Inspired by The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this tantalizing sequel to Megan Shepherd’s gothic suspense novel The Madman’s Daughter explores the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves. Perfect for fans of Libba Bray.
Back in London after her trip to Dr. Moreau’s horrific island, Juliet is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget her father’s legacy. But soon it’s clear that someone—or something—hasn’t forgotten her, as people close to Juliet start falling victim to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes. Has one of her father’s creations also escaped the island?
As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, her past bubbling to the surface, and her life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.
Watching Juliet slowly sink into madness in this book was so interesting, and I pretty worried about her to be honest. In the first book she hates her father and his experiments and is sticking to her moral guns. In this one she’s going through so many emotional issues that he’s loosing her hold on her morality and is getting desperate to find a cure to her worsening condition. It’s a roller coaster of emotions!
The relationship development in this book are so interesting. At first, Juliet thinks Montgomery abandoned her, she’s trying to acclimate back into a life where she answers to others, and has a certain amount of respect within the community. She’s heartbroken, lonely, and doesn’t know where she fits in – and she is trying to discover herself.
Then Edward shows up and it all goes to hell – he’s the Dr.Jekyll / Mr.Hyde aspect of this book. Juliet is sucked into his strange hold over her again, almost immediately – she’s no longer alone and has someone who knows all of her secrets and the darkness within herself that she suffers with. I think how Shepherd illustrates their strange relationship is so intriguing. Even when they are intimate (which happens once and I hated it, but I understood why it happened, and Juliet regretted it as soon as it happened.) there is this lack of emotional connection; it makes it clear that Juliet is still in love with someone else, but more importantly it emphasizes her deep loneliness and starvation for a connection to someone.
I also really appreciated that when Montgomery does show up, she doesn’t immediately fall into his arms, he broke her heart, made her think she didn’t matter to him, and abandoned her – she’s hurt beyond words by his actions. So they have a fight where they make stabs at each other and purposefully hurt one another – but that’s a real relationship, it’s not always pretty. And even though they are mad at each other they are still devoted to one another and they work to find a middle ground and to be together. I was surprised by how serious their relationship got, but it makes sense if we are sticking with the historic context. However, I think it’s going to get rocky before it gets better because it’s clear that Juliet is losing her hold on her dark curiosity (see what I did there) of her fathers genius, and Montgomery is doing all he can to support her without letting her go over the edge.
The level of corruption this takes on is really interesting too, and it really makes one question the morality of certain actions when wealth and reputation are for the taking. I can’t wait to delve into the next one, which takes influence from Frankenstein, which I have acctualy read.