Book Review / Books / Literary Women

Book Review: The Madman’s Daughter

First of all, Happy 2015!

I could think of a better way to start the new year than with a post about a book that was so incredible that it absolutely blew my mind.

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd is a victorian horror story inspired by The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. The Madman’s Daughter tells the story of 16-year-old Juliet Moreau who lives in London working as a maid.

She is quiet and keeps to herself especially after all the accusations about her father being a monster. She attends church and lives a modest life.

She prefers to keep to herself to because of her father’s crimes. Her father was accused of doing unnatural experiments that created gruesome creatures.

Juliet believes her father is dead and when she finds out he is still alive on an island and he is up to no good Juliet wants to see for herself what her father is up to.

Her fathers assistant Montgomery and castaway Edward take her to the island where her father is. There is something about Edward and Montgomery that draw Juliet to them. So when they get to the island and Juliet sees first hand what her father is up to she is mortified to see that the rumors are true and her father is up to no good.

Her father is experimenting on animals so that they talk and act like humans. Juliet can’t understand what her father is doing but she knows it is wrong and she wants to stop him but how do you stop a madman? To make matter worse one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the inhabitants of the island. What is Juliet to do? Can she save the animals and people that have not be affected by her father’s crazy ways and experiments? What will Edward and Montgomery do? Will Juliet become a monster like her father?

You can expect an intense thriller riddled with secrets, deceits, and plot twists that take you around and around like a loop-de-loop.


This book has left me speechless. It’s packed with grit, savagery, and intensity making it both memorable and terrifying at the same time. At first, it was rather slow moving and I began to worry that I wouldn’t enjoy it but after a few chapters it became totally addicting. I could not put it down.

Shepherd creates some vivid and real visual images with descriptions of the island that it makes the reader feel as though they as submerged in the world itself.

My favorite part of this addicting story was the different and exciting characters. Every single one of the character has a flaw, including our female protagonist Juliet. However, she’s determined and compassionate. Every time things didn’t go as planned, she handled it realistically. Her father screwing her over? She felt betrayal, but moved on. She didn’t whine and I loved her curiosity to preserve and find answers.

The character development and changes that island’s inhabitants go through are incredible; from being civilized to savaged, Juliet slowly learns the horrifying truths about the island and her father. I couldn’t help but feel for her– I found myself gasping along with her revelations. I have never been more shocked with a book. Usually you come to gradually expect the twists and turns in books, but not with The Madman’s Daughter. There was never a dull moment and never second where I could safely say I knew what the fate was for these characters. I even found myself weeping over a few of them. Especially, dear Balthazar.

Yes, there is a love triangle and as someone who tends to get annoyed by love triangles, I urge you not to let this deter you from every other aspect of The Madman’s Daughter.
The love triangle is not just a plot device used to add a little romantic tension to the story; the plot and the love triangle bounce off each other, and they give each other fuel to propel each other forward, and that was my absolute favorite part of the romance part. If you want to know where I stand on the Montgomery-Juliet-Edward debacle, you only need to take one look at my GoodReads progress updates for the book. Montgomery, you’re a gent, I’m sure. But, my heart belongs to Edward!

The best part of The Madman’s Daughter was, most definitely, the plot. Every single plot twist was completely unexpected, but that particular twist was tied in so well to the remainder of the story that, if were you scrutinizing every line, you would have had an inkling of a chance to correctly predict what would happen next. The pacing was so well done and the plot went from a spike, to a brief period to regain your state of mind, and then a spike again, over and over until the very end.

The worst part? THAT CLIFFHANGER AT THE END. The one final plot twist to wrap up the book had me scolding myself for not learning that I couldn’t trust these characters by the end and expect something like this to happen. In that moment, I felt as betrayed as Juliet. Emotionally destroyed was not how I planned to spend my 3am. I had originally expected to be asleep, but I got so caught up in the book and wanting to know more that I finished it there and then.

Evidently, I highly enjoyed The Madman’s Daughter. If you’re in the mood to get stuck into a spine-tingling thriller please check out this book, I’m begging you. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, I promise you that you’ll be glad to have read a book with such a unique concept.

I will definitely be purchasing book two as I am currently craving more. The Madman’s Daughter is a strong competitor against The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer for book that was love at first sight.


1 Comment

  • Lizzie the Sarcastic Blonde
    February 23, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    I absolutely LOVED this book! The book kept me on the edge of my seat and I didn't want to put it down. I was hooked! Team Edward forever! Also, I love the cover of you edition. It's creepy and beautiful! Thanks for visiting my blog! New follower!


Leave a Reply