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."- Goodreads Summary
The Madman's Daughter is not a book for the faint of heart. I hope I'm not spoiling anything by saying this but Ifeel like there should've been a warning packed with it. The warning should've said something along the lines of: 'Caution! Not for a fan of princesses and rainbows and unicorns!' Which, sadly enough, I am. Meaning I like a good character, struggling against evil and, in the end, winning. This is not that story.
To be sure, there was plenty of struggling against evil. Although the lines between good and evil were blurry. After all, when Juliet was 10 her father disappeared after a scandal that shook the wealthy people of London. He was presumed dead and, scarily enough, people hoped he was dead. Because Juliet's father was, simply put, mad. As in the crazy, insane, delusional kind of mad. When Juliet loses her job she comes across a fork in the road. She can either travel across the ocean with her ex-best friend and find her delusional father or live on the streets and most likely become a prostitute. She chooses the former, setting in motion a chain of unlikely and dangerous events.
The plot was exciting, stunning, and brilliant in a twisted way. It made the book unputtdownable and I ended up reading the entire thing in one sitting. It was both shocking and unpredictable and I ran the plot over in my head hours afterwards, wondering why I hadn't guessed what was going to happen. The twists kept the story alive but I did feel that some, at least one of them, was unnecessary and unrealistic. I will admit that they kept my interest but they weren't what I as the reader wanted- hence the warning. I don't know what I expected but it wasn't that. However, I realize that I should praise the author for her mind-blowing plot and story. This book was something new, something unlike what I've ever read.
Juliet was an interesting person. Having her father leave at age ten and watching her mother slowly die of consumption at age 14 was enough to leave scars on a girl. She hardened and perhaps the loss of her family caused Juliet to crave attention. In any case, the addition of a love triangle in her life seemed a little much considering what Juliet was dealing with. Don't misunderstannd me, Juliet was a strong heroine who made some tough decisions. They weren't always wise but she was going through a lot. Her trust in her dad was believeable because she remembered him as the man who read her bedtime stories. Not the monster. The two boys making up her love triangle were both deserving of her love. One had a history with her and was loyal, while the other was a caring individual who put his life on the line for her. They could get a bit possessive but they truly cared for her.
Although, like I said, The Madman's Daughter is not a book for the faint of heart, it is a book with a gothic element to it that many teens will find to their liking. It is something fresh and exciting and unusual. I am eagerly waiting the next book in the series.