Monday, August 18, 2014

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd (review)

The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1) 
The Madman's Daughter (1) 

by Megan Shepherd

Genre(s): Historical-Fiction, Retellings, Young Adult, Horror

Pages: 420

Published: Jan 2013

Publisher:  Balzer and Bray

Summary:    "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."

Review:    What a great twist on a classic story. The Madman's Daughter is a spinoff story for The Island of Dr. Moreau by HG Wells. While you can read this book without reading the other, I encourage the reading of both. Especially to see where the inspiration for this book comes from. Some parts follow very closely the story of Wells' book and others quite different. In particular is Megan Shepherd's original character, Juliet.

   Juliet is the daughter the the infamous Dr. Moreau. She is 16 and orphaned on her own. Her father fled the country after information about his scientific experiments got out and her mother died several years later. From wealth to poverty and ridicule Juliet has not had the easiest life. Yet she is smart and educated. Quite knowledgeable in science, especially for a woman of that time. I must say I liked her inner strength and while she is may be unsure of her own "unlady-like" interests I simply find her ahead of her time.

   She runs into her childhood friend (and her father's assistant) Montgomery who informs her that her father is alive. Against his better judgement she insists on being taken to him. On their journey to the island they come across a man named Edward. And the three of them, along this Balthazar (Montgomery's assistant) go to the island.

   There things take a turn for the twisted. And anyone who has read The Island of Dr. Moreau know what I speak of. For those that have not, read it or this for more information. What I will say is that Dr Moreau is a very dedicated, and obsessed scientist. His experiments come above all else in his life. And that can come with unexpected prices for everyone.

   Dark, often psychologically twisted with some romance and madness thrown in this adventure. We get some borderline steamy scenes between Juliet and Edward and Juliet and Montgomery. Both men very different and both seem to have their own secrets. I could never trust either own of them and yet was drawn to learning more about them. Although my favorite character was Balthazar. Sweet Balthazar who is quite caring, protective and puts others above himself. While he is a minor character in the story he is a great one. And dear, innocent Alice, whom I wish I had gotten to know more in this book. Even Dr Moreau had qualities that draw you in. So I must say Megan Shepherd did an amazing job with each character.

   This story is very engaging, and well-written. Also thought provoking at times. Is Dr Moreau mad? The mystery behind each character keeps you guessing their intentions and what secrets they may possess. Who can Juliet trust? Each time you get a bit further, a new question to ask yourself arises. It makes for a very thrilling read.

   Overall, I highly recommend this book for older teens and adults. There is a bit of something for all readers although the love triangle romance does have the book geared more toward females. The is some action, adventure, creepy science and more to be discovered!
Note:  I just started reading Her Dark Curiousity today and am already over halfway done and will likely be finished before I go to sleep tonight!  Expect a giveaway with the review for Her Dark Curiosity!!! 


  1. I love historical fiction and this one has definitely been on my radar for awhile now. Thanks for the great review :)

    1. Oops I clicked publish too fast.

      I love a good story that pulls you in and the characters sound amazing! I'm not a big fan of love triangles but it sounds like this one might be worth it. I will have to prepare myself for some swoon-worthy moments? ;)

  2. First of all, I'm really amazed at how every book in this trilogy is a different retelling! This trilogy had me wanting to read the classics the books were based from, and I'm still working on acquiring copies of said classics. ;D Like you said, it is indeed thought provoking, and just sparks one's interest more to continue reading the next pages.
    Thank you for giving us a chance to win copies of the book!

    Btw, which team are you on, Edward or Montgomery? ^^

  3. What an interesting concept to base a book off of! I am definitely adding this series to my TBR list. Thank you for the insightful review!

  4. "Dark, often psychologically twisted with some romance and madness thrown in this adventure."


    I absolutely love how dark and mysterious this one is! I've re-read this one already, and I'm sort of in the mood for another one. Awesome review! (:

  5. I actually haven't read The Island of Dr. Moreau but I really want to after loving this book! I loved Juliet's character and thought she was very strong--I love reading about women who are ahead of their time. I also found it very dark and twisted, sometimes quite terrifying. It was definitely an intriguing read! Very nice review. :)

  6. I love retellings and I love the Victorian Era so I really want to read this! Your review makes me more excited - probably because it's evident how much you liked it. I do plan on reading The Island of Dr. Moreau before I read The Madman's Daughter.

  7. I have not read any of these books yet, but I have had this one on my TBR for quite a while. I am glad to see that it won't be a waste of time!

  8. I have not read this series yet because I'm waiting for A cold Legacy to be released, so I could buy and read them without interruption. Thank you for the review, it makes me want to read them more! :)

  9. I hate that I have not read The Island yet, but that is the reason I haven't started this series. I want to read the original inspirational before the inspired. It sounds like this series is one that I am absolutely going to love!

  10. I haven't started this series yet but I definitely will thanks to your review! I love thought provoking books and hopefully I'll enjoy this book as much as you have.

  11. This book definitely sounds intriguing. I enjoy books that are inspired by the classics and have added this book to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing the great review.

  12. I was such a big fan of this book! I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the series! Great review!

  13. I love The Madman's Daughter- especially the twists and the romance!

  14. This sounds like a very intriguing read.
    Great review :)

  15. love this book! it had a unique plot and it's well written as well :)

  16. What's the time period for the spinoff?

  17. I had the chance to read this book and I also loved the mystery factor and that Juliet can't really trust anyone or anything. Surprisingly good!
    Chers :-)

  18. It really sounds like a book I would love to read. Great review! :)


  19. I plan to put this book on my TBR list as I love historical fantasy/romance and also sci fi. Thanks so much for the thoughtful review, who can resist mad scientists, the Scottish moors and romance all together?

  20. I'm intrigued by books that are inspired by other stories. I'll have to check both of these out!

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

  21. I love when the secondary characters are as full as the primary ones.

  22. I'm glad to hear you can still enjoy this without reading Moreau. I know I SHOULD read it, I just haven't yet. It sounds really interesting.

  23. Thanks for the great review. I love retellings and historical fiction.


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