The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Release Date: January 29th, 2013
Balzer + Bray, 432 Pages
Sub-genre: Historical Fiction/Science Fiction/Retelling
Source: Bought the Audiobook
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: The Madman’s Daughter #1
Voice Actor: Lucy Rayner
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.
For the most part, I tend to listen to the recommendations of my friends – even when the books don’t sound particularly interesting. I’m not a big fan of the “classics” (maybe because I haven’t read that many of them?), but decided to give this book a chance because I usually like historical fictions and science fiction as well. And while this book was definitely different and I liked the premise, I didn’t feel like the story was that compelling. I mean, NOTHING happened so I got kind of bored – maybe I needed more of a plot-driven book, but the book was painfully slow.
Even with its slowness and lack of action, there are tons of morsels to take with you after you’ve finished reading.
Scientific progressiveness – in that time period, yes – but also think about science today and how much “innovation” there is. One man’s innovation is another man’s idea of unethical. Just google “vivisection”.
Men, beasts, civility, and savageness – and how all of these can be interwoven and are not always as they seem. How community plays into all of this.
Tons of biblical references. Juliet’s father playing God with creating these “beasts”. Laws and divine law. The idea that humans are by nature corrupt.
Like I said, lots of goodies to think about – but I just didn’t think that this book had the oompf it needed to capture the young adult audience’s attention. With that said, I did read the second book in the series, Her Dark Curiosity, which I found much better than this one.