Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Publication Date: January 29, 2013

The Madman’s Daughter was a fantastic read! I loved how the author blended elements of romance, suspense and fantasy to create an unforgettable novel inspired by The Island of Doctor Moreau by HG Wells.

I was drawn in from the beginning by the story of Juliet’s fall from grace after a scandal that forced her father out of London. Juliet and her mother were left with no money and Juliet is forced to work as a maid while staying in a boarding house. The novel had a dark and gothic feel from the get go and it really enticed me to keep reading.

I thought the author did an amazing job of pulling me into her world. Whether the setting was in London, a pirate ship or the doctor’s island, I felt transported to the places she was describing. The descriptions of the creatures made by the doctor were also incredibly well done and I felt squeamish over some of the scenes that took place in the operating room.

Juliet was a wonderful protagonist. She was tough and smart without being too hardened and distant. I was able to relate to her conflicting emotions about her father as well as her childhood friend Montgomery. I liked that the story was told from her point of view and the readers were given the same clues as she was to unravel the mysteries of the island.

It’s hard to talk about the plot without posting spoilers. I’ll just say that the book had some awesome twists! I guessed a couple of the reveals, but a few were definite surprises. What’s crazy is that most of the big revelations don’t occur until the last fifteen percent of the book. However, it didn’t affect the pace of the novel and I never found myself bored to tears while reading.

I know some readers aren’t fans of love triangles, but I actually like them. The only problem with this one was I started out liking one guy, then I liked the other guy and by the end I hated both of them because of events that occur over the course of the novel. I’m excited for the next book and I wouldn’t mind a new romantic interest for Juliet.

This is an amazing debut that I’m certain fans of young adult novels will love!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel for review!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Have you actually read the HG Wells novel it's based on? I've never read anything by Wells. I like love triangles too, as long as their done well. And hating them both at least makes it interesting.

  3. Woot!! So fabulous sounding. An extremely well done review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Heather! WRITE ON!

  4. A combo of romance and fantasy sounds awesome. Glad you enjoyed.
    Happy reading with <3, Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog