Juliet has believed her father has been dead for years. After his scandal rocked London and her father disappeared (presumed dead), Juliet and her mother were left without anything. Then Juliet's mother died of consumption and the poor girl was orphaned and penniless. She began working as a maid and managed to survive on her own, though always wondering if she were meant for the life she was living.
After a crazy series of events, Juliet ended up on a boat (with a very handsome man from her past) headed to an island where her father is living -- indeed alive and apparently still up to the deeds that brought scandal upon his family. When she arrived, Juliet is thrust into the world her father created on the island, whether she wants to be or not. Though she wants to love her father and know him, she doesn't understand him, his reasoning for what he does, and quickly realized that he cannot be trusted.
Gothic mystery, love triangle, super scary scenes. I loved it!
Though I've never read H.G. Wells' "The Island of Dr. Moreau," -- the book this story was based on -- I can only imagine that the creep factor is incredibly high. Shepherd's story gave me goosebumps more than once and was perfect reading for these cold winter days. Sometimes I just need a creepy, dark story to pass the time at night and this one hit the spot.
I'm really looking forward to reading more from Shepherd. Her writing style is beautiful and engrossing and though I did feel the plot dragged a tad bit at the end, I truly felt like I was on the island with Juliet, experiencing events as she experienced them. The setting was amazing and both gorgeous and horrifying at the same time.
I was able to see Megan Shepherd speak on a YA panel at Hooray for Books! a couple of weeks ago and she shared that the two other books in this trilogy will also be based on gothic classics. Fun! Or creepy, whatever.