Book Title: The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter #1)
Author: Megan Shepherd
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
Publication Date: January 29th 2013
by 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.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
(Okay that sounded weird -_-)
Never mind, I wasn't up for this review this soon, you know. Only because I had not read the book and was planning to do so later this month. But then, I saw the second book and people fangirling everywhere and I knew in that very moment that I HAD to read this. FAST. Because usually I don't request review copies of a series until I have done reviewing the first. So that little realization made me forget every goddamn thing in the world and finish it within a day! Can you believe it? It's rare for me to finish a book on impulse just like that. But I did it. And now, I'm utterly proud of myself B) Another plus side, I'm participating in a Historical Fiction reading challenge this year and this book was a cherry on top...one shot two birds, as they say (or whatever the proverb is).
Let me say what I really, really reeeallly liked it. I liked the plot, the whole theme and sub themes of the novel. It is so well built, I just felt like hugging Megan Shepherd at certain points (and it's rare for me to say that about an author) Really, THAT great! It has every element you would look for in a Gothic sounding historical fiction; it has the element of mystery, the touch of horror, a world full of possibilities and impossibilities, along with the not-so-absent theme of love and romance. Uh, yes, that reminds me why I gave it a 4.5, I am not a big fan of triangle (or any angled) love stories. I'm more of a straight line person..On the two sides a boy and a girl work just fine for me. I'm a peace-loving person you see, what's the need of an unnecessary heartbreak? (Of course, a girl always loves attention, the more the better ;)) So if you are a deep fan of triangle-ish love stories and movies and cry your heart out when the cool guys (or the hot guys depending on your taste) don't seem to find anybody else (for instance, you) to like and love other than the only one lead, this book is what you are looking for. Go get it tiger!...okay that was a wrong expression..but never mind, again :p
Moving on from the mushy gushy romantic part to other things, I liked the mystery element. I've always loved good mystery reads. And yet, I have found very few books that are actually worth reading and recommending. This book, I suggest, is definitely worth a try, specially if you are a sucker for mystery like me!
Now the female lead, Juliet Moreau. When I had read the blurb, I remember feeling immediately sorry for her. A crazy psychotic experimenting father? Poor girl. How is she supposed to deal with it? But I was wrong. Juliet definitely isn't some damsel-in-distress, a poor life fallen into a sudden tempest. She is what I usually like in a heroine. She's smart, sensible, independent, strong enough to keep her head calm after the life altering revelations. Even her efforts to prove her worth to her father is very commendable.
On that note, I really didn't like Dr. Moreau at first. In fact, I hated him for being such a sexist at times. Okay, I see that Juliet is a 'complication' to his experiments, his 'blissful life of solitude', but come on! She is his daughter right? He can't just be such a male chauvinist a** to her! *sulk* But yes, I couldn't hate him for long, though I often felt like throwing him off from a rooftop. Author Megan Shepherd has created a character so unique in itself that you cannot help liking it for it's uniqueness.
And then, the boys. Rarely in my life have I liked two boys in one book at once. In Twilight,I was Team un-Edward (that left me no choice other than being a Team Jacob though I didn't even like him that way, I liked none there:\). But here, I developed a soft corner for both Edward and Montgomery. Okay, maybe a little more for the latter, specially after seeing his efforts to convince Juliet of his change of heart (does that sound more religious?). But Edward was good, I'm not saying he was good in a good way; I mean he was, but then he was like....okay that's confusing but you'll know once you read it, and I believe you would be surprised to see his character sketch till the end as well;)
To balance it off a little, I often felt at some points the novel was a tiny bit dragging the plot. Now I guess, when you have planned to do a trilogy, it's something that automatically comes. So I'm okay with it, because the plot is indeed interesting and I look forward to read the next books.
I have never read The Island of Dr. Moreau by H G Wells, the book that is said to be an inspiration for this book. And now I'm afraid to read that, as I don't want to let go of the feeling this book had given me. Okay, I may still give it a try, but not now. I'm having a Madman Hangover @_@
The ending was one of the best parts of the book. The kind of ending that leaves you craving for more. And when it's a trilogy, you cannot help praying that the second book in series comes out soon, before you die out of anticipation. And now that I know the second one is going to be out soon, you can easily imagine the Madman ion I am charged with (do I sound like a chemistry student? I'm so not one)!
On a finishing note, I would say I haven't read a book with so deep a theme so successfully woven into a plot. If you love to have a great historical fiction in your hands, this is it. If you love a love triangle that offers a nice plot without butchering the main storyline, this is it. If you love Frankenstein, this is it. If you love The Tempest, this is it. If you love The Mysterious Island, this is it. Forget everything...if you just love books unconditionally, then THIS IS IT. Period.