Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Book:  The Madman’s Daughter
Author:  Megan Shepard
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Date: January 29, 2013
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
My grade:  A

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.

Initial reaction

Cover story
I like the cover pretty well.  The combination of the cover and title made me curious enough to read the blurb and that got me to read the book, so I think that’s the point.  And the long dress is actually period appropriate, so that’s good. 

What’s the story?
So this book is sort of a retelling of The Island of Dr. Moreau.  Now, I knew the title of the original, but I’ve never read it.  So I did what anyone else would do…..I looked it up on Wikipedia!  I read the summary and that helped me get a handle on what was going to happen to a certain extent.

This book was unlike anything that I’ve read recently.  It’s almost a horror novel, straight up.  Some of the scenes were so, so disturbing.  Frequently, I found myself gasping aloud or putting my hand over my mouth in shock.  I found the storyline to be absolutely riveting.  I could barely tear myself away from this book and I found myself thinking about it a lot when I had to stop reading.  I could not turn the pages fast enough.

I really like Juliet.  She had a lot of spunk.  I loved the way she would fight for what she wanted.  I also like Montgomery, even though I was often disappointed in his actions, especially the last one!  I really grew to like Edward and I’m really curious about him now.  I guess I liked all the characters except for Dr. Moreau and he really was a total jerk face.

I really loved the way the author pieced together the story, dragging you along by feeding you little crumbs of information and then turning around and punching you in the gut with some sort of reveal.  It was amazing!  Torturous, but amazing.  I also loved the way she created the world on the island.  I felt as if I could see all of it like a photograph or painting because she described it so vividly.  In fact, she brought this story to life so well that I am now curious about the original and really wanting to read it as well.

The only thing I didn’t like was the cliff hanger from hell at the end of the novel.  I’m pretty sure my mouth gaped open for 15 minutes or more at the end of the book.  When I finally recovered enough to gather my senses, I immediately ran to my computer to make sure that there was another book coming out.  If not, I figured I might have to send hate mail to the author. : )
I cannot recommend this book enough.  If you want a book that is extremely unusual, totally creeptastic and full of surprises around every corner, pick up this book.  You will not be disappointed.


No Spill Blood by Oingo Boingo

Yes, unbelievably, someone actually wrote a song about The Island of Dr. Moreau…..

Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace

Monster by Meg & Dia

Monster by Skillet

Who Will Love Me Now by PJ Harvey

The Final Grade
My final grade for this book is an A.  I loved it and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book.  In the meantime, I may have to go back and read the original H.G. Wells version just to see what it’s all about.

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