Thursday, May 30, 2013

Book Review : The Madman's Daughter

  • Release Date: January 29, 2013 
  • Genre: Sci-Fi/Historical
  •  Pages: 432
  • Publisher: Blazer + Bray (Harper Collins Children)

Synopsis : 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. . . 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.

. . . and you thought you had father issues. Juliet Moreau's life has been world of hardship since her disgraced father, the mad Dr. Moreau,  abandoned her family leaving them to ruin. Years later a chance encounter leads Juliet to her father and his mysterious island inhabited by strange islanders.

Now with just her mad father, a former servant and the mysterious castaway Edward Prince, Juliet learns that the strange island of Dr. Moreau has more secrets than what lays in the doctor's laboratory.

Based on what I've read about the original story, The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G Wells,  this novel  is more of a  "based on" story with original characters and plot points added in, including Juliet and a seemingly standard love triangle.

Juliet is a decent character, she wasn't a  a maiden in distress but she wasn't really memorable. We kept being told that she was a little mad (like her father)  but I just didn't really see it. She does have her moments in the book and I liked how she wasn't overly passive.

The novel has it's eeriness (I mean vivisection is a real thing. eeck !)  and there is a bit of a twist ending, however, the novel is so fast paced that I would have liked it to slow down and allow us to get to know the characters a little bit better. It seems everything that we need to know has already happened so we are coming in halfway through.

A lot of times when I read historical the "fiction" part and the "historical" part don't always blend, but Shepard handled it seamlessly. The historical aspects didn't feel forced. The writing had a modern twist but stayed true to the time period.

I found this book hard to reviews because I kept trying  to figure out how it fit into the mythology of the original story, Because so much of the "world building" is already set up what I really expected from this book was a little more characterization. instead I found this book to be more of a "based-on" story, I don't think one really even needs to know the original story to enjoy it.

The Madman's Daughter is a good"inspired by" read with an ending that will keep you reading into the night. Sheppard's debut novel has solid plotting and setting but left me wanting a little bit more from a few of the characters.


  1. This book is on my way and I'm looking forward to it. I like historical aspects! It's a shame that it was a bit too fast, but it sounds good enough! :) Mel@thedailyprophecy.

  2. Great review! I like that the author was able to incorporate the fiction with the historical aspect but I am really not a big fan of rushed novels.. I recently read one and I like it when a novel has a normal pacing. Still, I really want to give this a try!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  3. Great review!! I've heard such great things about this book!! I hate that it was rushed and the characters were lacking, but glad you still enjoyed it!! I want to read it now just for the ending :D


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