The Madman’s Daughter – Megan Shepherd

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Author: Megan Shepherd

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

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.

READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. IN THE IMMORTAL WORDS OF RIVER SONG, “SPOILERS!”

“Dead flesh and sharpened scalpels didn’t bother me. I was my father’s daughter, after all. My nightmares were made of darker things.”

I loved this book in the beginning. Sassy protagonist Juliet is a surprisingly relatable young girl, for a maid in a historical London era. After her fathers scandalous vivisections were discovered, her mother and her were left to fend for themselves after falling from grace. When her mother died, Juliet believed she was alone in the world. But when she finds out her father is alive, she would stop at nothing to see him and find out of those rumors about him were true.

And they were. Every single one.

We get these glances into Juliet’s brutal side, the madness scientific personality trait she inherited from her father. If it were not for her good heart, I am sure she would’ve succumbed to the same madness as her father did, thinking himself above God.

Juliet sets sail for long months on a dingy ship alongside her family’s childhood servant (and her fathers current assistant), Montgomery. It is on the ship that they meet a castaway, Edward. And the island…. is a horrific place, with its deformed natives and constant stormy weather. But oh, not everything is as it’s seem. Those natives aren’t there by chance. Instead, they are all products of Henri Moreau’s madness, all his creations to use animals to make humans, deeming himself a god on his island in the midst of nowhere.

Surprise, surprise. Incoming. Love triangle ahead. Edward has some sort of protectiveness over Juliet for no real reason (and when its explained, falls short in my eyes), and Montgomery’s been madly in love with her since they were children. I guess being the only normal looking female on the island helped Juliet’s chances.

It was creepy in places, but others incredibly slow with Juliet being your typical YA teenage girl. Oh Montgomery, kiss me! and then pondering Edward’s arms around her a moment later. It was a decent and easy read, I got through it in a matter of hours.

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