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.
Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.
Juliet Moreau is young, penniless and close to being homeless. It didn't used to be that way. Her father, Doctor Henry Moreau, was a very successful surgeon and they lived very well. Then the accusations came and Juliet's life as she knew it changed. Her father disappeared, rumored dead, and as years pass, her mother dies from consumption. So it's a fluke that Juliet runs into medical students performing an experiment with one of her father's papers.
With some investigation, she finds Montgomery James. He was a servant in their household and disappeared when her father did. He explains that he left with her father; they reside on an island. Juliet insists she go back with him. She wants to see her father alive for herself and ask him directly if the accusations were true.
On the long journey, a boy is found near death in a small boat. They bring him aboard and Montgomery brings him back to health. His name is Edward. It's here that the love triangle begins to make itself known. Juliet finds herself drawn to both young men, and they her. When they arrive on the island, Juliet is delighted to reacquaint herself with her father, and he insists on pairing her up with Edward and marrying her off.
Things aren't right on the island though. The good doctor experiments and creates islanders that are at times horrific and others docile and humane. When a monster makes itself known on the island, bodies piling up left and right, it has many in the compound questioning who it could be. Juliet not only questions that, her father's choices and her own matters of the heart, but she also questions her own morality. Although she believes what her father is doing is wrong, she is also intrigued by it all.
I had a very hard time putting this book down. Juliet is a believable character who is not only strong, intelligent and curious, but also gullible, witty and sassy. I really like her. The love triangle I expected, and I didn't like or dislike Edward or Montgomery more than the other. It was an evenly balanced shrug - not one of them outshone the other. Now, the good doctor I had a love/hate relationship with. At times I was horrified with what he was doing and at other times, I was intrigued. He's definitely a mad genius. There are twists and turns, budding romance, suspense and great world-building and a big cliffhanger at the end. I can't wait for the next installment - Fantastic Book!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.