“A Cold Legacy” is the third novel in the series “The Madman’s Daughter” by Megan Shepherd. The book has fourteen editions, was published in 2015 by HarperCollinsPublishers, and is a young adult and science fiction novel of 390 pages.
In London, Juliet and her best friend Lucy found out that their fathers had been corresponding for years, even after Juliet’s father, Dr. Moreau, had escaped to an island to continue his dark experiments. At the island, Moreau had been conducting gruesome experiments — creating human-like creatures through the process of vivisection (dissection on live creatures without the use of anesthesia). He connected organs from various animals, kept them together by inserting tissue, and had created a serum in order for the body not to reject the foreign organs. In the first novel of the series, called “The Madman’s Daughter”, the author revealed that Juliet was his first experiment. When she was little, the doctors said that Juliet was going to die due to a spinal cord deformation. Her mother had desperately asked Moreau to do anything to keep their daughter alive, and he did what any logical surgeon would do… he transplanted deer parts in place of Juliet’s problematic organs.
After killing all the men who tried to steal Juliet’s father’s lifelong research on vivisection, except Lucy’s father, Mr. Radcliffe, Juliet, along with Montgomery, Lucy, and deadly-ill Edward, now wanted by London’s authorities, escape to a remote mansion in Scotland, owned by Elizabeth Von Stein, Professor Von Stein’s niece. The idea is that, since the estate is registered under Elizabeth’s name, the police would not be able to find Juliet and her “accomplices”.
Now in Scotland, Juliet has even more things to worry about in this sketchy mansion – dead bodies, hidden paths, hostile servants, and many more. In that mansion, Juliet learns about reanimation – the process of bringing someone back to life using electricity. One of Elizabeth’s ancestors, Victor Frankenstein, had discovered how reanimate a living organism using lightning, a technique he had originally used on Hensley, Professor Von Stein’s son. This miraculous procedure, however, has its downsides. Hensley is a monster. He is a 40-year-old man in a little boy’s mind and body; a body strong enough to tear trees from the ground, and do who-knows-what when things don’t go his way. However, when Lucy, who is deeply in love with now-dead Edward, learns about this procedure, she begs Juliet to revive him. Juliet, knowing that by doing this she could be creating a monster even worse than the Beast, refuses to do so. Now, amidst the darkness and confusion of who she is and who she wants to be, she is split between two paths — her mother Evelyn’s, the path of a kind-hearted and loving person, or Henry Moreau’s, the path of a mad, dark-hearted and reckless scientist. Will Edward ever be alive again? Will Juliet Moreau follow her mother’s or her father’s footsteps, or will she create her own?
“What darkness began, only madness can end.”
Full of spine-tingling thrills, this is the most fast-pace, descriptive, fascinating, intriguing, beautifully dark novel. So many unexpected events take place in this book, though I will not talk about them so as to not ruin the unpredictability of it. I loved everything about this book–Juliet’s intelligence, bravery and courage, the suspenseful, ominous, creepy vibe of the story, the thought-provoking ideas, the new setting, Juliet’s internal conflict, the addition of new, enigmatic characters, the character development of Juliet and Lucy. I also love how the author explores the fine line between curiosity and madness, the dark side of science and morality, and how Juliet must decide on which side of the line she wants to stand.
In my opinion, this book is the best of all three in the series. I would highly recommend reading this book and the two previous ones if you enjoy twisted stories and/or mystery and science fiction novels. This book was not as graphic as the previous two. The only major procedure is a very intense scene of reanimation and a brain surgery. However, if that still sounds like something that would make you uneasy, I would not recommend reading this book, especially at night. +12. 5/5.