Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Pages: 420, Hardcover
Goodreads Rating: 3.75 stars
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
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 was very excited to read The Madman’s Daughter. I knew The Island of Dr. Moreau and was interested to see where Shepherd would take the classic story. In the end, I have to say that I was somewhat, but not completely satisfied.
The book started out with a lot of promise. It was creepy and dark and drew you into Juliet’s life and the scandal that had left her destitute. Then, Juliet finds out that her presumed-dead father is still alive and decides to go back to his island, along with Montgomery, her father’s assistant. Unfortunately, the book starts to get a little slow here. The time that Juliet spends on the ship and her beginning time on the island are spent mostly worrying over whether she had feelings for Montgomery or Edward, a castaway who is picked up at sea and comes back to the island with them. Unfortunately, this made the book seem a bit slow in the middle. I wish that Shepherd had focused more on the dark atmosphere because I just didn’t feel the danger and intrigue. That is, until the last quarter of the book – this part of the book was fabulous. This was when you really started to understand how twisted the island truly was and when the atmosphere got really creepy. There were also a few major twists, one that I didn’t see coming at all, which I loved. The very end of the book is a bit of a cliffhanger (I actually have to admit that I liked it better when I thought that it was just the “end” and didn’t realize that the book was part of a trilogy). It will be interesting to see where Shepherd goes with another book. I’m honestly not clear on where the story can go from here and how it will be sustained across two more books, but I’m certainly willing to read and find out! 3.5/5 stars.