Kayla Beck's Reviews > The Madman's Daughter

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
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Apr 11, 14

bookshelves: 2013-release, fantasy, historical-fiction, horror, mystery, paranormal, retelling, young-adult, 2014-read
Read from February 14 to March 05, 2014

Review originally posted on Bibliophilia, Please.

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd is a difficult book for me to review. It's one that was not a bad book, just not something that swept me off of my feet. I think this may be a problem that I have sometimes with reimaginings that are infused with quite a bit of romance. And, truth be told, I don't have a lot of luck with YA horror. That being said, The Madman's Daughter is a reworked classic that stands well on its own.

Starting on a positive note, Juliet Moreau is a YA heroine that I can definitely respect. After being "orphaned" previous to the events in The Madman's Daughter , she found a job to keep her off the streets and out of brothels. Any lady who can make it (even barely) on their own in 19-20th(ish) century London is impressive in my book. I loved how she would not take no for an answer when she set her mind to something, even though most of it was folly. Juliet did get annoying when the love triangle surfaced (yes, there is one of those), but I'll make allowances for her because women tended to be a little silly when it came to love in her time period.

I love old school sci-fi and horror, and I enjoyed the very dark novel that The Madman's Daughter is based on, The Island of Doctor Moreau . There are parallels between the two novels, but The Madman's Daughter is its own book. The Island of Doctor Moreau focuses more on the horrors that the narrator, Prendick, faces on the island. The Madman's Daughter has some of that horror, but is more of a love triangle needing to be sorted against a dark backdrop, making it more appealing and accessible to young readers than its predecessor.

The problem that I had with The Madman's Daughter is what I said before - the romance. It takes away from the tension that is created by the horrors of the island and what Juliet's father has been doing. I found it hard to care whether or not Juliet, Montgomery or Edward survives the island when their focus is more on each other. By the time the plot thickened and there were twists to the triangle, I really didn't care what they did.

Though The Madman's Daughter wasn't my favorite, it's still a book with merit that I know a lot of readers will enjoy. I may not finish this series of Shepherd's, but I will be following her future work with interest.
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Reading Progress

02/14 marked as: currently-reading 5 comments
03/05 marked as: read

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