Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Book Description:

Paperback, 420 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Balzer + Bray

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.

Reviewer's Copy: Paperback

Source: Bought

My Thoughts:

Upon starting The Madman's Daughter, I had no idea what to expect. The London ambiance was a familiar YA setting for me, so was encountering an impoverished young heroine. But Juliet was unlike any other English heroine I have ever encountered. With a fierce survival instinct and a little bit of darkness in her, she had me hooked to her story. With no parents at a young age, she worked at the college as part of the cleaning crew. A trace of her estranged father drifted to the streets of London. Juliet, always the curious one, went to investigate. The rest was history. Juliet's character was thoroughly dissected and explored. The author did an amazing job with this.

Vivisection, the dissection of living animals, was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to Henri Moreau's mad science. It was all thrilling, horrfying and hardcore-genius to m. In this light, The Madman's Daughter was steampunk-ish, an advanced science in the old world. The products of her father's madness were both horrible and intriguing. Balthazar, one of the creatures, was one of the sweetest characters I've ever encountered. He was like a giant teddybear, gentle and thoughtful. Although he was one of the doctor's experiments, he was as human as any other human could be. I couldn't quite classify him as an animal. He was too innocent.

When it comes to love, Juliet was much more complex. Montgomery, the servant boy that she idolized when she was a little girl, had become an Adonis. With a kind heart and gentleness, he stole Juliet's heart. On the other side of the triangle was Edward Prince, the mysterious and captivating survivor. He was the broken boy that readers loved to understand, pine for and cheer on. To be honest, I was as torn as Juliet. Montgomery was the typical choice but there was something magnetic about Edward that I just couldn't ignore. I wanted to protect him and fix him. I could feel the tug-and-war of their affections and appeal. This would be something that romance readers will look forward to.

The Madman's Daughter was strongly atmospheric with a palpable emotional and sexual tension and a generous amount of suspense, mystery and terror. From character building to the plot, everything was stitched together perfectly. Shepherd blew me away with this hauntingly beautiful debut. I highly recommend this to readers of historical and old science fiction (aka dark science) and romance. If you liked The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, I think this is right up your alley. This is not for the faint of heart.

5 Cupids = Eternal book love.
I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!


  1. I liked The Madman's Daughter quite a bit, but I loved the sequel, Her Dark Curiosity, even more! I agree, it's not a typical love triangle where there's a clear boy that the heroine should end up with- all three characters in the triangle have issues and problems. I honestly can't wait for the third book already!

    1. I agree with you! :) I'm dying for the third book.

  2. I'm currently reading Her Dark Curiosity! You'll be surprised who's back. ;)

    1. I'm done reading Her Dark Curiosity!! I loved it even more. <3

  3. I just finished reading this book. I want the second one now lol. What I didn't like is the brewing love triangle. It was sudden and not realistic for me. Glad you enjoyed this one, Precious.


    1. It will be clearer I think in the sequel. :) You'll really see the "triangle." Cheers! <3