Jan 17, 2013

Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Title: The Madman's Daughter
Author: Megan Shepherd
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: January 29, 2013
Pages/Format: 432, ARC

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.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: SPEECHLESS

I don't know what to say about this book. I'm still in shock, still in a daze, because pretty much everything was so unexpected--I saw nothing coming. Nothing. This book was a rollercoaster, full of everything from terror (seriously, I got scared) and some very fluterry butterflies. You're probably wondering something--did I like this book or not? And I didn't like it. I think that, once I get over my shock (which I'll tell you about later), I will love this book. From page one (it didn't take me any time at all to get into) I thought this book was SO GOOD. So no, I didn't like it. Because my feels are much stronger than like. 

Juliet is the madman's daughter, and the madman is the one and only Doctor Moreau. Basically, he's a guy who did some horrific, crazy surgeries on animals. So, creepy. And that creepiness was definitely in the novel, for there are several glimpses of his creations. (Film rights have been acquired for this book, and I really want to see how these creatures look on screen.) The creations were great characters, each one different and unique and interesting. The doctor himself is completely crazy, and not someone I'd want to drink tea with. I liked his daughter Juliet, who was someone just looking for answers, and unfortunately she was never in the most luxurious of places. She has two love interests (although the triangle felt a little off to me), Edward and Montgomery. It wasn't until very far in the book that I picked who I liked best; I never knew who I wanted her to be with. Edward was the gentleman and newcomer, while Montgomery was a friend from the past and more a part of the wild, rugged. As for who I liked most...I won't tell you. (Spoilers!)

The writing was gorgeous, full of detail, and extremely well-paced and readable. My only problem with it was that I sometimes wanted a semi-colon or dash instead of a period, and some repeat words and phrases. But other than that, it was great. Like I said earlier, I was intrigued right away, and that doesn't happen often in books I read. Shepherd also knows how to keep a reader on their toes--seriously, I was legitimately scared at a few points. This happens, that happens--a complete whirlwind of events that worked almost perfectly. She's a master at wielding THE FEELS. If I wanted more of anything, it'd be the whole process of the creations going from animals to, well, not. I want to know more about how that could happen and how it was possible. 

After reading the book, I posted this status on Facebook:
You know when you finish a book and you're speechless because you didn't see that coming and you just can't believe that's how it ended? That just happened.
And somebody responded with this:
Most of the time that means it was a good book.
And he was right.

This book was just great, and a fantastic debut. I'll probably read anything Shepherd writes, most definitely the next two books (the second has to do with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), and I sincerely hope that characters from The Madman's Daughter make appearances. BECAUSE. The shocker. I don't want to spoil it for you (except to tell you how I felt), so I'm going to just leave you with this and make you wait until January 29. *insert evil grin here*


Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Almost 100%. I'm still in shock!
Would I reread it? I think so.
Would I purchase it? Yep!
Would I recommend it? YES.


  1. Great review! I love your gifs, that is basically exactly how I felt =) I also was never really sure who I wanted Juliet to be with while reading although by the end I'd definitely had my choice made.

  2. After I was finished with the book, I was in shock for like a week! I was soo mad!


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