Saturday, March 02, 2013

Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd
The Madmen’s Daugther #1
Release Date: January 29th, 2013
Number of Pages: 420
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Bought
GR - Amazon - BD - Chapters
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. 
I have to say; I have never read The Island of Dr. Moreau. I can’t compare this book with the classic that inspired it. I’m a huge fan of gothic novel, and I have to say I don’t think there are enough in YA. The Madman’s Daughter kept my attention from the first page to the last, with its gothic settings and atmosphere. Megan Shepherd gives us a disturbing and creepy story, with characters that certainly won’t leave you indifferent. The atmosphere Megan Shepherd created was one of the things I really loved about the novel, as it is an important aspect of a gothic novel. It was easy to see form the first few chapters that things were about to get crazy.

Despite the settings that could lead you to believe Juliet to be a damsel in distress, we are given a main character that can more than simply defend herself. She’s an intelligent, strong and courageous young woman, but she can sometimes walk on the thin line between madness and sanity, a tendency that is clearly a legacy of her father.

We are also introduced to Montgomery, her childhood friend and her father’s assistant. He is the kind of character that will leave you with mixed feeling. You can’t help loving the side he shows Juliet, the sweetness and kindness he can show her. It’s clear that he does care for her. At the same time, you can’t help remembering that he is Dr. Moreau’s assistant, and he has taken part in his experiment. One thing I do have to say, this book does have a love triangle. The second love interest is Edward. He might be an interesting character, as he is quite mysterious, but I didn’t like him as much as Montgomery. Someone that has that many secrets always makes me uneasy. He does bring some great things to the story, but Montgomery was just more interesting to me. I won’t talk much about the mad and strange Dr. Moreau, as he is mostly a creepy and scary character that you mostly hope you will never meet in a dark room.

The Madman’s Daughter charmed me form the first few pages, with its gothic settings. Megan Shepherd created a novel I have devoured, a novel I am sure fans of this genre will enjoy. I already can’t wait to see what will happen next for Juliet.

About the Author:
From GoodReads

Megan Shepherd was "born" into the book world, growing up in her parents' independent bookstore in Western North Carolina. She is the author of THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER trilogy (Balzer+Bray/2013), and THE CAGE trilogy (Balzer+Bray/2014). When Megan is not writing, she can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains. She is represented by Josh Adams at Adams Literary.

The Trailer:


  1. so happy you liked this novel! I have also never read the original gothic novel.. but I have to say, I am not a big fan of gothic or creepy novels. I get too creeped out! but The Madman's daughter sounds great, especially since the main protagonist isn't a damsel in distress!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

    1. Hope you'll like it if you decide to read it. It really made me want to read the original novel, just so I can compare it. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I also haven't read the original story, but I'm very excited to read this one. I love creepy stories :D Juliet sounds like a character I will really like. Great review and I'm happy you liked it so much.


    1. Thanks! Hope you'll like it too! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. The love triangle annoyed me so much in this book. It was like she decided she was in love with whichever boy she had spent time with most recently. I just don't think it was entirely necessary although I appreciate how later revelations change circumstances.

    1. It slightly annoyed me at first, but in the end, I felt like she loved Montgomery for who he was and who he had been for her. I think she cared for Edward, because she recognize something in him. That's why in the end the love triangle didn't bother me that much. For me, it was always clear who she really had feeling for... (Or who I had hoped she had true feelings for...)

  4. This sounds very promising. The book is already on my tbr, but your review definitely makes me even more eager to read it! :)

  5. I'm really interested in this one because of the gothic setting, but I'm nervous about the love triangle part. I've heard from a few people that the romance takes over once it comes in to the story. I will definitely check it out, because I love the gothic and I'm interested in the characters, especially seeing a strong female lead.