Review: The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

MMD+final+cover+hi-resSixteen-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.

PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray

PAGES: 420


Walked into the library. This book caught my eye. Recognized that several of my book blogging peers had read this book. Read the blurb. Gaped at the beautiful cover. Checked this book out.

I didn’t used to check Goodreads before checking a book out at the library, but I’ve become a Goodreads fanatic since becoming a book blogger. People seemed torn about this book, and I inevitably find myself torn at the end, like everyone else.


PG-13: This novel is a dark retelling of H.G. Well’s The Island of Dr. Moreau, and it has content that may disturb some younger readers. There’s gore and blood and it’s altogether pretty freaky.


I really need to read The Island of Dr. Moreau now…

Megan Shepherd’s writing style is perfect for this fast-paced, fantastical novel. While some readers may be frightened/creeped out by the more gory descriptive elements, I found Shepherd’s storytelling engaging and gripping. There were parts that made me utter, “Gross!” out loud while reading, but all of the creepy aspects of the novel served to further the mystery and suspense. Shepherd kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next!

I enjoyed the main character, ,Juliet Moreau, but I wasn’t a total fan of her. There was something that seemed a bit off about her.


This novel could have been so much better if the author had avoided steering into the cliché, YA territory. I have to agree with the other Goodreads reviewers when I say that the major downfall of this book was the love triangle. There was no function or purpose for it. It was just kind of there. This novel had so many great things going for it: the writing, the characters, the suspense. Montgomery and Edward were great men, but I didn’t feel the conflict between the both of them.

I’m not going to say that I hate all love triangles–some are done well. Usually, though, they detract from the overall quality of the novel. Usually, they are not done well. I’d have to say this is a novel that would’ve benefited from one love interest and I’m sad that there were two.


Cathedrals is one of my favorite bands and this song fits this frightening novel… 🙂


Overall, I’d give this book a 3/5 rating. I enjoyed it to a point, and I may pick up the next book in the series at some point in the future. My TBR pile is beginning to be compared to the Tower of Babel, however, so I don’t think that “some point in the future” will be any point in the near future.


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