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Historical Fiction > The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd (Group Read November 2014)

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message 1: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)


message 2: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments The group read for November is now open.

If you need to talk about any major plot points (minor story details don't need to be tagged), please use this code to put your text inside of a spoiler tag and make a note of whereabouts in the book you're talking about so people know if they've read far enough to be able to click on the tag :




message 3: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments I just finished the first chapter (view spoiler)


message 4: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments Okay, cancel what I said. I take it back. Chapter 2 (view spoiler)


message 5: by Anna (new)

Anna | 199 comments Stacia (the 2010 club) wrote: "Okay, cancel what I said. I take it back. Chapter 2 [spoilers removed]"

I'm through chapter 16 and in chapter 14 (view spoiler)


message 6: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments I'm going to wait to click that until tomorrow. I should be caught up by then.


message 7: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (last edited Nov 05, 2014 03:36PM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments I'm up through chapter 14 now, so I clicked on the spoiler. (view spoiler)

I know Angie started but I don't know if she'll check here or not. Has anyone read The Island of Dr. Moreau or seen one of the movies? If this retelling follows even close to the basic structure of the original, I already know what's going to happen, and what's wrong with Juliet...but I'm curious to see how it's all going to play out over the course of three books, since the original is only one book and I don't recall there being (view spoiler). That's where I'd like some clarification to see if I'm remembering this right, since it's been a while from the time I'd watched the Val Kilmer movie (the newer version, not the original).

But...if there is a connection, these would be the movie counterparts. You can click on spoilers if you've read up through at least chapter 12 or so (guesstimating).

Moreau.


Juliet (view spoiler)


And I guess Val Kilmer would be the assistant role of Montgomery but I HATED him in the movie. About Montgomery in the book : (view spoiler) I couldn't find any halfway decent pics of him from the movie though for some reason.

It describes (view spoiler)


message 8: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments So I do like how the book seems like it's not going to shy away from things getting creepy.


message 9: by Angie (new)

Angie (pinkindle) | 828 comments I haven't read the original or seen the movie, so I have no idea where this is all heading!

I just finished Chapter 20, and while I'm HIGHLY disturbed about what Juliet saw in her father's lab, I am also 100% intrigued and can't stop reading! If I wasn't watching a movie with my mom later, I'd probably be able to finish tonight. I might still be able to if it keeps me hooked enough to stay up a little later.


message 10: by Angie (new)

Angie (pinkindle) | 828 comments And upon finishing Chapter 25, I have a theory about Juliet...(view spoiler)

Must keep reading!


message 11: by Anna (new)

Anna | 199 comments I'm really enjoying the Victorian era customs. Not mentioning legs in mixed company even if they belong to a table and making sure one's ankles are covered in mixed company. I think it adds to the romance and amplifies the creepiness factor. I'm glad the author didn't try set it in present day.


message 12: by Angie (new)

Angie (pinkindle) | 828 comments Maybe it's just me, but does anyone else want to give Balthazar a big hug?


message 13: by Angie (new)

Angie (pinkindle) | 828 comments I'm done! I really enjoyed that! I'll be starting Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter, #2) by Megan Shepherd tomorrow!

In regards to Edward at the end: (view spoiler)

And that ending?! What, what?! I'm so glad I requested both books!


message 14: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments Angie wrote: "I haven't read the original or seen the movie, so I have no idea where this is all heading!

I just finished Chapter 20, and while I'm HIGHLY disturbed about what Juliet saw in her father's lab, I ..."


I did a search for the more recent movie and couldn't find it on Netflix or Prime but I am DvRing it this Monday from the Independent Film Channel. Not sure if you get it, but it might be worth checking out.

I'm up through chapter 22 now, so I clicked on your chapter 25 spoiler. I have a similar guess, based on what I know from the original story. Obviously, you've already finished, so you probably know, but I am assuming that she is (view spoiler)


message 15: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments Anna wrote: "I'm really enjoying the Victorian era customs. Not mentioning legs in mixed company even if they belong to a table and making sure one's ankles are covered in mixed company. I think it adds to the ..."

I always like little details like that in a story. It makes me feel like the author did their homework.


message 16: by Anna (new)

Anna | 199 comments Angie wrote: "And that ending?! What, what?!"

I know! I'm not sure which option (view spoiler) would be better. They both seem fraught with danger.


message 17: by Diane (new)

Diane | 1234 comments I am starting this now - I hope I can catch up with the discuuson


message 18: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (last edited Nov 09, 2014 11:52AM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments No hurry, Diane. We'll still be here to discuss.

I just finished. I liked the book and was happy that the second half did veer off from the original because it was almost too similar for a while, which I don't want from a retelling (I want to see a new perspective).

