The Madman's Daughter

Shepherd, Megan

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Madman's Daughter
Dr. Moreau's daughter, Juliet, travels to her estranged father's island, only to encounter murder, medical horrors, and a love triangle.

Publisher: New York : Balzer + Bray, 2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780062128027
Characteristics: 420 p. ;,22 cm.


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List - JoCoLibraryPRL 10114 by: JoCoLibraryPRL Jun 22, 2014

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Feb 21, 2015
  • FindingJane rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Darkly brooding as a gothic novel, seething with pent-up passions like a Harlequin romance, “The Madman’s Daughter” is a brilliant re-exploration of H.G. Wells’s classic “The Island of Doctor Moreau”. It also touches slyly upon another 19th-century work, as well as taking inspiration from Shakespeare.

With its deceptive cover of an anorexic girl in a billowing dress, “The Madman’s Daughter” could be mistaken easily for just another forgettable YA novel. But it’s more erudite than it appears, forcing the reader and the protagonist to confront the quiet wickedness that lies in every human soul even as it explores the boundaries and restrictions of human love.

Feb 19, 2015
  • Chapel_Hill_RuthL rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

In 1896, H.G. Wells conceived an idea of a strange island lost in the Pacific and ruled by a brilliant, deranged man. His name was Dr. Moreau. Megan Shepherd’s debut novel takes it’s inspiration from the classic work and spins its own web of mystery and horror as the long-abandoned Juliet Moreau, daughter to the infamous doctor, finds herself reunited with her father on his island. Shepherd’s Juliet is willful, determined and not easily dismissed by the male dominated cast: her father, who expects a more obedient daughter, her childhood love, Montgomery, who keeps too many of secrets and the mysterious Edward who gentlemanly demeanor feels just slightly…off. The Madman’s Daughter pays homage to Wells’ work while remaining fresh and vital as an original work. Even for those familiar with the classic work, Shepherd offers a dynamic thriller, a conflicted narrator, an untrustworthy band of supporting characters and an unseen ending. Fans will eager to look for Shepherd’s next work in the coming trilogy, Her Dark Curiosity and the conclusion A Cold Legacy.

Dec 11, 2014
  • ChristineT_RPL rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This is an adaptation of “The Island of Dr. Mauro.” Our main character, Juliet Moreau is the daughter of a prominent doctor who went from being respected to being part of a scandal involving vivisection - that is dissecting creatures while they are still alive, so gross.
Juliets father has disappeared and so Juliet has done her best to take care of herself. She has a job as a maid in a medical school. One day she catches some students trying a vivisection late one night, she stops them and in the process they drop a drawing and instructions for this and she recognizes that this is one of her fathers. She is them led to finding her father’s servant, the dreamy Montgomery. He reluctantly takes her with him to her fathers island.
Once on the island the reader finds themselves in a strange place where the “natives” resemble animals. There is also a fun love triangle here.

Oct 29, 2014
  • StephFurlan rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I had mixed feelings about the main character, Juliet. There are instances where she takes charge, standing up to an attacker and protecting the weak. That’s the kind of character I can root for. Even when she acts a little docile, I was more understanding since it was expected of Victorian women to be completely prim and proper. But what bothered me the most was her indecisiveness. She couldn’t make up her mind who she liked more—Montgomery or Edward. I think it was unfair of her to get involved with both of them. I understand it was meant to create tension in the novel, but I would have rather had more tension created via the murders on the island, dimming down the romance and turning the notch up on the suspense and horror.

Complete Review:

Jun 22, 2014
  • mbssmith rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I did not like the main character, Juliet, at all. She made so many bad decisions. This book also had a lot of graphic violence.

Mar 21, 2014
  • Dzeni rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

The writing is creepy and brilliant in the start. Additionally, the heroine, Juliet, starts out strong and intelligent but seems to lose some of her kick-ass aspects one she gets to the island. I find her rather passive as she continuously returns to the fortress even after proclaiming to be done with all the madness. She's constantly thinking about two loves interests even though there's a fantastic mystery and oddness to be solved on the island. The father is a brilliant and despicable character (but I really love it). The science is ridiculous. I can suspend belief to a certain point, but there's no way that human speech should be able to come from an animal's brain and vocal chords.

Aug 07, 2013
  • artemishi rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I expected this book to be interesting, given that it's based on the gothic thriller The Island of Dr Moreau. I did not expect it to be this good. Written for an intelligent audience, but with enough action to keep from being entirely cerebral, it's an imaginative ride through horror, mystery, love, and the voyage of self-identity.

