The Madman's Daughter-- Megan Shepherd

Release Date: January 29th, 2013
Genre: Thriller, Romance
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 420
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
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.
Review: Enna's been giving me some great books to read recently, because The Madman's Daughter is the third book in a row that I've given five water drops to. Before I started reading the book, I read the back cover and was informed that the rights to publish the trilogy went in a very competitive bidding war and that the film rights had already been sold as well. I was a bit surprised, but the second I started reading, I instantly saw it. I was completely sucked in. The writing was simple, but elegant and the characters intriguing. They weren't complex, but they weren't simple either. It was the perfect juxtaposition of interesting, but relatable. The main character, Juliet Moreau is a seemingly orphaned girl living in England. Her father, a famous but now disgraced scientist vanished when he was discovered to be experimenting with dark and taboo ideas. His work was more important than his wife and child.

Juliet's mother died, leaving her daughter to fend for herself. She works as a maid until she is forced to suddenly flee with her father's old assistant and family servant- a handsome man her age named Montgomery- shows up in England. Juliet discovers her father is alive and sets off in search of him, running into a shipwreck survivor named Edward. From there, the book gets dark. It was pretty gripping up until that point, but nothing was really revealed. I was dying to know just exactly what Juliet's father was doing and if he really was a madman or not (a question that plagues Juliet).

When they arrive on the island, you're immersed in a fascinatingly different world so carefully and intricately laid out that I could see it perfectly in my mind. The book toes a delicious line between black and dark, and leaves you guessing as to what terrible things are actually occurring there. There were several extremely tense scenes where I was actually getting really scared and anxious- the writing and setting of the mood were that good-- and one point where I was tempted to toss the book across the room in horror (Don't worry Enna, I didn't!). Frankly, I loved this book. When it ended, I set the book down calmly on my coffee table and bravely fought back tears. Nothing was expected at all. It's such a different genre for YA fiction and the way it plays out was just so intriguing to me.

The characters were interesting, but my one complaint is that I didn't feel like I was getting to know them really. I could sense that there was a wealth of information and history about them, but the author kept a tight lid on that so that when one semi-prominent character bit the dust, I didn't really feel anything, even though I should have. If I had felt that extra connection or pull to the characters, it would have made this story that much more powerful. Also, the plot revolves around scientific experiments-- experiments that really aren't super plausible. I was left with the occasional nagging question "But HOW did he do that?". Sometimes it just didn't make sense and it couldn't be explained, and despite the fact that it's fiction, it felt real and I wanted a real explanation to it. It ended up not being overly frustrating, because somehow those scientific questions melded into the mystery of the story.

I definitely recommend checking this out. I think this book and subsequent books will do very well.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2013
*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.


  1. Hm. Sounds like it has some flaws but manages to overcome them to be a very compelling read. We definitely want to check this one out -- and luckily it seems to be an e-download from our library, yay! Thanks for such a great review. :)

  2. Hmmmm, glad to see you liked it! I'm still hesitant about it, but you're making me more interested than I was.

  3. I found this book really hard to read due to the vivisection chapters-they were horrid. This was not a great read for me.


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