July 21, 2013

Review of The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd


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.

add to goodreadsThe Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter #1)
by Megan Shepherd
Publication Date:  January 29, 2013
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray

Available for Purchase:


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Gabby NewI was interested in reading author Megan Shepherd’s The Madman’s Daughter after I finished with the indie horror game Mad Father. I read that the book was as dark and disturbing as Mad Father and that fans of the game would fall in love with The Madman’s Daughter. So naturally I had to start reading The Madman’s Daughter and I wish with every fibre in my being that I had gotten to read the novel earlier! It was fantastic! Brilliant! Definitely one of my favorite reads of all time.

The Madman’s Daughter is inspired by The Island of Doctor Moreau and follows sixteen year old Juliet Moreau who has been living in London and working as a maid ever since her mother died and her father disappeared. There are dark rumors surrounding her father involving his experiments that were gruesome and may or may not have involved butchery. It’s not until Juliet comes across a piece of paper with her father’s name literally right on it that she comes across Montgomery, her childhood friend and ex-servant, that she discovers her father is still alive.

Going with Montgomery all the way to an island off of Australia along with a castaway named Edward, Juliet finds herself on an island where her father has declared himself God and has created the island’s inhabitants by experimenting on animals to turn them into disfigured creatures that are made to look like (and act like) humans. Juliet is both disgusted and intrigued by what her father has done but he knows that in the end she must stop her father for what he’s doing is wrong and against everything he should believe in. Trapped on the island, Juliet learns that there is a dangerous monster lurking in the forest that is killing off the inhabitants and that Montgomery and her father may be keeping secrets that will change her forever.

The first thing I noticed about The Madman’s Daughter that made me fall in love with it was the writing style. Right off the hop from the first four pages I got a feel for just how dark the novel would be. Shepherd’s writing brought everything to life. I could see the foliage on the island, I could see just how disfigured the island’s inhabitants were. I could imagine the scent of London and the feel of Juliet injecting herself with her needle every day. Her writing was out of this world and detailed to the point where everything just played out for me like a movie. I absolutely adored it.

The Madman’s Daughter does have a love triangle between Edward, Juliet and Montgomery. Personally I really enjoyed it because it wasn’t the main focus and it wasn’t something that was being shoved down your throat. Readers will actually be able to enjoy this love triangle. Just as Juliet discovers more about the island, herself and the secrets clouding both Edward and Montgomery’s readers will be cheering on one romance more than the other. What I really liked was that the romance in the novel didn’t overpower the actual plot which focuses on Juliet, the island and her father’s evil genius.

The plot is one that kept me guessing until the very end. I was so in love with everything that happened to Juliet and everything that she learned while on the island. From when the novel starts and she is saved from Dr. Hastings to the ending that left me screaming (literally screaming)—I was absolutely in love with this read. I cannot wait for the sequel and for those of you who have read this novel you know that with that ending anybody would want to know what happens next to Juliet.

I would recommend The Madman’s Daughter to readers who are looking for a novel that will keep them reading until the very last page, fans of romance and readers who want a novel with an ending so unexpected and crazy that they’ll be left begging for a sequel.



Megan Shepherd was “born” into the book world, growing up in her parents’ independent bookstore in Western North Carolina. She is the author of THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER trilogy (Balzer+Bray/2013), and THE CAGE trilogy (Balzer+Bray/2014). When Megan is not writing, she can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains. She is represented by Josh Adams at Adams Literary.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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