Review: ‘The Madman’s Daughter’ by Megan Shepherd

I’m always interested in books that feature crazy people… maybe because I’m a bit crazy myself. Add to that the possibility of reading a classic retelling and I was hooked on The Madman’s Daughter from the start… it just took me a few years to finally get around to reading this one.

Synopsis: Juliet has been alone since her mother’s death and her father’s obsession with illegal experiments sent him running from the law ten years earlier. She assumed that he was also dead, until she runs into their former servant, Montgomery, who admits to working with her father this whole time. Desperate to know why she was left behind, Juliet convinces Montgomery to take her to the island where her father has been hiding. On their way, they discover Edward, a man who has been shipwrecked and will likely end up dead if left with the ship’s crew. With no alternative plan, Edward is invited to join them on the island, but will any of them be prepared to face the secrets that Dr Moreau has been hiding all this time?

I’ve never actually read The Island of Dr Moreau by H.G. Wells, but I know the basic premise of the story and have seen adaptations of on film and television. It’s a classic story of scientific experimentation taken to the extreme, and Megan Shepherd did a good job of writing something new while still staying true to the source material.

Sadly, a large portion of this book is taken up by one of those unfortunate love triangles that really make no sense to anyone other than the author. Juliet’s attention flips between Montgomery to Edward so frequently, and so quickly, that she barely has time to stop thinking about one before she’s daydreaming about kissing the other. There really isn’t any good reason for her to like either of them, other than that they are attractive and seem to like her back. Her childhood crush on Montgomery may have played a small part in her desire for him, but she literally just met Edward and is basically ready to rip her clothes off for him the first chance she gets.

“He’d changed so much from that quiet boy. He’d had to, growing up with monsters as playmates.”
Megan Shepherd, The Madman’s Daughter

The creepy factor is what kept me interested in this book. Knowing the original story made it easy to figure out one of the major plot twists but there were still a few surprises. There were enough action-packed moments that I rarely put the book down, and while the romance felt forced the characters were likeable enough. I’m curious enough that I’ll definitely give the second book a try.

LC rating: 3-stars (creepy good, but really bad love triangle)

Other books in the series:



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