- The creepiness. I adore pretty much anything written by H. G. Wells, and the creepiness of his original story shines through beautifully in this retelling. The book is jam packed with vivisections, half-men, monsters, and of course secrets, secrets, secrets everywhere.
- Juliet's inner darkness. I really enjoyed Juliet's strugle with her inner darkness. She knows her father is mad and immoral, but there is still a part of her that reaches forward into the shadows, curious to learn more.
- Edward's secret past. When we finally figure out exactly what the hell is going on with Edward, I can say I was really and truly surprised. Looking back, there are clues throughout the narrative, but they're so subtle I didn't notice them at all until they were pointed out. Was his secret believable? Probably not, but with a book like this, the more outrageous an outcome, the better.
- The ending. Man oh man, that ending! Shepherd did a fantastic job leading the reader to believe one thing and then coming out of left field with something completely different.
- The animal abuse. Throughout the story, there are many instances of blatant, overly descriptive animal abuse. Chopping and twisting heads off bunnies, vivisection, ripping limbs off--the list goes on and on. These parts of the novel were very difficult to read. If you're sensitive to things of this nature, I would caution you to either prepare yourself to be upset or avoid this one altogether.
- The gore. Tying into the animal abuse, the sheer amount of blood and gore sprinkled throughout the story is a little overwhelming sometimes. Even for those not particularly sensitive to animal abuse, the violence might be a bit much.
4 - I am a huge fan of the original story "The Island of Dr. Moreau", and this retelling does not disappoint. The creepiness and darkness of the original story is retained, and Juliet's struggle with her inner darkness is particularly interesting. The amount of animal abuse and gore might be a bit much for some people though, so I would caution those sensitive to such things to heavily consider if this is the right book for them before picking it up.