The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd
The Skinny: 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. – From Goodreads
BFF?: Juliet… This girl. She impressed me and terrified me all at the same time. I loved that she warred with the fact that she used to be a lady, accepted by society, but was now shunned over something she had no control over – her father’s fall from grace and disappearance. But it wasn’t just this war she faced; she also faced the idea that she may be as mad as her father. I loved that all throughout the book there was that underlying question of “could Juliet go dark?”
Readability: I was pretty absorbed with this one, but then put it down and didn’t pick it back up. When I finally did though I was shocked that I had put it down in the first place! While there is lots of “slow” moments, the pacing never feels slow. It’s enticing and enthralling and just perfect.
Crush Level: 5 and 6
Let’s start with Montgomery, Juliet’s childhood crush and assistant to her father. When she is reunited with him, it’s pretty exciting. I think ohhh… what a nice guy. But then something about him changes and I no longer have the tinglies. I didn’t trust him anymore, so he didn’t do it for me anymore. Which leads me to…
Edward. He completely intrigued me from the second we meet him. I still don’t have a lot of trust for him, but there was something swoony about him that made me interested. I couldn’t get over why Juliet was more attracted to Montgomery. Clearly Juliet has more sense than I do.
Classic Novel Retelling
While this isn’t really a “new” thing (retellings) I loved that this book took a novel that’s really never been done before (at least to my knowledge) – The Island of Doctor Moreau. I didn’t really know much about this book other than there were crazy animal people, so it was interesting seeing this story come to life and learning about it as I went along.
I’m not one for the heat of the tropics, but I LOVE a book set on a tropical island, especially when it’s historical fiction. There’s something sexy about Victorian Londoners letting loose under a waterfall. If you take away the experimentations and human-animal hybrids and mad scientist, this would be a really good grocery store romance novel.
Yearbook Quote: “It was a dangerous pull in my gut drawing me toward the dark possibilities of science, toward the thin line between life and death, toward the animal impulses hidden behind a corset and a smile.”
Superlatives – Most likely to make you NOT miss high school biology
Like this post? You may like these too: