Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)Title:  The Madman's Daughter
Author:  Megan Shepherd
 Balzer + Bray 
Publishing Date:  January 29th 2012
Pages: 420
Genre:  YA Gothic Horror, Classic Retelling
Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Source: Audio


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.

I have been wanting to read this book since I first saw it mentioned on a WOW last year sometime. I have to admit that I read the synopsis quickly and didn’t realize until after I had started the book that it was a retelling of “”The Island of Dr. Moreau”. I only knew I loved the cover, the title, and the genre. I don’t think it would have made any difference in me reading the book, in fact it was a nice surprise when I figured it out. I am a fan of the original and I love retellings. This book for sure did not disappoint. In fact it surpassed all my expectations by far.

The story is not original obviously, for those who have not read The Island of Dr. Moreau, it’s a very creepy story. In short a crazy demented mad scientist moves to an island where he experiments on animals, making them smarter and more human –like. The experiments are cruel and don’t always turn out as he expected. He believes he is their God and is just plain out nuts. Ok so in this story.. all is the same except the mad scientist has a daughter that finds her way to the island after years of wondering what really happened with her father and if he was really as crazy as it has been told. She arrives on a boat with Edward Prince, a castaway, and her childhood friend Montgomery. She finds out the dark secrets of the island and must decide if she can live with the truth or if she must escape the island… oh and she must decide where her heart really lies.

A very creep, though provoking, dark, and thrilling read. Oh my I was so deep into this story, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else in my life. I just wanted more! It’s been a long time since I read the first book. over 20 years so honestly, I don’t remember too much. It really didn’t matter though. This book was a story all in its own. I loved the Gothic writing style, the darkness of the tone, and the crazy crazy characters.

The writing and the tone were just amazing. I felt it all. As I was listening to this wonderfully creepy tale I had vision of a horror movie… black and white.. running through my head. I could see it all so clearly. The world that the author wove was very dark, beautiful, and just horrific. The book made my heart pound like I was waiting for something to jump out at me any moment. It was the most disturbing read I have had in a very long time.

The writing and tone was awesome but it was made even more awesome by the cast. Never in my life have I seen such a creeptastic cast. I don’t think there was a single sane person or creature on the island…except maybe for Caesar, one of the creations. Juliet was a great character. I loved her from the beginning. She was a very determined girl and even though she spent most of her nights terrified, she kept on keeping on. She was pretty sure in what she thought was right and wrong morally, but there were times her mind wondered to the madness, amazed by what has been accomplished. It was great to see the struggle within her mind. The only thing that only slightly bothered me about Juliet was… Montgomery no Edward no Montgomery. It sort of gave me whip lash. This story does have a love triangle… but it kind of fits well into the story and I think it made things make more sense.
I did have my issues with both Montgomery and Edward. They both had their strong points and both had their weaknesses. There were times I though… It has to be Montgomery and times I knew it had to be Edward. They both loved Juliet, they both wanted her, they both would do anything for her. To keep her safe and to keep her happy. They also had no boundaries or limits.

The mad scientist… oh my.. I never hated a character more. I hated him. I really did… but something also made me want to save him. I felt sorry him.. he was loony all the way. No turning back and heartless and selfish and just evil. I couldn’t help wanting Juliet to forgive him and to fix him though. It was a tough relationship for me.

Most of the story didn’t have too many surprises for me. Even in parts I should have been shocked, I don’t think I was, but it didn’t matter. The thrill of the chase was there in a slow motion kind of creepy that just kept me terrified.

For me this is a must read, must buy, begging for more kind of book. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it for sure was mine.


  1. I'm digging it. This one is definitely on my radar. I'm being drawn more and more toward gothic.

  2. This was good. I had some problems with it, but ultimately, I liked it. I'm glad you loved it and found it so thrilling! :)

  3. Great review! I really can't wait to read this!


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