Monday, January 14, 2013

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Release Date: January 29, 2013

Series: The Madman’s Daughter (bk. 1)

Genera: Sci-fi/historical fiction

Subjects: Islands, mad scientists, science, surgical modification, retellings, love, experiments

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 420 pgs. (ARC version) 432 pgs. (Hardcover version)

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperCollins: Balzer & Bray

Summary/ product description: “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.”

My Rating: êêêê

My Review: I’m not a fan of historical fiction. I usually avoid it at all costs. Even the ones with the pretty cover. This book, I would have never read based off the cover. I won an ARC of it. I only requested it because I like free stuff, but I didn’t expect to get this in the mail. When I did, I wasn’t even sure I was going to read it. After the girl from EpicReads said so many good things about it, and finding out that it’s set on a tropical island (and not totally set in London) with creatures created by a mad-scientist, I had to give the book a try. I’m surprised to say I actually enjoyed it. I still don’t like the historical British vocab, but I could look past that too enjoy the sci-fi island adventure that this story truly is.

The beginning of the book is more gothic and dark in a historical London kind of way. Then when she and Montgomery are on the boat, it’s kind of different. But when they arrive on the Island, things get really different and awesome. It felt like a dystopian novel or a castaways survival story, except with a mad scientist. Kind of like Dr. Frankenstein’s Island, or Lost. Juliet thinks all the island “native” are deformed, but later on realizes that they are her father’s creations. This kind of surgery seems impossible to me today, even with plastic surgery, how can you make people out of animals? But since this is science fiction and a retelling, I’ll let the unrealistic science pass. The book was very thrilling with a few twists and turns that kept me guessing, and predicting what was going on.

I love the setting and the uniqueness of the story. I loved picturing a tropical rainforest island. The characters were okay, but I didn’t care for them that much. Juliet thinks she’s mad as her father. He’s a psychopathic scientist, so maybe she’s a guiltless psychopath too, or not. Montgomery I liked at first, but then I was on Team Edward Prince for a while…but I’m not sure if I’d choose either of them now.  The story itself was just so creative and exciting it blew me away. As I said, I did not expect it to be good. It was very good. I hope they do make this into a movie the back of my ARC say (Film rights have been optioned by Paramount Pictures). I had a hard time picturing what the creatures looked like, but I’m sure that some make-up or CGI/green screen could bring them to life.

I’m really wondering what the sequel will be about. Will it be set on the island again or someplace else? And will there be more, different monsters? Is Dr. Moreau going to discover genetic engineering or something like that? I can’t wait to find out. Hope when get the sequel’s title and summary soon.

Cover Art Review: Based off this cover, I would have never picked it up. This cover had historical written all over it, but it says nothing of the tropical island and the creatures that live on it. I really hope that they change the cover in the paperback version because this cover is very generic looking to me.


~Haley G


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