Feb 8, 2013

[Review] The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Megan Shepherd
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: *signed TO ME* Hardcover
Source: Malaprop's Bookstore
Age Group: Young Adult
Date Published: January 29, 2013
The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)

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.

OH MY GOODNESS. I loved the crap out of this book. I loved everything about it, from the characters to the plot to the plot twists and even the love triangle (it was an excellently written love triangle). I especially loved how Megan Shepherd managed to capture the feel of Victorian England and make Juliet seem strange as such a free thinker. And I seriously loved the way Juliet was dirty in that way stuffy British people are (she has some wickedly funny thoughts about her two love interests). It was just fantastic.

So, Juliet and her mother were forced out of their high-standing, society positions when Juliet's father was run out of England because of some scandal. He went missing, and so did the family's servant, Montgomery (we shall come back to him. Because he's sexy). Dr. Moreau was presumed (or hoped) dead by most. When Juliet's momma died, she had to take work as a maid. She ends up having to leave town, soon after she runs into the aforementioned Montgomery, and learns that her father is alive and goes with Montgomery to her father's island (i.e. the Island of Dr. Moreau). On their way there, they pull a young man out of a life boat who appears to have miraculously survived a shipwreck. (This is where the love triangle begins) The three of them end up together on the island and there are a lot of delicious plot twists and dark descriptions and character development and romance and other wonderful book things. And the ending was the biggest twist of all, because I so didn't see it coming. I was all, "Oh this book is totally predictable, I know what will happen!" but then... no. It was amazing.

I love Juliet with every ounce of my being. She's brave and wonderful and selfish and analytical and I just love her so much. I did in fact say selfish. It made her human and believable. She wants both boys' affections, even though she leans towards one much more than the other, because she couldn't get enough of having a man be interested in her for her (something that hadn't happened... ever). And I so couldn't blame her. She had a crazy-as-all-heck daddy and needed some normalcy in her life. She was just such an amazingly created character and I can't wait for more of her in the next books.

Montgomery was always my favorite. Sexy, blond, smart, shy, sweet, harsh, bold- did I say sexy? I just... can't control my feels toward this guy. From the first page he's mentioned, I was rooting for Montgomliet (Juligomery?)... anyways, I wanted them together. He's just wonderful. Even if he's done some bad stuff, he's still perfect, because he's imperfect. That's one thing I really loved about this book. All of the characters were so perfectly real and human that I was in love with all of them. Each had their own demons, some bigger than most, and each dealt with it. I didn't like Dr. Moreau per se, but he was incredibly well-written.

I do like Edward, too, but he was clearly the Jem of the situation (for the Infernal Devices fans), some girls are gonna love him, but I prefer the one with the potentially dark past and who isn't the nice, proper gentleman. Edward was nice and protective and huggable, but not my type.

The Madman's Daughter is perfect in every way possible. It combines my favorite things in YA (the writing, the love triangle, the strong heroine) into one creepy-as-heck book that I just couldn't put down. I have to give it 5 'staches!

Recommended for fans of: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, City of Bones, Clockwork Angel, Shatter Me (really any book I've really loved!)

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