Juliet is a well-fleshed protagonist, and another example of a great female character role model. She has hope in her, but also darkness, and she fights for her morality and sanity the way that a proper woman should. Unlike some historical fictions, Juliet is believable and yet modern- she's a strong and stubborn female whose knowledge of biology exceeds society's expectation (and there is plausible explanation for that), but she also views the world through the lens that Victorian women would. In other words, the character is relatable and the world is believably Victorian, not modernized for the ease of viewers.

The narrative doesn't shy away from difficult subjects, and although it's vividly described (and some might say gruesome), it isn't gratuitous. Megan Shepherd has landed herself on my favorite authors list with this novel. And did I mention the hundred plot twists and surprises that weave the narrative seamlessly? I read it, cover to cover, in three days.

I highly recommend this book for lovers of classic gothic stories, strong female protagonists, well-executed historical fiction, fans of science and the classic themes of science fiction, and those who enjoy believable romances and surprises.

Jul 23, 2013
  • izzyb14 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The ending!! Wow, thank goodness there'll be a sequel because that was a huge cliff-hanger. It wasn't the greatest story (because the whole science side of it seemed so surreal and impossible. As in, bones and such cannot magically grow different shapes) but the characters were neat. And I need to know what happens next!

Mar 05, 2013

"Juliet Moreau has somewhat recovered from her mad-scientist father's banishment to live a normal, if uninspiring, life in Victorian-era London. But when she is unjustly fired from her cleaning job, Juliet seeks out the island where her father is rumoured to be reviving his grotesque experiments, accompanied by his handsome assistant and a castaway they befriend during the journey. Little does she know the horrors that await her in her father's new laboratory... Inspired by H.G. Wells' classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, this dark, exciting, and headily romantic novel will captivate fans of Gothic novels, historical science fiction, and the sinister side of knowledge-seeking." March 2013 Teen Scene Newsletter

Mar 02, 2013
  • kktrotter rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Fantastic first chapter. Right away the atmosphere is set, there's tension, and I know this is going to be a good story.

The overall plot is Juliet finding out whether her father is a brilliant, misunderstood, scientist or if he's a madman that she needs to escape from. There are a lo of subplots that help move the story forward. The story could be broken into parts based on where Juliet is located.

The pacing is great, there's never a dull moment in this story. There are even some twists that I didn't see coming.

And the ending ... it's good, it's ging to make waiting for the next book so hard.

Juliet, Montgomery, Edward, and Dr. Moreau are all well developed characters. I actually liked them all -- and equally disliked them in some moments -- which is one of the things I liked the most about the story. Even though Dr. Moreau may be truly evil, there are moments when he's human and fatherly.

Juliet is a heroine that I can really get behind. At times, her actions don't really make sense -- but when I stopped to think about how I was when I was sixteen, they did. Teens don't always think about the consequences to their action. I particularly liked how there was a dark part of Juliet lurking just below the surface.

There is a love triangle in this story (Edward/Juliet/Montgomery) but I liked that. It added layers to the story. Edward represents a possible future for Juliet, the high society that she could go to, away from her father and all his pressure. Montgomery represents Juliet's past, the illusion that her childhood was a happy one, a way to stay a part of her father's science. It goes farther than that in the end, but if I tell you how it'll be a huge spoiler.

Near the end of the story it did start to bug me, how flip-floppy Juliet could be between Edward and Montgomery -- even though she had already decided which one she truly loved. Yet she was still with the other a lot and feeling such hot "desires" for him. I was about to get really bothered by it and conclude that this wasn't a well done love triangle after all ... and then something happened. Something oh and then I realized that her attraction to the one she didn't pick was deeper than feelings -- it was almost animalistic.

So, in conclusion, what I loved about this romance was how it helped give deeper layers to the story and forced Juliet to face herself and what her father really was. Plus, I really was into the romance. I must admit, that I was on Edward's side -- Montgomery, while nice and all, bugged me at times because he wouldn't stand up to Dr. Moreau.

The writing is wonderful. Shepherd paints a very vivid world in a subtle way. She doesn't drop a whole paragraph to explain the world, or time period, but weaves in these little details throughout the story. That's a sign of an expert writer.

The only thing that bothered me a bit was the repetition of words throughout the story. Some things (like "madman" "mad" "madness") were said so many times that they almost lost their meaning. Whereas other times, it was just one particular odd word that would be repeated a few times within a small frame (like whirlwind). But, in the end, that didn't take away anything from the story.

I loved this book.


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Feb 27, 2013

vitriolic7eyes thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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