ARC Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)

The Madman's Daughter
by Megan Shepherd
Hardcover, 432 pages
Expected publication: January 29th 2013 by Balzer + Bray
Goodreads | Amazon 
My Rating: EPIC

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.

"To me blood smelled like home..."

I have a love/hate relationship with anything goth-emo-horror.  I love to read it, but hate to be scared or creeped out.  Terrify me and I resent you.  But do nothing and I shall call you "bunny".  See you can't win.

I remember The Island of Dr. Moreau movie when I was little.  My older brothers were obsessed with it and kept it on repeat in the VCR.  While I was usually around when it was playing, I can only remember snippets from covering my eyes.  When I heard this was inspired by that, I knew the meat of the story but the potatoes were still foggy.  So reading about the relationships of the characters in this novel was new and unmarred. Yet I doubted there was much that could get to me at my age.

So with much doubt, I embarked on reading this novel (at my own risk).  It gave me waking nightmares!  I can't get the twitching rabbit out of my head.....GAH!  Even when I said bunny earlier I thought of the one in the book and it made my flesh crawl.  Ewww.  And yet I read this front to back with my morbid curiosity driving me.  I couldn't stop turning the pages no matter how gross or eerie things got.  The ending was more a relief... I felt as if I had escaped the island of Dr. Moreau.   Nonetheless, this was an exciting journey.

The dynamics of the characters was complex.  There was no definite evil person or saint.  At times Juliet was as fragile as a lamb and others where she was as fired up as a wildcat. Dr. Moreau was no cookie cutter villain either.  There was much to each character then first observations.

There were enough elements sure to captivate the adoration of every reader:
♥ romance
♥ suspense
♥ action
♥ mystery
♥ religion cults
♥ murder
♥ monsters

This was also way more mature than your average YA book.  You will find yourself forgetting that the character is only sixteen.

This was definitely retro with an edge of creepy!  The cover fooled me.  It looks like one of those historical fictions with language that will put you to sleep long before the story line catches.  But rest assured, the gore picks up right away.    The narrator's solemn situation and peculiar circumstances keeps you turning. The romance was only dished in hints, then it was right back to crazyville.  Insane & magnificent in it's freakiness!

Even in my dreams I can't escape the mental imagery of this novel which is why I have no choice but to rate it "EPIC"!


I could wax poetic on the many things I loved about this but I'll leave the rest for you to discover on your own.

I look forward to future novels this author has to offer.

*I received an ARC from the publisher for review and honest feedback.


  1. I just started this book last night and I am so glad you enjoyed it! I can't wait for the action and romance to revv up now. Great review =D

  2. Waking nightmares huh, this is my kind of book! I saw you reading this in Goodreads and after this review, I'm sold!

  3. I don't do scary well. Or creepy. Or... whelp this one isn't for me, but I'm mad that I'm such a punk because it sounds like a good read.


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