by Megan Shepherd

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Fantastic. I did not want to like this trilogy as much as I do, because--to be honest--vivisection is just not really something I am into. But, Juliet! The main character and plot driver (mostly girl, a bit of deer) is lovely, and strong, and smart. So many things that other turn-of-the-previous-century girls were not. And she is in love, but in an honest, confused sort of way that does not detract from the fact that she is also a scientist with a "dark curiosity" about creating unnatural or artificial life. She is also a murderess, a confidant, and a stunning beauty. I am enthralled.

Whereas the first book of The Madman's Daughter trilogy was based on Wells' The Island of Dr Moreau, this sequel is based on Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Taking place in London a year after Juliet's pained departure from her father's forgotten island, this book opens with the murders of all those who had wronged Juliet in the past. And the murders are being committed identically, with a trademark style that closely resembles that of a murdering beast Juliet thought she had left for dead on the island.

As she traces the trail of this killer--who seems to want her to find him--she also frantically searches for a cure for herself. The serum her father had developed to keep her condition at bay is failing, and Juliet's time of being fully human is limited unless she can concoct a remedy. Add to this an elite and secret group desperately trying to find her father's work on artificial life, and the result is a compelling read that is nearly impossible to put down. This reader is now anxiously awaiting the conclusion of The Madman's Daughter trilogy!

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