Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Release Date: April 11, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Add it: Goodreads
London, 1894. Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself-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 rumours about her father′s gruesome experiments. But when she learns her father is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations were true.
Juliet is accompanied by the doctor′s handsome young assistant and an enigmatic castaway, who both attract Juliet for very different reasons. They travel to the island only to discover the depths of her father′s madness: he has created animals that have been vivisected to resemble, speak, and behave as humans. Worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island′s inhabitants. Juliet knows she must end her father′s dangerous experiments and escape the island, even though her horror is mixed with her own scientific curiosity. As the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father′s genius-and madness-in her own blood.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Madman’s Daughter. I had heard a series of things describing it prior to reading, and generally it has been well received in the blogosphere, but it wasn’t one that was all that high on my list considering I have 500+ other books to read. But I was lucky enough to receive a copy for review copy, and so The Madman’s Daughter shot up in my TBR list.
Once again, I’m doing one of those lists, because I’m having a difficult time forming proper paragraphs.
Things I Liked:
– The mystery. I liked being kept on my toes throughout the book. I had my suspicions, and they settled in very early on, but I didn’t trust anyone and I found myself questioning my theories.
– Creepy factor. Despite what everyone has been saying, I didn’t find this to be all that creepy. However, it was disturbing. There were animal experiments involved, and vivisections. NOPE. No thank you. Juliet’s father was the most disturbing thing about the novel. On the outside is a guy who can act normal, but what he truly is is a master manipulator. And he truly thought that he work was the right thing to do. It was awesome and it gave me shivers.
– The setting. The setting – for the most part – was a beautiful, tropical, isolated island complete with a jungle. I thought it was really well described, and it felt like I was there with Juliet as she explored. Or as she was being chased.
– The pacing. I think that Megan Sheperd did a great job with the pacing of this book. The beginning kicks off straight away, and the introductions are mingled in with the plot, which worked really well. From the moment Juliet sneaks into King’s College to the very end, the pacing is quick and I was kept intrigued.
– Montgomery. I loved Montgomery! I can’t go into much detail with him, but I will say that I thought he was a very well developed character. I desperately hope to see more of him in the sequel.
Things I Didn’t Like:
– Juliet and her whalebone corset. Juliet is against animal experiments, vivisections – she understandably calls it butchering – and hurting animals, and yet she continues to wear these corsets whilst on a tropical island and away from civilisation. I just didn’t get it. Why would you be so outspoken about the subject of butchering animals, and then wear a whalebone corset? Juliet spoke many a time about how she wasn’t a lady, and didn’t wish to be treated as one. It was clear to me that she didn’t like the way society treated women, and so why wear the bloody corset all the way through the novel? And why complain about it constantly? This probably seems like a silly thing to get upset over, but it was annoying me throughout the whole novel.
– The romances. Will instalove just leave me alone? I don’t think it’s funny any more. There’s also a love triangle, but I didn’t mind it so much in this book compared with others. I thought that the triangle itself was well done. But the instalove was not. There was little development between Juliet and her love interests, especially since she had been separated from Montgomery for years. I needed more bonding, and more scenes of the two of them getting to know each other again.
– Diseases and things. The doctor says that the island – being isolated – is free of disease and infection. But surely, if there are traders sometimes stopping by, and animals being shipped from far off lands, and Montgomery going to and from London, there should be some diseases being brought back, no? I don’t know if he was lying when it came to the disease thing, but it just didn’t make sense. Again, this is a minor thing, but I wanted to mention it because I can’t stop thinking about it. I know, I’m weird.
Overall I think that The Madman’s Daughter is a great debut packed with thrilling scenes and a lot of mystery. It was a very good read for someone such as I, who loves being kept in the dark until the very end. Even if my theories were all correct. I’m not showing off, I promise.