Publication: January 29th 2013 by Balzer + Bray
Format: Paperback, 420 pages
Source: Own, bought from Fullybooked
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
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.
The Madman’s Daughter completely blew me away. The synopsis doesn’t really give you any forewarnings to the events that take place in the book. Moreover, the gruesome and insane imagery you’re being thrown at. Let me just tell you right now, this is not your average YA.
I really liked Megan Shepherd’s writing. It’s very gothic as it is compulsive. Her vivid descriptions of the horrors that happen in the novel gave me goosebumps and it made me put down the book several times. But I found myself enjoying it nonetheless. I’m a real sucker for anything creepy and spine-tingling.
Another thing that I quite liked is the setting and the time period. I thought the 1800s was perfect for the atmosphere of this novel. It’s a dark era for sure and it made the read all the more chill-inducing.
There’s also a love triangle here. A very complicated and tiresome love triangle at that. It’s not that I don’t like it. It’s just that it kind of gets in the way of the plot. Also, I have never read a character like Juliet who jumps from one love interest to the other. Honey, you’re making my head spin with your boy problems and indecisiveness. I don’t even know which boy I ship her with. I also feel pity for Edward because I think he wasn’t given a fair chance at this love squabble. He was shut out.
The plot made me guessing what was going to happen in the next chapter. There’s a great amount of thrill and suspense in here. By the time I got to about 3/4’s of the novel, I was setting down the book more and more. So many wonderfully shocking revelations and I ate it all up.
The horrific elements of the novel bothered me. I was reading this particular scene and I thought, this is too much. It was spewing it out too much macabre details. Surprisingly though, I was a bit fascinated by it. Just like Juliet…
The ending was completely unexpected. I had not see that cliffhanger train coming. I really wish I had picked up the sequel so I can continue on with the story.
I think The Madman’s Daughter is an insane novel for the YA genre. It goes great lengths to give us a good scare or two. It almost made me mad. Just kidding. Nonetheless, it was dark and delicious read.