Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)Title:The Madman's Daughter
Author: Megan Shepherd
Source/Format: Won, Paperback
More Details: Young Adult, Historical, Horror,  
Publisher/Publication Date: Balzer + Bray, January 29, 2013

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

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...
The synopsis says “Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau,” and I definitely got what I was looking for with The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd. The overall feel was pretty creepy given the themes that heavily influenced the story and the setting—there were always those lingering details that hinted at underlying mysteries—not everything was as it seemed.

The beginning started out by introducing Juliet Moreau, showing the situation she was left in after a scandal involving her father ruined her family. And when I say ruined, I really mean that the incident absolutely decimated their reputation. And London was a society based on reputation. It wasn’t a kind place to Juliet—proven by her living situation and current employment. But the interesting portions of the novel definitely happened after she departed from London for the tropical island in search of her father.

Juliet was a pretty good protagonist—minus her indecisiveness about her two main love interests. Juliet’s father was also a main focus of the story, and the broken bonds between the two were well developed. It was easy to see that Juliet was clinging to the vision she had of him as a child—she tried really hard to see the good in him—and for a second there I almost bought it. Throughout the novel things began to happen which slowly picked apart the first appearances shown by most of the characters. Everyone had their secrets. There was bitterness, but it was expected and justified.

The Madman’s Daughter was a long book, but I liked its length and the details put into developing the story and the setting. The horror aspect is another detail worth noting because it was done well, and by the time I got to the end I still had a lot of unanswered questions about the fate of the characters. Needless to say, I am curious to know how the trilogy ends. (Actual rating 4.5)

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