Title: The Madman’s Daughter [Goodreads][Amazon]
Author: Megan Shepherd
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: January 29, 2013
In My Opinion: Add to cart!
One Line: A cool and interesting thriller that kept me guessing until the end.
About the Book: 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.
I’ll tell you right off the bat that I never read The Island of Dr. Moreau, although I do have a general idea of the story. The mood you get from this story is dark and gloomy, and also a bit terrifying. I loved it. I was kind of hoping for more terror and gruesome things, but it still pretty intense for a YA thriller/mystery. Megan does a great job of painting such a vivid picture of historical England and even greater detail of the mysterious island and Dr. Moreau’s lab. The whole time I was wondering what was going to happen next, what crazy stuff would I see next, and Megan did not disappoint with how she surprised and wow’ed me with her story.
Juliet has a darkness about her, too, which stems from her father and the her mysterious past. She’s a pretty strong character and has to deal with a lot of crap after her father mysteriously disappears and her mother dies. I loved how she didn’t let anyone push her around, especially considering how hard it was for women back in that day and age. She’s definitely one of the tough ones. I loved that she was also a little bit off, and that you couldn’t really tell if she was going to go crazy one minute, or pull it all together and get the hell off that island. She does some pretty crazy things throughout the book, which added depth and intrique to her character and I really enjoyed being in her head, which is saying something as I tend to hate being inside a girl’s head for too long. A girl who is a little bit crazy, dark, and dangerous; maybe not so much?!
Also, my imagination sucks, so I had a hard time picturing Moreau’s creations. I just I just kept seeing them as animals, when really, they were supposed to look like deformed humans?! This is in no way Megan’s fault, as she did a great job in describing the creatures, in a terribly beautiful way, but I think if I saw them in real life, I’d be like “okay, that is SO not how I pictured them looking like”. That’s just me though.
The romance was very well done in this book. It, of course, didn’t take center stage, but I think Megan addressed it rather well and gave readers a good feel of both guys and Juliet’s thoughts on the whole situation. I even had a hard time deciding who was better, Montgomery or Edward, although I had a soft spot for Montgomery. Both guys were so inherently different and also, right for Juliet in very different ways. I definitely approve of who she chose in the end, but even after that, things kind of went to hell. I guess it kind of fits with the depressing theme of the story.
And let me tell you, that ending?! Ugh, so sad!
I really enjoyed Megan’s writing style and her ability to create such intense and memorable characters. I will say that things start off pretty slow and it takes a minute before you really see what’s going on and all the action starts, but it’s well worth it in the end. I can’t wait to read her next novel, which I saw is a retelling of the classic story of “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde”, which I’ve always loved. I’m pretty sure she’ll add her own crazy twists to the story and make it truly as fascinating as she did with this book.