Monday, October 24, 2016

#AllHallowsWeek Review - The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

 The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter, #1)
Series: Madman's Daughter #1
Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror
Age Group: Young Adult
Published -January 2013
Hardcover-420 pgs

My Rating - 3/5

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.

At the beginning of this story I was very hopeful about this book. We had an headstrong female protagonist and I was very interested to see how the interpretation of such a creepy classic would play out. However, the promising pieces just did not gel well together and I didn't love this one.

Honestly I think part of the problem with this book is something outside of the author's control. The source material, the original Island of Dr. Moreau, is quite short and doesn't have a lot of details. The original is quite mysterious and gruesome which translates well, but Shepherd had a lot to fill in and smooth over to make this an interesting and engaging story for young adults. She does a fair job, but engagement is where this book struggled.

After a strong first few chapters, this book took a bit of a nose dive. The pacing is extremely slow especially in the beginning. As soon as the story hits its stride, we get on a ship and it feels like the story hit the horse latitudes. Not only that, but that headstrong narrator I mentioned, seemed to disappear in the face of a love interest. Juliet seemed to shift her focus entirely from the dark themes of the story and her father's past to the two men she is flirting with.

Like I mentioned there is a love triangle which never sits well with me. Juliet swings wildly between the two love interests in an unbelievable way. I wasn't convinced she was interested in either one of the men because she constantly changed her mind (sometimes in the same paragraph!)

HOWEVER, the last 100 pages of this book salvaged it. The pace picked up and some of the true madness crept into the story. The darkness finally appeared and I was tearing through the pages to find out what would happen to Juliet.  Her father's madness and the revelations at the end of the story were what I was looking for throughout and I'm glad we got there even though it took a while. Even though I struggled with this book, I'm looking forward to the next one and I will continue on with this series.

All Hallows Week Kick Off

No comments:

Post a Comment