So… I was vaguely familiar with the story of The Island of Doctor Moreau when I started this, and the only reason I’m saying that is because this story is inspired by the one by H.G. Wells.
I think the summary says it best with 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 will admit right up front that historical isn’t really my thing, but ever since I read the summary for this book I had been dying to get my hands on it. And I’m glad I did because I ended up really enjoying this story. Shepherd does an incredible job of showing us this world that Juliet Moreau is living in.
Juliet is the daughter of the infamous Dr. Moreau. She’s currently working as a maid after her family’s fall from grace. The rumors that her father was performing terrible experiments was the catalyst and then he disappeared. At the age of sixteen she’s lost her social status, her mother, her father and the boy who was her best friend Montgomery. But she finds out that her father is alive and well and living as a castaway on an island and so begins her trek to get back to her him. Only, she discovers things about her father that probably should never have been revealed.
Shepherd has created a story that is just a bit dark and twisted, a story that was unpredictable and while I knew that there was going to be a big twist at the end, I didn’t even guess it because I was too engrossed in the story itself to speculate as I turned every page. This story is filled with secrets that demand to be uncovered, suspense as you turn each page and even a little bit of romance and relationship drama.
I loved Juliet. She was smart and strong and fearless, and I loved her wit and sass. On an island filled with men who wanted to tell her what to do, she took care of herself for the most part and she was an amazing protagonist.
I even liked Montgomery and Edward for different reasons of course. But I didn’t love either of them, like I’m prone to do while reading about lovely boys. And there is a bit of a triangle here just to give you a heads up, but honestly the romance bit of this story kind of falls to the wayside in the wake of the suspense and clever plot.
Shepherd pulls you in with rich and descriptive writing that takes you to the island, and with all the twists and turns this novel offers, you’ll be turning pages wondering just what’s going to happen next. Fans of horror and those that like a bit of creepiness to their story, even those just looking for something a bit different will definitely want to pick this book up. And the end.. well, it has me waiting for book two to see what our dear Juliet will do next.
Thank you to Harpercollins and epic reads for the advanced copy of this book for review.