Everything I needed/wanted/begged for in the final book of the magnificent trilogy. Shepherd enchanted me (and a lot of you reading this) with the first novel The Madman’s Daughter. I have to admit, the sequel didn’t thrill me. I had some problems with it—mostly just “meh” feelings during some of the scenes and a slow start. This book was just like the first though as far as pacing went and quality and just sheer….feeeeels. 

I have to say that this is perhaps the best ya retelling I have ever read of Frankenstein and The Island of Dr. Moreau. It was brilliant. If you’re going to retell these wonderful gothic classics, especially if they’re among my favorites, you have a lot to prove and accomplish to get my respect and Megan Shepherd did all that was necessary to gain not only my love, but my awe because, seriously she retold some of the best gothic classics ever! Not to mention, she kept what I love most about these stories: the sick, twisted gore and psychological terror. 

Let me sum up my feelings about the series prior to reading this book. The first book I read because I won an ebook copy and I absolutely adored it. I finally got around to reading my eARC of the sequel last year and was not impressed. It lagged. Big time. I wasn't alone either, but was it just second book syndrome? 

Yes, yes it was. 

So if you're putting off reading this one because you didn't particularly love the second book, I feel you. But, you're wrong. (ha!) No but seriously, you need to read this book. It's just as good as the first and maybe even better because we know the characters and there is SO much that goes on.

I loved all the ethical dilemmas. Life and death and the dilemma of what to do with the kind of power than you have…well, it was deliciously played. I really felt the struggle and I enjoyed that the debate wasn't pushed to the side to make way for the romances. The creepy parts were elongated. The book takes place in Elizabeth's huge estate in the middle of the moors. It's absolutely creepy the way the house is filled with girls who seem to be a bit off and hiding something. Elizabeth has a few secrets too, and we are introduced to some more horror in this novel.

Someone is after them but it's unclear why. I loved the Frankenstein retelling that this book focused on. The ending was bittersweet, but fitting. I felt sad that this series is over but really happy that I got to read it. I really hope this author has more in store for us in the future. She is great with retellings! I know that I usually count on Bethany Griffin for my Edgar Allen Poe retellings,but I'd love to see Shepherd try her hand at it. I feel like it would be well done.

I can't recommend this book enough toy ou guys! If you haven't read the series, you need to. I don't often rate 5 stars, so that in and of itself should tell you how much I believe in this book. It's amazing. It has smart independent female characters who are not dependent on men, they're smarter than men. The young men (especially Edward) are caring intelligent, and multi-dimensional.

One last thing before I wrap up this review. I loved the quotes in this book. I found myself highlighting in my kindle all the great little sayings from different characters and had a good time going back and reading them at the end. A lot of it was just deep. You don't find that all the time, but you do find it in a great novel and that is why I will always love this series. It resonates on so many levels. 
“Far scarier to know we carry the ghosts of our parents within us. Ever decision we make, every mistake we make, is them working through us. One’s father is like the stream, from which comes the river. The river cannot set its own path. The stream runs downhill and so the river does, too. They both end in the same place—the ocean.” -loc 1035
Juliet's father still haunts her but she does find freedom in some ways. Juliet changes a lot in this book, and we see different sides of her. I think that her overall character development has been so interesting and realistic it's hard to believe she isn't a real person that existed years ago in England.

I recommend this book to lovers of gothic literature and those who wish to be chilled to the bone with good old fashioned horror and fantastic storytelling.


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(aka Dee) has loved reading for as long as she can remember. She loves many things: fantasy novels, young adult fiction, her cat, painting, and horror films from the 70s. Diamond is a grad student at UCLA. She's pursuing a Master's in Library and Information Science.


  1. Okay, that's it! I've had The Madman's Daughter on my list for ages, but somehow I never got to it. And I knew it would be good too! But now I'm setting a deadline on it: I'll read it by the end of April. There - totally doable :) Thanks for the amazing review, Dee!

    1. ahh! YAY!! I am so glad you decided to do that.. I definitely have to put books in my calendar to start or I never do lol. I can't wait to hear your thoughts Ramona ;) :tup

  2. I have this series waiting on my TBR for me. Now that I know you enjoyed it, I'm even more excited to read it :) Maybe that will encourage me to get to it faster. haha

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

    1. I'm so glad Michelle ! You have to read it because it really is one of those great series and I usually am not really in the loop that much compared to other bloggers yet I know this is one of my favorites. Especially bc I love gothic ya so much :e
      Thanks for stopping by Michelle


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