Review: The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Genre: fantasy , horror, romance Age Level: Young Adult Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Genre: fantasy , horror, romance
Age Level: Young Adult
Series: 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.


The Madman’s Daughter is at times fantastic and at others not so much. Reading it is a little like going on a roller coaster – it has its ups and downs and you never quite know what to expect. I almost DNFed it at one point because I felt like I was going nowhere. I’m glad I kept reading because I did enjoy the book.

The plot was slow and boring at times but was decent overall. If it were more balanced, the book would feel more exhilarating and action-packed. I liked how it built up slowly, never revealing too much at once. There is a lot of foreshadowing as the story gains momentum towards the climax, which occurs at the end. There were a whole bunch of twists that came out of nowhere in terms of both plot and character and I’m still taking them in. I also liked the originality of the story which becomes evident within the first few chapters.

The Madman’s Daughter is very atmospheric and vividly describes the dark and savage island, which is the perfect setting for the story. The island is filled with crazy experiments, horrific monsters and deadly secrets. Though I was horrified by what goes on, I was also incredibly fascinated. Though I know that Dr. Moreau’s experiments are not possible, it opened a slew of questions pertaining to what it means to be human, a theme that interests me. How far can science go? How much power should man hold? These questions and more are addressed in The Madman’s Daughter.

The characters were all very interesting as they all reflected the duality of human nature, my favourite theme. None of them were all good or all bad – all possessed some positive qualities and some negative ones. Juliette at times is an unlikable character as she does a few things that are questionable. I also think she is a little inconsistent especially when it comes to the love triangle. For such a strong person, she gets way too caught up in triangle and her thoughts flit back and forth between the two guys which is extremely annoying and eye roll worthy.

The ending is really great – suspenseful and tense. Enough of the plot is resolved to be satisfying but a lot is left open for the next book. The giant cliffhanger at the end almost left me yelling at the book but I’m very happy with how it ended. I can’t wait to read the next book!

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear from you!


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