A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd
Book Three of The Madman's Daughter series
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Rating: 3 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
What I Liked:
Well, I have read and finished this entire series, in 2014! 2014 was a good year for me, in terms of finishing series (although, this series technically doesn't end until 2015. But, whatever). All three books in this series received the same starred rating for me - three stars across the three novels. I think if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be this one, but they all got three stars.
Juliet, Lucy, Montgomery, Balthazar, and a dying Edward are fleeing from London in the beginning of the novel. They are heading for Ballentyne - Elizabeth's home. When they reach, they are greeted by a very mysterious staff who seem to have odd secrets of their own. As it would turn out, Elizabeth has been doing scientific experiments of her own. Juliet must chose if she wants to follow her father's path, or have a safe life with Montgomery at Ballentyne.
This book continues the story of Juliet figuring out who she is and what her limits are. Honestly, I liked this and didn't like it. I liked how much attention Shepherd gave this internal conflict, but then, I'm not always Juliet's biggest fan, so I didn't care for the struggle sometimes. The story also focuses a lot on the experiments - hence, Juliet's internal struggle. She wants to be like her father, she doesn't want to be like her father, she doesn't want to be a "monster"...
A lot happens in this book. See my comments in the next section about this. The plot in the story of this book is kind of weird, and I didn't really like it.
Something I did like was the romance. (Spoiler if you haven't read books one and two). FINALLY, just Juliet and Montgomery. They got engaged at the end of book two, if you didn't remember. I'm so sick of love triangles, and book one really that love triangle going. A lot of my dislike towards Juliet comes from her decision-making when it comes to the romance, especially in book one. But in this book? It seems so obvious that she would choose Montgomery - of course she would! I won't say anything about the ending of this book, but I will say that I'm glad that Juliet and Montgomery had the chance to spend time together in this book (finally), without having to worry about Juliet and Edward/"the Beast".
The setting in each book was different, and in this book, it was Ballentyne. I liked this setting the best of the three. I feel the castle was a good place for everything to come to a standstill, for Juliet to make a decision about practicing the unnatural science. I liked how the setting lent itself to the story of this particular book in the series.
Overall, this novel did a decent job of wrapping up things, bringing the series to a close. The final stand was pretty dramatic, and I could buy the resolution. I'm not entirely sure about some things in the long run, but eh, I'm not so invested in the series that I care THAT much.
What I Did Not Like:
This book should be split into several parts, because honestly, sometimes the story felt disconnected and closed. Juliet and crew arrive at Ballentyne. The conflict is no longer about those pursuing them in London, but about what is going on in the Von Stein house. Unnatural things are definitely happening there. Readers are introduced to a slew of new characters, all of whom play very important roles in this book's story.
The something huge happens, affecting Juliet, Montgomery, Lucy, etc. This feels like a new conflict has begun (closing the door on the strangeness going on in the house). Then this conflict is kind of put to bed when Juliet and Montgomery decide to get married at the estate. Then this conflict comes back. Then the conflict of the strangeness of the house comes back. Then the conflict of the people chasing Juliet from London comes back. So, in the end, all of the conflicts are taken care of, but it feels like everything is done separately and neatly, instead of connected.
So I hated how the love triangle was forced into The Madman's Daughter. I hated how Juliet felt so insecure about her feelings towards Montgomery and (supposedly) his feelings towards her in Her Dark Curiosity. In this book, I didn't like Juliet because she is SO STUPID. Oh my gosh, it's like she doesn't have two brain cells to run together. She makes dumb decisions, she goes behind Montgomery's back to do experiments, she lies to him, she throws things in his face (what a b****)... she is basically a terrible person. You can see her thought process behind some of her decisions, and you'll be like, what?! How in the world does she come up with some of the rationalizations?! I can't say anything specific, but gosh, she's stupid.
Lucy, too. It's like all of the females are idiotic in this book. Lucy is such a shallow girl - all she cares about is Edward Edward Edward, and not, like, the greater good. Edward is a CREATION, with a "Beast" as second nature. Think of everyone else before you think of your (potentially broken) heart? She's so incredibly selfish.
There were a lot of things that bothered me in this book, and most of them had to do with Juliet.
Would I Recommend It:
Honestly, I kind of enjoyed this series, but I can't say that I recommend the series. It isn't worth the time if you don't have copies of all three books, or if you weren't actively planning on reading the books. On the other hand, if you've read books one and two, definitely read book three. If you've read book one, meh, you're not missing out.
2.5 stars -> rounded up to 3 stars. Maybe I'm feeling generous. I liked the book as I was reading it, but looking back, it wasn't all that great. It was okay. Juliet and I weren't friends.
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