The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
The Madman's Daughter
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Format: eBook, 420 pages
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Retelling, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
In the darkest places, even love is deadly.
Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.
Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.
Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.
Wow. Just wow. OK, let me start with the cover, which is just gorgeous, and what attracted me to the book in the first place. It just screamed at me that I needed to read it. Now.
So I did. Now, I have never read The Island of Dr. Moreau, but I knew from the description I was in for some serious creepiness. I never expected a book to literally give me chills, though. I work in a lab, and all the time that I was working, I was thinking about this book. I also proceeded to tell people I worked with (many of them with major science backgrounds) about vivisection – they didn’t believe me.
My attention was grabbed from almost the first page, when I was introduced to Juliet and her life. I loved her character – too smart for her own good, down on her luck, and fighting to make a life for herself in London after her father is declared a madman.
From then on, it was twist after twist, disturbing images and intense scenes, keeping my attention completely focused, even when my attention should have been elsewhere. It was delightfully dark and morbid, and just what I needed for a change. I was able to figure out some things rather quickly, and then others were a slap in the face to wake me up – the hints were there, I just didn’t see them.
There was, of course, a love triangle, and young Juliet is constantly trying to figure out which of the guys she likes – her boyhood friend, or the handsome stranger. I knew who I was rooting for, but she had trouble making up her mind, at which point I wanted to yell at her, or smack her upside the head. There were other factors at play, though, adding to her confusion.
If you’re looking for a young-adult book that will take you to a sinister place, then this is the book for you, as long as you don’t mind a love triangle. I couldn’t put it down, or stop thinking about it for days afterwards. I’m really excited to see what else Megan Shepherd comes up with in this series!