The ending was predictable but still good (view spoiler)

I almost think this book should have been a stand-alone from the way it ended. Yes, I have curiosity about (view spoiler)


message 19: by Christie (new)

Christie (cereale) Just started the book today. I am intrigued.


message 20: by Diane (new)

Diane | 1234 comments I am on chapter 30. I like the suspense and the writing style very much. It reminds me of an older movie in the way it does not get too graphic. I find the concepts very thought provoking and disturbing but not really scary. This also is putting me in mind of The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1) by Rick Yancey


message 21: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments I think the mood is more chilling than the events themselves. Have you gotten to the scene where she goes into the lab yet? I don't remember where it was at but (view spoiler)


message 22: by Diane (new)

Diane | 1234 comments Yeah that was a disturbing scene - I cannot imagine being in her shoes. I would have freaked out.


message 23: by Angie (new)

Angie (pinkindle) | 828 comments I kept thinking of The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1) by Rick Yancey while reading too! They definitely had the same vibe.


message 24: by Rachel (last edited Nov 11, 2014 05:45AM) (new)

Rachel | 560 comments I'm moving kinda slowly through this one, but only because RL is getting in the way. So far I really like it, though!

Can't wait to click on some of the spoiler tags


message 25: by Anna (new)

Anna | 199 comments Stacia, I was curious so I read The Island of Dr. Moreau and like any retelling they are the same but different. Juliet doesn't even exist in the original and Edward (view spoiler) and the book is told from his POV. In general, the slow disclosure of whats happening on the island and the very ending are similar but the middle is all kinds of different.


message 26: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments Right. I think Juliet was loosely based on another character but not the same at all.

I am glad that it was different enough to where I wasn't comparing every single thing because I hate doing that with books.


message 27: by Diane (last edited Nov 11, 2014 02:54PM) (new)

Diane | 1234 comments This book is evoking so much ethical questions with me (view spoiler) I realize this is fiction but it makes me think beyond the story.


message 28: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (last edited Nov 11, 2014 04:10PM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments Absolutely. People have argued for and against testing on animals for the purposes of finding life saving treatments for humans. Both sides have valid and controversial points. I didn't spoiler mark that because the animal stuff starts pretty much at the beginning of the book but if someone feels it a spoiler, please say so and I'll put it in a tag.

I also had a lot of similar thoughts back and forth between reading this book and Unwholly at the same times. Even if the subject matter is different, the ethics issues are similar.


message 29: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments I deleted the group read fantasy casting topic because it never got used, but by all means, if someone ever comes up with a picture of who they think could play the movie role, please post it in the group read topics if you're inspired. :)


message 30: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 560 comments I finished this one up yesterday and overall, I found it to be just alright. I found the love-triangle to be more annoying than fun and, tbh, Juliet kind of annoying and self-centered.

However, I did enjoy the suspense and I was eager to read to the end to find out what was really happening on the island. I only knew the basics about the classic story, so there were a lot of surprises for me.

I agree, Stacia, the end was kind of predictable, but what I didn't expect was (view spoiler)

I also agree that the book felt good as a standalone. I noticed that the next one takes on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as its inspiration. I am intrigued but I also wonder (view spoiler)


message 31: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments Oh, I definitely agree about (view spoiler)

I will probably pick up book 2 sometime in the next few days because I am curious enough to want to know what's going to happen to all of the characters. I want to know (view spoiler)


message 32: by Diane (new)

Diane | 1234 comments Stacia (the 2010 club) wrote: "Oh, I definitely agree about the love triangle being unnecessary. I think I mentioned it either here or in my review about how it didn't need to be in the book AT ALL. Just because there are two ma..."

I want to know (view spoiler)


message 33: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments I think the science behind this is just as hard to wrap one's brain around as Unwind was because it just can't happen the way it's being described. It's not possible, so you have to go with a fantasy mindset. (view spoiler)


message 34: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments Oh, and I didn't realize that book 2 was going to be a Jekyll and Hyde theme. Interesting.


message 35: by Diane (new)

Diane | 1234 comments I don't really like the Jekyll and Hyde idea and wished they would have done (view spoiler)


message 36: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments Does that mean book 3 is a third and different retelling?


message 37: by Christie (new)

Christie (cereale) Yeah Stacia it looks like the 3rd book is a Frankenstein retelling.


message 38: by Diane (new)

Diane | 1234 comments Well in the synopsis of The third book it says (view spoiler) so I guess so.


message 39: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments Huh. I would actually like to read a GOOD Frankenstein retelling. The last one I read was awful.


message 40: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 560 comments I like the premise of reworking classic novels. Not necessarily the "inspired" ones like the millions of Romeo and Juliet stories out there, but like this one. Where the story is essentially the same, the characters are the pretty much the same, etc, but there is a new twist or new perspective.

I think that's why I liked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, despite my intense love of the JA canon. :)

Are there any other good ones out there? Any recs?


message 41: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (last edited Nov 17, 2014 08:26PM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments Out of the YA re-tellings I've read, the ones I really liked were :


Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge - Beauty and the Beast (although that's not a "classic," but a fairy tale, so that's probably not what you're looking for)
Wild by Alex Mallory - Tarzan (which I would consider a classic, sort of)

CB is a paranormal. Wild is a contemporary.

