Saturday, August 13, 2016

Review : The Madman's Daughter by Megan Sheperd

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Balzer + Bray

Release DateJanuary 23, 2013 
Pages: 464
Source: Own

The Story:

For fans of Libba Bray, this first book in a gothic suspense trilogy is inspired by H. G. Wells'sThe Island of Dr. Moreau and has been hailed by New York Times bestseller Carrie Ryan as having "beautiful writing, breakneck pacing, a pulse-pounding mystery, and an irresistible romance."
Following accusations that her scientist father gruesomely experimented on animals, sixteen-year-old Juliet watched as her family and her genteel life in London crumbled around her—and only recently has she managed to piece her world back together. But when Juliet learns her father is still alive and working on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the old accusations are true. Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward, Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's insanity. 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.
via Amazon


One-word ReviewCREEPY

Reading Tune
Devil's Playground by The Rigs

Tag Line:

In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Opening Line:

The basement hallways in King's College of Medical Research were dark, even in the daytime.

My Review


Going into The Madman's Daughter I figured the story would play on Frankenstein themes with a YA twist. And I was fortuitously correct! On that note, the plot was intriguing, to say the least. Abandoned by her father and orphaned by her mother, a teen girl, Juliet, works nights in a creepy medical school cleaning blood, guts and dirt in order to survive. Once a renowned doctor, her father lost their prestigious family everything - fortune, home, reputation. Then disappeared.

Until somewhere from their past resurfaces and sets Juliet down a dark path.

The Madman's Daughter's pacing was perfecting in tuned with the progression of the story. Not once did I feel bogged down or hyperventilating by the pace of the story. I liked Sheperd's writing. The language was up to par with the era the story was written in. The world-building and the details were sown very well. I was drawn into the story.

All in all, I enjoyed The Madman's Daughter on the plane rides to and from ALA Annual Conference 2016. A gothic horror, The Madman's Daughter was dark and strange with a dash of romance. Having said that, I will finishing the trilogy in the near future and recommend it to anyone who is willing to read it. 

The next afternoon I found a lidded bowl full of live worms and roaches outside my door with a note written in a gentleman's handwriting. -- page 90

Character Breakdown:

The characters were well fleshed out. There was not the ambiance of lacking, or flat, monotonous characters. Sheperd's characters had flavor, life. And their dynamic ran like a well oiled machine.

Juliet Moreau - I enjoyed her character but at times Juliet annoyed the hell out of me. She could be meek and so buzz-headed when it came James and Prince. But she made a somewhat interesting character -- in that she was a bit strange, and dark, and didn't quite fit in.

 On the table beside me was the set of operating instruments. I wrapped my hand around the handle of he ax, normally used for separating the sternum of cadavers. I too a deep breath, focusing on the rabbit's neck. In a movement I knew had to be fast and hard, I brought down the ax.

The rabbit's screaming stopped. -- page 20

Montgomery James - Smart childhood friend, first love. Loyal to a fault - literally, to the one person he shouldn't be.

 He'd been our servant, I told myself. I didn't owe him anything. But that was a lie. Montgomery and I were bound together by our past. This was the boy who had secretly taught me biology because my father wouldn't. Who'd told me fairy tales late at night to distract me from the screams coming from the laboratory. -- page 36

Dr. Henri Moreau - A selfish, terrible, mysterious father. And bat-shit crazy . . . Or is he?

"Oh, and Juliet," he said. I turned back. Half of his face was thrown in deep shadow, while the whites of his eyes gleamed in the distant lights from the salon. "I'll be working in the laboratory late tonight. I've a good start on the new specimens. Don't be alarmed if you're awoken. The animals--they screams, you know. An unfortunate effect of vivisection. It keeps the whole household up". -- page 170

Edward Prince - Dashingly mysterious, passionate with a secret.

He leaned to the side and coughed, and then his hand found mine. He squeezed the life out of it. "Juliet . . . you looked even more beautiful when I thought I was dying." -- page 111

Here is one of my favorite quotes from 
The Madman's Daughter:

Juliet, he'd called me. He'd dropped the pretense of using my surname. I studied the waves beyond our hands, trying to work out the equation of my emotions. Since I'd seen him gain, in that room at the Blur Boar Inn, there'd been a tightness inside my chest whenever he was around, like string lashed around my heart. -- page 75 

Meet the Author:

New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of the acclaimed young adult series THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER and THE CAGE, as well as the middle grade novel THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL. She now lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, two cats, and an especially scruffy dog.

***Check out Megan Shepherd's website for more information about her and The Madman's Daughter HERE

Happy Reading!


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