Published: January 29th 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
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 been waiting on this book anxiously since I first saw it on Goodreads and let me tell you, it fully lived up to every expectation I had for it. The Madman’s Daughter is the first story in a trilogy of retellings of classic horror stories. The first is based off of The Island of Dr. Moreau, the second book being based off of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with the third being based off of Frankenstein.
The cover is gorgeous. I absolutely love covers that have full body shots with gorgeous dresses. This one sets the tone for the book about the wildness of the island and the mystery by not being able to see her face.
The writing is beautiful. Full of descriptions and the setting of the island is perfectly described for the eeriness of the story. Hot and humid, with a thick jungle and bursting with mystery and intrigue. The story starts off with a bang and doesn’t let up. It was suspenseful and pulse pounding with a steamy romance leaving the reader desperately wanting more. I love books with a gothic/horror aspect because, in my opinion, it adds that little bit of extra mystery.
The pacing through the book was perfect, with character development working at the right speed. Despite there being a romance, love triangle type situation, it didn’t impede on the plot line, which was the most important and can happen quite frequently.
Juliet wasn’t some weak character that is so often associated with female characters in the 1800’s. She was tough and beautiful and brave despite her fear. She had courage in the face of difficult decisions and stood up for herself. Her chemistry with Montgomery was electric and leapt off the page. He was this strong, sturdy and capable man who belong in the wildness of the jungle and could hold his own whenever.
My first impression of Edward was sketchy. Throughout the whole book he is clearly hiding a secret and it is impossible to figure anything out about him until the author gives it away- which I love in a book. As his involvement with Juliet progresses, the feeling of weariness grows. Dr. Moreau was a fabulously mad character who kept the island in a state of unrest and mystery.
The ending was a cliff hanger of sorts and utterly heartwrenching. I will be desperately waiting (and I mean very desperately) for the second book.
All in all, this book was phenomenal. An absolutely intriguing plot that kept me on the edge of my seat and up till the wee hours of the morning devouring this book.
A solid 5/5 stars to Megan Shepherd’s The Madman’s Daughter