The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Retro Review

The Madman's Daughter 
by Megan Shepherd
Young Adult Dark Fiction Audiobook 12 hours 50 minutes

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.

My Thoughts

This is a young adult novel with a love triangle. You have been warned.
“Edward and Montgomery were suddenly both by my side, each taking an arm.

My face burned as I looked between them. Two boys, two sets of hands on my wrists. One rough and calloused, the other strong yet smooth. My emotions knotted tighter, threatening to cut off my circulation.”
I picked it up knowing this and expecting the above because I was seduced by the plot. The “madman” is actually Dr. Moreau. Yes, that Dr. Moreau. The one who, in my dreams, creates these lovelies:

Dr. Moreau was basically run out of town and his reputation ruined after his nefarious experiments came to light. He abandoned both his wife and young daughter and high-tailed it to an island. Flash-forward a few years and Juliette is now a teenager eeking out a living as a maid. She stumbles across some evidence to the location of her long-lost father and, though she is haunted by memories of him, he is the only family she has left and she sets off an adventure to track him down. She may wish she had never found that first clue before it’s all said and done . . .

I really enjoyed most of this book. It has a very well done sense of place and maintained its creepy gothic “what the heck is going on” atmosphere throughout. The love triangle was unnecessary and I didn’t give a rats patootie about it but I’m too old to care about teen crushes and flip flopping between handsome boys. I wanted more gruesome surgery scenes but what is here was enough to make me happy.
“To me, blood smelled like home.”
I liked Juliette. She fears she is too much like her father; cold, a little blood-thirsty, perhaps, maybe even a little mad. She is very honest in her thoughts and I found this realistic as well as refreshing. She was the only character who really captured my attention.

There are many twists and turns and secrets to be revealed and I was surprised more than once at a few of the reveals but if I’m being honest it was way too long. Probably 80 or so pages too long. The backdrop, the horror (quite repulsive at times) and the evocative writing elevates this above most of what’s out there and the ending was perfect. If this interests you check it out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

I listened to this on audio and the narrator didn't drive me crazy so I can easily recommend it.


  1. I read this book a few years ago and actually liked it as well. I always wanted to read the other two in the trilogy and maybe I will some day. I liked that it had a darker theme and although I hate love triangles, this one didn't stick out too badly for me either. Glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Thanks Barb! I'm glad you enjoyed it too. Like you, I need to catch up on the sequels as well. I'm terrible with series.

  2. I read this book a couple of years ago and remember liking it, but not enough to read the second or third book when they came out. I guess once around with Juliette was enough for me.

    1. I'll probably have to skim a few reviews for book #2 before purchasing. I fear sequels will never live up to my memories of book #1 when everything was fresh and new.

  3. I remember seeing this book everywhere for a time. I wonder why I never picked it up because it sounds like something I might like. I am glad you enjoyed it. Great review!

    1. You may enjoy it Carole. I can't remember if you do audio's or not but if you do I recommend it that way.

  4. Gah. This book and I didn't get along. Besides the fact that she's stuck in an island over run by monsters and abominations, all she cared about was the two boys sniffing around her. I did not like this one at all. Lol.

    I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the books in the series, though!

    1. I'm sorry you didn't like this one but I can see your points. I must've had some extra patience that week ;) I'll probably never get to them anyway, knowing me!

  5. OMG OMG, those photos are going to give me nightmares!! On the other hand, Juliet I think I might like Juliet -- that line speaks to an interesting character~!

    1. I'm so sorry, lol! I did like the uniqueness of Juliet. So many YA heroine seem to be cookie cutter and she was certainly different.

  6. Yeah, you may want to listen when you're in the mood for driving yourself a little nuts :)


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