Mundie Moms

Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

By: Megan Shepherd
Published by: Harper Teen
To Be Released on: January 29th, 2013
Source: ARC from publisher to review
4.5 stars: I Really Enjoyed It!
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Browse Inside

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 - quoted from Goodreads

A deliciously dark, twisted read, The Madman's Daughter is one of those books that's part intriguing, part utterly insane, and the other part hard to put down. There's something to be said about an author who can creature a world that's just as fascinating as it is repulsive. After all, when you're dealing with a madman, his daughter, a twisted romance, and uninhabitable island where the impossible exists, you'd find it hard to put this book down as well. I won't lie, this book has some a lot of dark undertones in it, but what true Gothic thriller doesn't. Part of what lured me into this book was the setting, the wanting to know what the heck was going on, and Megan's incredible writing. 

Let's talk about the writing for a moment, since Megan's writing is what sold me on this brilliantly written debut. Megan's writing is beautiful, descriptive, and full of life. It literally got my attention the moment I started reading the book, and held it till the end. You know there are books you read, and you feel like you're just reading words, and then there are books who's words breathe life into the book you're reading. The later is what Megan's writing is like. She could have written about anything and I could have found myself hooked with her poetic words. Normally it's the characters that bring a book to life for me, but Megan's writing is what did me over with this book. I posted a sample of her writing in my previous post, which features some of my favorite quotes from the book. The romantic scenes made me swoon, the dark twists repulsed me as much as they fascinated me and the twists shocked me. Who needs to read a ghost story to give them the creeps, when you could read this book!? *shudders* 

One of the things I enjoyed about The Madman's Daughter is Juliet herself. Set during a time when women are proper and the mention of a leg or a touch of the wrist was improper, I found Juliet to be this independent, strong, individual thinker who didn't allow society to change who she was. Ironically her society once embraced her and her high standing family, but once news of her father's insane medical practices borderlined something evil, she was all about outed by her society. Juliet's fierce determination, strong personality, and her courage to do what is right is what I felt kept her alive and made her a survivor whether it was on the streets of London or while on the Island she finds herself on with her madman of a father and his twisted experiments. Can I just say as much as I was horrified at the descriptive nature of what her father was doing, I was also intrigued by it as well. It really does take a madman to experiment on humans and animals and combine the two to create creatures that defy nature. Juliet's concerns, and questioning what was going was beyond justified. I felt she acted in away any sane person would. She challenged her father, she challenged those around her to really think about what was going on.

Doesn't a tropical island sound romantic? This island unfortunately is far from it. It harbors a lot of dark, disturbing things, but if you're Juliet than yes, this island does have it's romantic moments. Especially if you're trapped there with two hunky gentleman, one you grew up and the other you found a drift at sea while on your long voyage to the middle of no where. Yeah, poor Juliet had to deal with two Victorian era men who both wanted to claim her heart, one her father's assistant Montgomery and the other Edward, the gentlemen they saved who had been drifting at sea for days. Don't worry, this is not a love triangle. This romance is evident right off the bat on who has Juliet's heart, though I liked that options were explored. It made perfect sense, especially given that guys have a few twisted, dark secrets they're keeping from Juliet. There's the right amount of stolen moments, heart break, and well that sweet love that made it hard for me to choose which guy I wanted Juliet to pick.

The Madman's Daughter is an excellent first book in a trilogy that's sure to be a huge hit. It's definitely set a high bar for what's to come, and I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for the characters I've read about. Given that ending I'm dying to know what's going to happen next. 


  1. I really, really need to read this book! I've heard nothing but great things about it. It sounds like an intriguing and dark story, which is something I'm definitely in the mood for, haha. Thanks for the review!

    1. Yes, you do really, really need to read it. It is really good. I think you'll enjoy it!

  2. Great review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm very curious as to what will happen next. My only real complaint is that I'm going to have so long to wait before I can read the next book.

    It's still early in the year, but this is my favorite read so far. :)

    1. Thank you! I hear you on wanting to know what's going to happen next and having to wait so long for the next book. I can't wait that long either. :)