Review: The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd (TBR Pile Challenge and It’s New to Me Challenge)

January 29, 2016 Uncategorized 20

The Madman’s Daughter is a book I’d wanted to read for a long time.  I believe some time last year I won it in a giveaway on another blog.  But I keep forgetting to leave notes in those books to remind me when I blog about them.  This is the 2nd book by this author that I’ve read.  The first was The Cage, which is not related to this story at all.  Once again though, this author has written a story that is very unique.  I love that it is a retelling of a classic story, while not a fairy tale, still a story that is great to have more insight into. 

Basically it is kind of a retelling of The Island of Dr. Moreau.  Or more precisely not necessary a retelling, but some additions to the story.  The main character for us is Juliet, who is the daughter of Dr. Moreau.  Her father left her and her mother when she was just a girl.  He left because whatever kind of experiments he was doing were considered against the laws of nature, and he was chased out by the other doctors and scientists of the time.  As far as Juliet knows, he is dead.  Because she and her mother had to work at horrible low paying jobs, and lived terrible lives.  Juliet is 16 years old, and of course has an interest in medical science, as well as quite a vast knowledge of it thanks to her father.  But all she can do now is work as a maid at a college nearby.  But one day she discovers her father’s old assistant is in town.  Montgomery was about her age, but because he was a boy, her father took him in and taught him to be his assistant.  She finds out from Montgomery that her father is still alive, and on an island where it seems he has continued his experiments.

As I mentioned, she works as a maid.  And one of the men she works for is kind of a jerk.  After she has a bad interaction with him, she decides she must leave town, and so she insists that Montgomery take her back with him.  They do, but the ship ride is long, and it is on an older, sketchier ship.  On the way the ship rescues a man who is floating by himself on a raft in the middle of the ocean.  His name is Edward, and he says he’s from a well-to-do family back in London.  While they are on the island, her father tries to get Juliet and Edward together, as he feels they would be a good match, and he could take care of her back in town.  But Juliet still feels an attraction to Montgomery, which she’s unsure if he reciprocates.

Now the island is full of genetically modified animals that are now very human like thanks to her father.  While they mostly seem to follow his rules, some are growing uneasy and unhappy.  Not to mention there is someone or something on the island that has begun killing.  Dr. Moreau takes the medicine away from his creatures in punishment, and then all chaos breaks loose.  Making it a fight to stay alive, and figure out how to get off the island.

Really an interesting way to make this story come alive.  I’ve never actually read the original story, but have seen the movie, the newer one.  This story makes me want to go back and watch the movie again, especially since I didn’t really enjoy the movie, but think maybe now I will.  Maybe watching the original instead.  I’m looking forward now to reading the next book in the series, and I was glad to read that it would be based on another story instead of just a continuation of this one.

And this book also will count towards two of my challenges:  TBR Pile, as well as the challenge I’m hosting this year:   It’s New to Me.  It’s not too late to enter into my challenge either!

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20 Responses to “Review: The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd (TBR Pile Challenge and It’s New to Me Challenge)”

  1. AngelErin

    I loved this one! The Island of Dr Moreau is a great story too. I loved this whole series. I hope you enjoy the rest too when you get to read them. 🙂

    • Lisa Mandina

      This was definitely a unique story, although I'm not sure I can say I loved it exactly. But it was good enough I want to read on and see where the author goes with the next one. Glad you liked it, I'll be able to read on with some confidence.

  2. Shooting Stars Mag

    I don't know the original story, but this sounds like a really good adaptation! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Question about your New to Me Series challenge- does JUST the first book in a new series count? Meaning, we should just keep track of the first book for challenge purposes.


    • Lisa Mandina

      I don't think it has to be just the first book. Whatever book you start on is fine by me! Does that make sense? Like I read book #3 first when I read the Interview with the Vampire series by Anne Rice, so I would have counted that one. Thanks for joining in!

  3. Alyssa Susanna

    This whole series was good but not great for me! I gave each book three stars, year after year, which was kind of funny to me. I think Shepherd's books just aren't for me yet I can't stay away. I read The Cage and now I have The Hunt… whoops? 😀 Anyway, I'm glad this one wasn't a complete flop for you, Lisa! Lovely review. 🙂

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I can understand that. I haven't been blown away by any yet. But I feel like they're good enough/ original enough, that I want to keep going. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Amber Elise

    I've tried a few times to get into this one but just couldn't. Maybe it's because I don't generally read anything from the "monster" genre. But the concept is REALLY interesting.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I can see that. Although the monsters aren't really that major in the book I would say. But yeah, it was a very interesting concept. Thanks for visiting!

    • Lisa Mandina

      Agreed, it was definitely a unique story! So far it seems as if the ones I've read by the author all have that little bit of uniqueness to them. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Diane Coto

    Hi, Lisa – I've never read the original story or saw the movie, but the story line of this book intrigues me. Very nice review! 🙂
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

    • Lisa Mandina

      It's definitely an interesting premise. Can't believe you'd never seen the movie! Although to be fair, not sure I've actually seen the entire movie all the way through. Thanks for visiting!

  6. Danielle H.

    I don't know anything about the story that this book is based off of, but it sounds different than anything I've read before. I appreciate your detailed and honest review–I'm not sure now that this book would be right for me.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, it was just okay for me. Nothing too great. But I will try to read on since I do have the next book in the series.

  7. Megan

    I'm so happy I read this review because I DID read The Island of Dr. Moreau in high school senior literature and absolutely HATED it. We also read that pig book. Ugh. Lord of the Flies! Hated that one as well. But I think I may actually give this book a try. I wasn't sure about it because it's his daughter and it takes place on the island but I think I'll give it a shot. Thanks!!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I think I tried to read the original and couldn't get into it. I loved Lord of the Flies though. You should give it a try if it sounds good! Thanks for stopping by!

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