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I Belong

Review: A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd

A Cold LegacyTitle: A Cold Legacy

Author: Megan Shepherd

Genre: YA Gothic Retelling

Series: The Madman’s Daughter (Book #3)

Publication Date: January 27, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062128086 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062128089 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: Beautiful gothic retelling of the timeless classic Frankenstein. With wonderful characters, suspenseful mystery, and captivating writing, this is sure to be a big hit for all YA fans!

Opening Sentence: THE LAST TRAVELERS’ INN on the road from Inverness was no place to die.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Juliet Monroe is the daughter of a madman. Her father performed some amazing experiments that were extremely dangerous and eventually made him go mad. Others have tried to use his work to their own advantage and Juliet has gone to great lengths to stop anyone that associated with her father. She is now on the run with the love of her life, Montgomery, her best friend Lucy, and the very ill Edward. They find sanctuary in a gothic manor owned by none other than Elizabeth von Stein, the ancestor of Victor Frankenstein. At first it seems that they will finally be safe from all their enemies, but the mansion holds many secrets that could be more dangerous than they ever imagined.

Juliet is a great heroine. She is strong, intelligent, kind hearted, and brave. She really struggles with who she wants to be and who she feels she is destined to become. Her father was obviously crazy and she is afraid that if she experiments in any of the science her father studied she will become just like him because she sees some of the same madness he possessed inside herself. It was interesting to watch her inner struggles and it made me understand her character much better. She is a very resourceful girl and she will go to great lengths to help those she cares about. I loved seeing all the different relationships she had with all the secondary characters in the book, and how they affected her as a person. I did feel that there were times that she was a little too trusting of others, but I liked her open mindedness about giving everyone a chance.  She believes in redemption and that is something I have in common with her. There were times that her indecisiveness was a little frustrating, but in the end I thought she was a wonderful character.

Montgomery was a sexy guy and eventually grew he on me. I will admit that I wasn’t his biggest fan in the second book, but he really redeemed himself in this story. It was interesting getting to know him better and I liked that for the most part he was a very honest and open person. You can tell that he genuinely loves Juliet and they were a great match for each other. Montgomery is always trying to do what is best for Juliet even if she doesn’t always agree. He is very protective of her but at the same time he lets her be her own person. He respects that she is a brilliant scientist and he loves her for who she is.

A Cold Legacy is a suspenseful gothic retelling of the timeless classic Frankenstein. Personally, I have never been a huge fan of Frankenstein so this is actually my very first retelling of the story, and it has made me want to check out others. I loved the dark setting and all the new characters you are introduced to. There is a very big cast of secondary characters in this story and if I talked about each one of them this review would be way too long. But they were amazing and each one added a unique spin to the story! I also really enjoyed the romance. I struggled with the love story in the second book, but I thought it was done really well in this book! There were a couple of things that I was a little disappointed with. The first one being that I felt there were moments that were very anticlimactic. I’m not going to go into detail so I don’t spoil anything but I just felt that there were times that things just conveniently happened and I was just hoping for more. The other thing that I was disappointed with was that there were a few things left unanswered. It wasn’t anything big, just a few small things that I was left wondering about and I didn’t love that. This was definitely not a perfect book, but overall I thought it was really entertaining to read and it really kept my interest. This is the third book in the series and while you could probably read it as a standalone, I would suggest that you start the series at the beginning to get the whole effect of the story. I personally started with the second book and I think I would have appreciated the characters and the story much more if I had started at the beginning. The ending was bitter sweet, but I thought that it wrapped things up nicely! I would recommend this series to anyone that likes gothic YA retellings!

Notable Scene:

A floorboard squeaked down the hall, and I jerked upright, but it was nothing—just the manor settling. I shivered anyway as I peeked in the next keyhole. A half dozen candles burned on the table as though the room’s occupant feared the dark. A soft murmur came and the figure rolled over, flashing dark curls and a pale face not so different from my own.


There was only one guest bedroom left, so it had to belong to Edward. I peered through the keyhole. A candle on the side table flickered there, too. Edward lay still as a corpse on the bed, not even a blink or a flicker of breath to tell me he was alive. The chains wrapped around his arms and chest glinted in the candlelight.

I shuddered. The servants must think us mad to chain a young man we claimed was a friend, but if they knew the truth, they’d be even more fearful of us. I took out the key to his room, ready to open it.

Suddenly a face blocked the keyhole. A shriek ripped through me as I stumbled backward. An eye looked back from the other side of the keyhole. It was milky white, the pupil completely devoid of color.

It blinked.

I screamed.

The Madman’s Daughter Series:

1. The Madman’s Daughter

2. Her Dark Curiosity

3. A Cold Legacy


FTC Advisory:  HarperTeen provided me with a copy of A Cold Legacy.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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