Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepard (review)

 Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Genre: Historical Gothic
Book Length: 420 pages
Publication Date: January 29th, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Hardback
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.


 In the spirit of Halloween coming to us at the end of this month, I wanted to pick up a book that was a least somewhat scary or horror-like. So I had to desire to pick up The Madman's Daughter and I was not disappointed. This book is not scary like with demons or anything supernatural, but just the horror of what Juliet's father's experiments are. I won't spoil them because it might ruin the entire book if you if I do tell you, but the experiments were both terrifying and yet, at least for me, drove my curiosity. And that curiosity and the mysterious tone of the book made me keep turning those pages until the last one.

Another thing I want to mention was that, as far as I can tell, this book was historically accurate, since this is (I believe) set in the late 19th century. Especially with her father mostly denying her of being able to help with what he was doing and that she should focus on being a lady. And I loved how she denied that. HOWEVER, I did not like how Juliet would be stubborn or annoying at times, but I overall did enjoy Juliet as a protagonist. Speaking of the characters, despite the fact I did not really enjoy most of them, I do think they are rounded characters with strong personalities to them.

But the characters kind of leads me into the major flaw that I had with this book, the bane of my existence: unnecessary love triangle. Oh boy, I did not like the love triangle. At times, it felt like the story slowed down and was taken over by the romance in the story. And one of the characters, I won't give names, I felt like he had an insta-love feeling for Juliet and I was really annoyed at that. It annoyed me so much that it made me drop a star from my rating.

Lastly, I want to talk about my favorite aspect of the story: the writing. From the first page to the last sentence, I love the writing so much. It was descriptive and had kind of a beautiful feel to it, and I don't know how else to describe it.

So, in the end I would give The Madman's Daughter a 3.5/5 stars. I overall had a good time reading it and it was a well constructed story. However, the story's sometimes slow pace and the love triangle that didn't feel needed made me dock a star and a half. But the pros I had and the cliffhanger at the end of this book will make me pick up the sequel 'Her Dark Curiosity'.


  1. Great review! I really want to read this so I'm glad to see that overall it made you want to read the next one, because I've seen so many bad reviews for it.

    1. Thank you! I really enjoyed the book overall despite my problems with it, and I am open-minded unless I really didn't like the book or haven't heard good things about the sequels.

  2. Ahhh I am so excited to read this! I'm reading it for the Chills and Thrills readathon :) Ooh lovely writing and an awesome protagonist? Fantastic review, Blaze <3

    1. Thank you so much Rach, and I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. :)