The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd is a gripping horror story inspired by the H.G. Wells classic book, The Island of Doctor Moreau, which shocked and horrified readers over 100 years ago when it was first published in England.
We first meet Juliet Moreau living alone in London working as a maid and barely making ends meet. She is forced to live this way since her mother died of consumption and her father, once a famous surgeon, left town in disgrace. Then, by chance, she meets Montgomery, her father's assistant, and learns that her father is alive and living on an island in the Pacific. Juliet insists that Montgomery take her to her father. He begs her not to come, but she would rather risk the unknown than become destitute on the streets of London. Enroute she and Montgomery renew their childhood friendship and Juliet believes that her father will be happy to see her when they finally arrive. One day, as the ship nears the island, they discover a small boat floating in the ocean with a man aboard. His name is Edward and is just barely alive. Juliet and Montgomery nurse him back to health. Edward and Juliet seem drawn toward each other and soon a bit of a love triangle emerges. But this does not in any way make this a romance book. It is a thriller all the way.
When they finally arrive at Dr. Moreau's island Juliet is unprepared to the horrors that await her there. And so was I. Having never read HG Wells tale, I was unprepared for what awaited our characters as they started their new lives on this remote island.
Teen readers should flock to this book, especially those who like reading thrillers or the horror genre. Making it additionally more attractive to some readers, it has a lot of adventure and mystery, and, as I said before, a touch of romance. The Madman's Daughter is the first book in a planned trilogy by Shepherd. The second book, Her Dark Curiosity, set to be published in January 2014, is inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The Madman's Daughter has already been optioned for movie rights.
My team of librarian friends and I had dismissed The Madman's Daughter from our list of potential Mock Printz books without reading it. But I am now placing it back in the consideration pile. It think this book has too much to offer teen readers and is certainly worthy of book awards.
I consumed The Madman's Daughter in the audiobook format. Lucy Rayner was the narrator and she did a remarkable job. I do love listening to audiobooks so much!
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30 books this Summer Reading Challenge
16 / 30 books. 53% done!