Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd


Author: Megan Shepherd
Pages: 420 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: January 29th, 2013
Received From: my public library
Status: The Madman's Daughter #1

Synopsis (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.

My Review:

The Madman's Daughter was a whirlwind of a read, and I couldn't put it down!

The story is about 16 year old Juliet Moreau, a girl born into wealth whom had it all taken away the day that her father left of gruesome accusations that were never proven. For six years, she has believed her father was dead, and she was meant for a life of poverty, until she discovers some of her father's works in London that she realizes that she has been right all along: she isn't alone and her madman of a father is alive. Accompanied by their former household servant and childhood friend Montgomery, the set out to her father's lonely island in Australia. There, she learns the truth and comes to terms with the fact her father is beyond saving.

This story was very thrilling and I liked the use of animals playing humans, humans playing God, and humans trusting their animal side. Metaphorically, I thought it was genius and was very impressed with the inner turmoil that all the characters had in the book. The Madman's Daughter is a unique twist on H.G Well's classic, and I found that this book was wonderful.

Juliet, as a narrator was both good and bad for me. Despite the creative twist in this story, I found her unbearable at some parts of the book, and then I found her totally amazing and smart in other parts. I think the reason why I found Juliet as an 'okay' narrator and not 'fantastic' or 'amazing' is because this book revolved around the psyche of all the characters, specifically Juliet. The book (or the majority of it) was spent determining if she really is an innocent (which, she is) or truly her father's daughter (which she is). She had a lot of high points like when she was comforting Alice or warming up to Balthazar which I love (and there are a lot more than that), and there were a lot of low points where she just didn't know how to save her father, and that broke my heart because deep down she still cared for him.

But I think the main reason why I didn't enjoy Juliet as a narrator was because although she was only starting to realize that her father was really mad in the eyes of a young adult and not as a child, I found her really slow and just not trusting her instincts and realizing the truth quick enough with all the evidence right in front of her. I tried to be understanding with it because I knew this hesitance and denial stemmed from the fact that she was still transitioning from child to adult, and a lot had to deal with her accepting the animalistic instinct inside of her, but I was just really not a hundred percent impressed by her.

The story and Juliet's character did start to pick up near the end of the novel, and then BAM! it ended and I was really upset because it was all going so well speed, plot and character wise and I was just so disappointed when it ended!

However, this book, despite it's slow parts in some places and the tricky characters, I'm still very impressed and very intrigued to see what happens next! I have a lot of hope for the sequel because the way this story is going and the way it is planned out will only get better.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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