Jan 4, 2013

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd Review

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
(The Madman's Daughter, #1)
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray; 432 pages
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.

Wow. I read this book in a day and I could not put it down. It’s set in a time period and location that I’m partial to. The 1800’s in England…the best kinds of stories. Though it didn’t stay in England... I just can’t even put in to words how much I enjoyed this story. The only thing I feel like I must say, as a warning is if you can’t stand to read about animal cruelty, this is not a book you want to pick up. Not that I’m a supporter of animal cruelty, because I am not but for this fictional story, it was OK. Hard to read at times, sure…but it was necessary or else how else would her father be considered a madman?!

Now that that is out of the way let me gush about this book. Juliet, our main character, has gone from being part of a rich, well respected family to being poor and shunned from that lifestyle all because of her father. She’s rather intelligent and independent though she doesn’t have much of a choice for the latter as her dad is believed to be dead and her mother died a few years ago. She happens to find Montgomery, by chance, who was a close friend for the first ten years of her life and the son of one of her families staff. When her father disappeared, so did he. He’s grown up now and my oh my has the years been good to him. He’s ever the gentleman but he’s filled out nicely.

Their adventure begins with the journey back to the island where Montgomery has been living with someone for the past six years. It’s quite apparent that there’s still a strong bond between both of these characters and feelings have obviously grown over the years. Then we throw in a castaway found at sea, Edward Prince, whom has formed a quick attraction to Juliet and welcome to our love triangle. I will admit, straight away I was not happy about Edward. I fell in love with Montgomery the moment he was introduced and I was so pumped for this upcoming romance and then to have it thrown back in my face by Edward’s arrival? Oh hell to the no! Buuuuuuut…the more I read the more my opinion changed on this. No, my loyalties never slide from Montgomery but somehow not only the idea of Edward grew on me but so did the idea of Edward and Juliet.

These creatures on the island whom are known as the islanders are just…bizarre. They’re all like deformed humans…but larger. Juliet can’t place her finger on it and honestly, I never expected the outcome. This book was filled with so many interesting creatures, lots of tension, tons of adventure and most importantly, romance. There are characters that I wish the worst kind of death falls upon them, characters who tug at your heartstrings and characters you just wish were your best friend. I’m entirely fond of Balthasar! He’s so innocent and an absolute treasure!

Now, we get to the hard part…the part that literally made my mouth fall open. The end. Seriously. Cliff hangers are the worst and I usually find them to be worse in a second novel not the first one but shoot, Megan wastes no time with those torturous endings. I am literally reeling…I had to hold myself back from throwing my kindle. If I had an actual book, it would’ve gone flying no doubt. So a warning, if you have a kindle or nook, make sure there are plenty of pillows around in case the urge to throw it comes.

Amazing book. I want to say so much more about this book but there’s so little I can say without spoiling a lot of it. I seriously want 2013 to be over, even though it’s just begun so I can find out more! Pick up this book especially if you like books set in England in the 1800’s – you won’t regret it. It was different, disturbing and beautiful all at the same time.


  1. I don't support animal abuse in real life, but I don't mind reading about it. It's just a made up story :) But thanks for the warning, because I didn't expect that to pop up in this book. I really, really like the setting from this book. The creatures sound scary. I can't wait to read it, despite the frustrating ending, haha.


    1. Exactly. It's fictional, so I'm OK with it...still kind of disturbing but it worked for this story. The setting is perfect; I'm a huge fan of books taken place in the 1800's! I hope you like it! It's going to be a long year waiting for the next one! :)

  2. Whoa what a great review! I was excited for this book before but now I am super pumped! I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it and thankfully, not too much longer until it's out! I can't wait to own a copy myself! I adore hardcovers! :)


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