Book Review of THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER by Megan Shepherd by Teri Harman, @TeriHarman
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.
There’s been a lot of buzz about this new book and since I’m kind of a sucker for anything Gothic, Victorian or set in England, I requested an ARC. I was not disappointed.
This dark and twisted tale is difficult to look away from, like the grizzly scene of an car accident – you cringe to see what has happened, but must know. Author Megan Shepherd’s writing is sharp and descriptive and her characters interesting. The settings of the story match the strange chaos of the narrative and the tension pulls the reader along at a quick pace.
My only complaint is the love triangle. For the most part, I really hate love triangles and this one was a little grating. Several times I wanted to slap the main character, but the unexpected twist at the end helped make up for it.
Overall, a great read, especially if you enjoy the dark and bizarre.
The Madman’s Daughter is a young adult novel, the first in a trilogy.
Content note: Detailed descriptions of anatomy; dissection, experimentation on and killing of animals, fighting violence, and a few uses of mild foul language.
Thanks for reading! Teri
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