REVIEW #134: The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter #1) by Megan Shepherd

Title: The Madman's Daughter
Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Author: Megan Shepherd
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: January 29th 2013
Pages: Hardcover, 420 pages
Format: Audiobook, 12 Hours 50 Min
Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

Earlier this year I kept reading fantastic reviews about The Madman's Daughter but I just couldn't bring myself to read the book.  When I found the audio book version at the library I was thrilled.  The story is told from Juliet's point-of-view; the narrator selected for Juliet suites the character perfectly.  (Since listening to  The Infernal Devices, I have  a soft spot for British narrators.)  Even the very beginning of the audio book is creepy and sets the mood for a dark and mysterious setting. 

Megan Shepherd did a phenomenal job of creating a haunting atmosphere and equally creepy and unique characters.    Juliet’s father was a well-crafted villain. All of his creations are “done in the name of Science.” Shepard’s descriptions paint a vivid picture of the creatures and the madness within Juliet’s father. As for Juliet, she was strong protagonist, even though she was scared at time she had no problem throwing a fit or hiding a weapon in her dress. There was a bit of a long triangle but it blended into the story seamlessly and made sense in the situation the three were in.   

Overall, my experience with this book was mostly positive, but there were a couple of issues which gave me pause while reading. Specifically, the ending (last couple chapters) seemed a bit dragged out. It became easier to guess what was going to happen and what twists were about to unfold.

Unfortunately, before reading I wish I had freshened up on the story of Dr Moreau’s island, just so that I knew a little background prior to getting into this extension of the original. While it was not necessary by any means (the novel still does an excellent job explaining and giving context from the backstory), I personally think it would have bettered the experience.

The Madman's Daughter was a solid 4 star book.  It gets slow at times, and though there is definitely a creepiness factor present, the story lacked a bit of suspense and buildup.I would definitely recommend this title if you are in the mood for an eerie story with well-developed characters and a haunting island full of hidden secrets.


  1. I really liked this one, too. It was quite a bit different from anything else I'd read. Although I wasn't a fan of the love triangle, I did like Juliet and the sense of atmosphere in the story. The sequel is up on Edelweiss, btw, in case you didn't know! I was approved for it and can't wait to read it.

    ~Merin @ Read and Reviewed~

  2. I got this one when it was Kindle daily deal, but I haven't read it yet! I need to change that, like yesterday! This was a wonderful review!

  3. I really liked her father as villain: such a madness!

  4. Great review! This book both intrigued me and scared me. I felt like there should me more. ;)

  5. I do love the sound of this book! I haven't read it yet, but I think that when I do finally get to read it, I'm going to really like it. The combination of a creepy atmosphere + a great main character + the book being the inspired by another makes sense to me.


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