The Madman's Daughter

Paperback | December 23, 2013

byMegan Shepherd

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For fans of Libba Bray, this first book in a gothic suspense trilogy is inspired by H. G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau and has been hailed by New York Times bestseller Carrie Ryan as having "beautiful writing, breakneck pacing, a pulse-pounding mystery, and an irresistible romance."

Following accusations that her scientist father gruesomely experimented on animals, sixteen-year-old Juliet watched as her family and her genteel life in London crumbled around her—and only recently has she managed to piece her world back together. But when Juliet learns her father is still alive and working on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the old accusations are true. Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward, Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's insanity. 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.

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From the Publisher

For fans of Libba Bray, this first book in a gothic suspense trilogy is inspired by H. G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau and has been hailed by New York Times bestseller Carrie Ryan as having "beautiful writing, breakneck pacing, a pulse-pounding mystery, and an irresistible romance."Following accusations that her scientist father gr...

From the Jacket

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid and trying to forget 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's alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she's determined to find out...

Megan Shepherd grew up in her family's independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The travel bug took her from London to Timbuktu and many places in between, though she ended up back in North Carolina with her husband, two cats, and a scruffy dog, and she wouldn't want to live anywhere else. She is also the author of the Madman...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1.05 inPublished:December 23, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062128035

ISBN - 13:9780062128034

Customer Reviews of The Madman's Daughter

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Try for a Debut Novel Despite having easy readability, the book was hard to go through because of the lack of plot buildup in the beginning. I already knew once I started reading that Juliet would end up going to see her father wherever he was, and the romance (love triangle) felt so forced. I also would have liked a better buildup in regards to the chimeras instead of knowing about them instantly (whether through heavy handed foreshadowing or through blatantly being told so, I don't remember). The setting was an interesting one, but at the same time I was bored by it because there wasn't much interaction with it; the plot was mostly about Juliet, her boring love problems, and how she was just as mad as her father. So much of the story was telling instead of showing, so there wasn't much that I could speculate about and that made me bored. When I did think that I got a hint of something, it was only explained away in the next chapter - like with the medication Juliet taking being similar to the chimeras - and there was not much suspense. I was just tired of hearing Juliet talk about how she really was her mad father's crazy daughter, and how she was trying to decide between two lovers - I wondered if this was what it was like reading Twilight. The end got really interesting, though. Once a certain character died, the plot finally started intriguing me and things that I didn't expect started happening. Edward's true past and trouble with his 'father' was a great reveal - I didn't like how he turned out in the end, though. While it was also obvious that Dr. Moreau experimented on Juliet when she was born, what exactly it was that was done was a good discovery - I know wonder what consequences that may have in the future. Even though things finally started heating up, I did read through rather quickly just to get it over with, so I skipped over any answers I might get to the few questions I had - and I don't really have any desire to go back again and have them answered. These things probably were answered, but I skimmed through to more important part just because I was tired of reading the book. Things went by too quickly, too. I didn't really get much of a hint at a plot - what was the overarching purpose? Of course, I could still come up with one, but it felt rushed with Juliet meeting Montgomery, going to the island, meeting Edward, etc. I would've preferred more suspense and a goal for Juliet besides who should I chose to love and how do I get off of this island. Dr. Moreau also didn't feel important enough even though everything was because of him, and the interactions between him and the others didn't give off a significant feel - he came off too flat. This book is a debut novel, and it felt like it; I usually don't notice something like that, but the writing felt too sloppy or awkward in some places. It also seemed to try too hard at being Gothic in the beginning with Juliet's ease at doing 'madman' things (this was a problem throughout the story, too) and how she described Balthazar's disfigurement being not quite that (like with Mr Hyde's 'unknown disfigurement' despite having a decent face). The end was good, though - without it, I would've given the book 2 stars (2.5 if it were an option). I felt upset with Juliet about deceiving Balthazar, but the outcome wrapped up the story much nicer than I thought it would've. I discovered that this was a trilogy in the middle of reading this and I was disappointed because I thought it was a standalone; I didn't want to read three books of love angst, but this ending gives me a reason to read the next book (otherwise, I think I would've stopped with this one). I still suspect that Edward is still alive, so there still may still be more love triangle bulls*** in the future, but I feel better prepared to put up with what may come in the subsequent books. While it had a rough beginning, the book was still easy to go through and the content was interesting enough to hold the book together. The love triangle and constant reference to Juliet being a madman's daughter were annoying, but with the way things turned out the book was still a worthwhile read.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review from This is the Story of My(Reading) Life Great success! I've finally read The Madman's Daughter. I've kept meaning to, but you know how it is, books you desperately want to read never get read. Until I was browsing my libraries audio downloads and saw that this was available, so perfect, onto my phone you go. And let me tell you guys, this is the best audio I've ever listened to. The narrator was bloody fantastic. Her emotions were perfect through Juliet's voice. And she easily conveyed the creepiness of the island. If you haven't read The Madman's Daughter(hell, even if you have) I highly, highly suggest getting it on audio. Megan Shepherd's story telling is amazing but I really think the audio book made it that much more better for me. I've constantly stated that I'm a character driven reader, but The Madman's Daughter is one of those books where the characters kind of took a back seat for me. And that really surprised me. I've heard nothing but fantastic praise for this book, but in theory this book really isn't a Brittany book. I'm a massive pansy. Honestly, I scare so easily. I don't watch or read anything thats got that hint of a scare factor to it. The Madman's Daughter is a very dark and gothic novel. Shepherd doesn't hold back on the graphic descriptions. If even the word blood makes you queasy than I give you fair warning