Published January 2013 by Balzar + Bray|317 pages
Where I Got It: I own the e-book
Series: The Madman’s Daughter #1
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Gothic/Suspense
For fans of Libba Bray, this first book in a gothic suspense trilogy is inspired by H. G. Wells’s The Island of Dr. Moreau and has been hailed byNew York Times bestseller Carrie Ryan as having “beautiful writing, breakneck pacing, a pulse-pounding mystery, and an irresistible romance.”
Following accusations that her scientist father gruesomely experimented on animals, sixteen-year-old Juliet watched as her family and her genteel life in London crumbled around her—and only recently has she managed to piece her world back together. But when Juliet learns her father is still alive and working on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the old accusations are true. Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward, Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s insanity. 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.
I’ve been wanting to read The Madman’s Daughter for a while, and I finally read it! I have mixed feelings about it, though.
It was definitely slow, and there were more than a few times where I was bored, waiting for something interesting to happen. It seemed like there was filler scattered throughout the book.
But there was something very gothic and suspenseful about the book, and I really liked that! There is something slightly unsettling about the book and the things that happen, especially with what Juliet’s dad is up to. I didn’t particularly care for him, but there was something very mad scientist about him. Her dad is slightly interesting as a character, with why he does what he does. That was definitely surprising.
I can’t imagine the scandal that Juliet had to deal with, and it went a lot further than I ever thought it would. She is such a sympathetic character, and I felt for her, especially with how she built her dad up, only to have it come crashing down. She didn’t have a lot of options, so I can’t blame her for not wanting to go. But her slight acceptance of what her dad did was a little frustrating. But I understand her curiosity too, and I feel like I probably would have reacted the same way if I were in her shoes.
I’m not sure how I feel about the love triangle. That there is one isn’t surprising, but I don’t have strong feelings either way.
I really liked the island setting! It worked so well for the book and it definitely added a creepiness to it that it wouldn’t have had otherwise. It added to the feeling that there is no escape from what was going on, and I don’t think it would have worked as well if it were set somewhere else. But at the same time, I wonder how different the book would be if it were set in a town or village.
I wonder if my mixed feelings are partly due to the fact that it was inspired by a H.G. Wells story. I don’t know if reading it would have made a difference, but I may pick it up eventually to see where Shepherd got her inspiration from.
2 stars. It was just okay, and I wasn’t terribly invested in the characters or what was going on, but it was pretty suspenseful, and Juliet was pretty sympathetic. I’m not sure if I’m going to read the other books or not, but maybe one day I will.