Tuesday, March 5, 2013

THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER

The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)Book Review:  The Madman's Daughter

Author:  Megan Shepherd
Published:  2013
Series:  The Madman's Daughter #1

You should all know by now that historical fiction really gets me going.  I love it!  So I've pretty much been waiting since I first saw this book (October) for it to come out.  Reviews are calling it dark and demented...I can't wait!

The Setting
If you can't tell from the title, Juliet is the daughter of a well-known surgeon, or rather madman, as he's been banished from London for his "experiments".  When her mother dies of illness, and her father is presumed dead by the authorities, Juliet is forced out of her luxurious living and forced to work as a janitor at the college where her father used to teach.  While slipping into the college late at night, Juliet finds evidence that her father is living, and may still be in London.  But upon further investigation, Juliet finds her father's old servant boy (and old friend), Montgomery, with a crippled beast setting up a ship with supplies to sail back to her father.  Desperate to flee London and to find out if her father really is guilty of his crimes, Juliet boards the ship with Montgomery and heads toward a desolate, lush island. 
For weeks on the ship, Juliet questions both her and Montgomery's loyalty to her father.  Almost to their destination, a castaway is rescued from the ocean and barters his safe passage with Juliet and Montgomery to her father's island.  Enter love triangle, darn it!  Little does Juliet know that the secrets of her father's island are as dense as the habitation.  Because something is killing the natives and threatening her father.  What secrets are Montgomery and her father hiding from her?  By getting to know her father can Juliet figure out the strange feelings trapped inside of her?  And will the love triangle ever end between Juliet, Montgomery and the castaway?

What I LIKED about this book
I loved the dark aspects of this book.  Let me be honest, I don't think The Madman's Daughter is a book for everyone.  But if you enjoy a somewhat demented edgy plot, then this is for you.  For example, the screams from monsters her father is creating keep Juliet up at night.  Not your happy-go-lucky fantasy type of tale.  
The twists in the ending were unexpected and shocking.  I felt they really added to the plot and helped explain some of the problems on the island.  This book, while having elements of Frankenstein, also felt like a mystery.  It even had a somewhat enjoyable romance!

What I DISLIKED about this book
The love triangle.  While other things are happening in this story beyond the love triangle, it was still annoying.  Although if you can make it to the very end I think the love triangle will make more sense to you.  I'm trying not to give anything away here!  I think part of the bad reviews for this book could be due to the ending.  It's a pretty big cliffhanger and sort of a disappointment.  But come on!  This is a series!  This is not the last time we'll see these characters!   

Parting Thoughts
Overall I really enjoyed The Madman's Daughter, giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars.  It was an original gothic tale that really has no competition for plot in YA fiction.  Read this if the dystopians and fantasies of YA literature are boring you!  It will also appeal to romance fans, although the ending may result in you throwing the book against the wall!  It's upsetting and maddening (no pun intended)!

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