that there is more than blood and gore. Anyhow, why The Madman's Daughter surprised me and took me out of my normal comfort zone is because I was fully sucked into this gothic and gruesome horror story with strong characters but an even stronger story. You go on this journey with Juliet to a very mysterious and disturbing island where her supposed dead father resides. The island and its creatures are where I was riveted to the edge of my seat. There's something unknown and pretty much disgusting at every turn. What the hell is Juliet's father creating? Guys, this book is just brilliant. Juliet is a sixteen year old orphan. Her family used to be apart of London's high society, until her brilliant surgeon father was shamed and cast out of London for practicing unspeakable surgeries. Thinking her father dead, her mother struggles to keep herself and Juliet feed. After her mother passes away Juliet starts to work at the local hospital as a maid. But Juliet has always been fascinated with the human body and medicine. She used to watch her father in his study and lab. She knows more about muscles, bones and organs than any of the university students studying to become doctors. One night Juliet's life really takes a different turn when she becomes witness to some university students doing some unnatural surgeries on a rabbit. Of course that distresses her, but even more so is the notes and diagram she finds them using; it's her fathers. How did they get it? She quickly steps in and stops the boys and that just turns her life upside down. She now has to run and run she does. Right into her families old house servants son, Montgomery. She hasn't seen him in years. She's in total shock but that shock just intensifies after he eventually divulges that her father is still alive and living on a private island. Juliet demands that Montgomery takes her with him. Montgomery is very hesitant but eventually agrees. After weeks at sea the ship comes across a boy, Edward, hanging by a thread of life in the water. After rescuing him and Juliet not being able to get much of a story from him, she decides she's become to fond of him to not bring him to the island with her. So this is where Juliet, Edward and Montgomery arrive at the Island of Doctor Moreau and Juliet starts to realize just how mad her father has become. Juliet is a fantastic heroine. She's strong but also so unsure. She wants the love of her father after being so long without a parental figure. But the father she thought she remembers from her childhood is not what she gets. He is a horrible man. He has created unspeakable human like creatures and believes there is nothing wrong with the work he's doing. He is mad. Juliet is disgusted with his work but also a little bit fascinated and that makes her wonder just how mad she is. Juliet intrigued me. Her life is literally turned upside down. She arrives in this new world to find her father alive and has to navigate through her all over the place feelings and this island. Everything is anew and beyond reality that her unsure actions felt really on par with the story. These unnatural creatures are a phenomenon and on one hand they shouldn't be alive but on another they have a beating heart how can she think to destroy them? As a reader I was just as confused as Juliet is. I was discovering a new mystery with every turn of the page just like Juliet. Juliet also has a heavy love triangle going on with Montgomery and Edward. Like Juliet, there wasn't a ship I was going down with over the other. Both guys very much interested me but I also knew they both had major secrets and that left me a little weary. Particularly Edward. His story just didn't make sense. Like I mentioned recently, love triangles are either a love a hate for me. There is no in between for me. And although I won't be adding Edward or Montgomery to my fictional boyfriend list(long list) I was fully invested in this triangle. It could have gone either way for Juliet and I really found the "outcome" a little jaw dropping. The island is a character all of its own. Its mysteries is what kept me turning pages. What are these monsters? As maddening and hateful as Dr. Moreau is what he has created is brilliant and as a reader I needed to know more. The Madman's Daughter is a truly dark and gothic thriller. It takes you through late 19th century medical experiments that leave you feeling disturbed. I feel weird saying it but I thoroughly loved this book and may have found a new love for the horror genre. I need to get my hands on the rest of the series now. Even though The Madman's Daughter is technically a stand alone and gives you a complete story arc. The ending leaves you satisfied but needing more. And needing it right away.
Date published: 2015-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect A page turner. Lots of action and suspense. Keeps you guessing until the last page. A fairly easy read and well worth the purchase.
Date published: 2015-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The madman's daughter Such a captivating book. Couldn't stop to put it down. Very good read:-)
Date published: 2014-04-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great start to a new series The Madman's Daughter is about a teenage girl named Juliet who works as a cleaning girl at the local medical school, pretty much the only job she can get after her father disgraced their family when he ran away before being tried for crimes of illegal medical experimentation. Juliet's mother died years ago so she's been left on her own. After a run-in with one of the creepy professors causes her to flee, she begs her father's assistant Montgomery to take her to the island where her father is. On the journey there, they pick up a castaway named Edward and once they get to the island, Juliet finds that her father has been experimentating on animals to make them as human as he can. If it sounds familiar, the book is a retelling of HG Wells' The Island of Dr Moreau. First, I did enjoy this book. I don't read a lot of horror, not even YA horror, but the plot intrigued me enough to give this a try and I did read The Island of Dr Moreau when I was younger. I would suggest not googling the medical terms in the book because the pictures that come up are both horrifying and heartbreaking. The book describes the terms well enough so you don't need medical knowledge and you still get a pretty clear and disturbing picture of what's going on in the experiments. Juliet is the kind of character that I love. She's a survivor. It would have been easy for her to give up on herself so many times through the book, or for her to have hardened herself. Instead she's compassionate, she's smart, she's brave, and she's strong. There's definitely some plot twist in the book, especially toward the end. Some I saw coming, some I didn't. The book started off strong with the events at the medical school and Juliet running away but it evened out a bit in the middle parts and, unfortunately, that made it easy to set the book aside without the urge to pick it right back up. Once I got to the last 12-15 chapters though, the actions picked back up and I finished it in one sitting. There's a lot of emphasis on Juliet, her figuring out the secrets of the island and her father, and her development, and with it being in her POV, there's a bit of a lack of development for other characters like Edward and Montgomery, the two boys who make up a bit of a background love triangle. We do learn things about them but they didn't feel as fleshed out as Juliet's character. I definitely did enjoy reading it and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
Date published: 2013-03-27

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Editorial Reviews

“Unexpected twists and a cliffhanger ending that should leave [readers] craving more.”