I just realized that I need to read more revamps of "classics." The Frankenstein and Pride and Prejudice revamps that I read and have on my list were 2 and 3 stars - neither one was impressive.

I have a shelf for fairy tale and classics re-tellings if you want to browse it. A couple of authors on there have tackled Poe. https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...


message 42: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (last edited Nov 17, 2014 08:28PM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments Christie might have some good ideas, since she reads a lot of historical fiction. I bet she's run across a few classic interpretations which are set in historical times.

Do you prefer classics that are told in the here and now, or do you like how Madman's Daughter was set back at the turn of the century?


message 43: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 560 comments I like the books that keep the original stories pretty much intact (characters, plot, setting/time), but add a new twist like this one did (telling the story from Juliet's perspective).

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was one. I suppose Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was sort of another.

I'll have to check out the Tarzan book! I remember you saying that a good Tarzan re-telling is something of your white whale in terms of your literary bucket list, lol.


message 44: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 560 comments Hhmmmm, now that I'm thinking more about it...

What is the difference between a "retelling" and "fanfiction?" If I rewrote Twilight but told it from Charlie's perspective, does that make it a retelling or just fanfic?

Is the difference the quality of the retelling? The platform on which it's published? The "classic nature" of the story?


message 45: by Diane (new)

Diane | 1234 comments Rachel wrote: "Hhmmmm, now that I'm thinking more about it...

What is the difference between a "retelling" and "fanfiction?" If I rewrote Twilight but told it from Charlie's perspective, does that make it a ret..."


Interesting thoughts to ponder Rachel - curious what others think.


message 46: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (last edited Nov 18, 2014 02:10PM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments The only difference from what I can see is that a retelling is usually of a well-loved story which has stood the test of time, whereas fan fiction tends to be a fan rewriting a current book/t.v. show, etc. Both formats take someone else's world/creation and put their own spin on it, so they're not all that different.

Fan fiction becomes controversial when a "free" piece of fan fiction is pulled from the internet in order to be reworked and sold for money. The practice is called pull-to-publish (p2p) and a lot of people find it ethically wrong because the original author isn't making money from it (or giving their permission in most cases).

But it is weird that re-tellings aren't ever considered stealing someone else's idea or work, when someone is also rewriting another person's world or characters and making money from it.

I'd be curious to see an opinion from someone who thinks p2p is wrong but retelling is not.

I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other on the subject in general. I can see why many people don't like p2p, but I also think that in most cases, everyone ends up finding out where the new story idea came from, so the author is still acknowledged in a roundabout way.


message 47: by Rachel (last edited Nov 18, 2014 04:22PM) (new)

Rachel | 560 comments Stacia (the 2010 club) wrote: "The only difference from what I can see is that a retelling is usually of a well-loved story which has stood the test of time, whereas fan fiction tends to be a fan rewriting a current book/t.v. show..."

I was thinking the division was something like that as well, but I read this great book Among the Janeites: A Journey Through the World of Jane Austen Fandom that has a whole section about JA fanfic on the web. So why do those stories remain fanfic but P.D. James's Death Comes to Pemberley get called a "master-full recreation"?

This makes me think quality plays a role as much as the classic nature of the stories being retold or re-examined. If a "gifted" author does it (and does it well), then it becomes a retelling. But if it's just a fan writing on her computer... fanfic.

I think another big distinguishing factor between fanfic and retelling is whether or not the author is still alive. I would argue that Harry Potter is now considered a classic story and a fair amount of time has passed since the conclusion of the series. However, no one would dare publish Ron Weasley's perspective while J.K. Rowling is still alive.

ETA: I didn't even consider the whole p2p aspect, but you're so right! I would never accuse Megan Shepherd of p2p, but how is what she did not even more egregious than, say, Cassandra Clare?


message 48: by Anna (new)

Anna | 199 comments In my mind the difference between the legality of retellings and fan fiction is wether the original story and characters are in the public domain or are copyrighted.

Also what we think of as the original fairytale or fable is, in actuality, usually a retelling of an even earlier story.


message 49: by Christie (new)

Christie (cereale) Stacia (the 2010 club) wrote: "Christie might have some good ideas, since she reads a lot of historical fiction. I bet she's run across a few classic interpretations which are set in historical times.

Do you prefer classics th..."


There are a few retellings I've come across that I've really liked For Darkness Shows the Stars which is a sci-fi/dystopia telling of Persuasion and Still Star-Crossed which is not exactly a retelling of, but a sequel to Romeo and Juliet.
Neither one of them is really on the level of this particular retelling though.


message 50: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments This trilogy is both Historical Fiction and Science Fiction, but I'm going to choose to place it in HF because the time period plays a big enough role, and our HF folder is much more sparse than SF.


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