Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Published by HarperCollins on 2013-01-29
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
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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.
I feel awful that I am not going to be able to give this book the full credit it deserves. I read it during a busy review month, I was sick and it was so cold that my kids couldn’t get outside to play and ended up screaming beside my head most days. This all resulted in my reading it in small bursts, sometimes mere paragraphs at a time. The story passed by me in a blur, and I wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as I could have.
Despite my being distracted, it was obvious that the writing style was solid. Shepherd took a classic science fiction novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells, and made it her own. She kept the same moral and ethical debates flowing, but adding in a whole new perspective: that of Juliet, Dr. Moreau’s daughter. Due to unfortunate circumstances, she is forced to seek out her father’s solitary island, but instead of finding her beloved father and the comfort that she desperately needed, she found an all too familiar set of problems. Maybe the rumors were true…
Setting is oh, so important with historical novels. I need to be able to visualize something that I could never possibly see with my own eyes, and Shepherd definitely achieved that! She keeps it as historically accurate as possible, considering the science fiction twist. She utilizes all five senses to provide the reader with a full experience, the sights, smells and touch of a different time period. Well done!
The romance is really subtle for the most part. The creep factor was usually front and center, but there was still some well placed sexual tension. It is completely clean, all very proper. I was almost a little annoyed that there was a love triangle forming, and I believe that it will carry over into the sequel. Juliet was so distracted by her feelings for two men that she often lingered on the drama, rather than focusing on the obvious danger staring her in the face.
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