Blurb (from Goodreads):
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 rating: 4 of 5 stars
“The world knew my father as a villain. I knew him as the thin man in a tweed suit who carried me on his shoulders during the Royal Guard’s parades. I needed to know which man my father was – the monster, or the misunderstood genius.”
This was a really creepy and entertaining story, with several twists to the tale!
I really liked Juliet and the other characters in this book. I felt sorry for Juliet and everything she had been through with her father being labelled as a madman, and her mother dying and leaving her an orphan. The poor girl really was all alone in the world, and with no money, and no-one to help her, I could understand why she would want to go to a strange island to possibly be reunited with her long-thought-dead father.
“I should have told Lucy she couldn’t visit. Where I was going, she couldn’t come. It was a bit further than Bedford.
Montgomery opened the door, clearly surprised. “Miss Moreau. What are you doing here?”
The carpetbag fell at his feet. My heart was racing.
“I’m coming with you,” I said.”
The storyline in this was pretty good, and I liked that it was creepy in places! The not-knowing what experiments Juliet’s father was really doing, the screaming of the animals from his operating room at night, the way he so calmly tried to drown someone, and the question over just how wicked he really was all added to the tension, and then the twists really started piling up!
“Father folded his hands. “I am in pursuit of the ideal living form. Just like all of us, wouldn’t you say? The same reason we choose mates and procreate. We want to create something better than ourselves. Perfection. To me, perfection is a being with the reason of man but the natural innocence of children – or animals. I have come so close to achieving it. You have no idea how close.””
There was some romance, and it did turn into a love triangle, with the question being whether Juliet would choose the dashing Edward Prince, or the servant boy, turned mad-doctor’s assistant Montgomery, and it really wasn’t clear which one she would pick until almost the end of the book!
“Juliet, don’t tell me you didn’t know. Montgomery’s been in love with you since the day you found him again. Long before that, come to think of it. He’s been in love with the mere idea of you for years.”
“We’ll go back to London and none of it will matter. It’ll just be you and me Juliet…”
The ending to this wasn’t perfect, and I have to say that I’m really intrigued to see what happens in the next book in the series. This wasn’t a total cliff-hanger, but it wasn’t the ending that I was expecting either, and I really want to know how things work out!
““We belong together. Not to serve your father’s mad experiment. But because we’re the same.” His open palm covered my heart, just grazing the exposed skin above my collar. I gasped at his touch. Fear and thrill were divided by such a fine line that I couldn’t tell which plucked at the tight strings in my chest. And was he really so wrong? I did know about the darkness he spoke of.”
8 out of 10