London, 1894. Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself-working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumours about her father′s gruesome experiments. But when she learns her father is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations were true.
Juliet is accompanied by the doctor′s handsome young assistant and an enigmatic castaway, who both attract Juliet for very different reasons. They travel to the island only to discover the depths of her father′s madness: he has created animals that have been vivisected to resemble, speak, and behave as humans. Worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island′s inhabitants. Juliet knows she must end her father′s dangerous experiments and escape the island, even though her horror is mixed with her own scientific curiosity. As the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father′s genius-and madness-in her own blood.
I was so very intrigued when I first saw the summary for The Madman's Daughter. It just seemed to look like a really good historical young adult gothic fiction with just the right amount of creepiness to make for an interesting read. Unfortunately, The Madman's Daughter did not live up to my expectations. I wanted more and I did not get it.
The main issue I had with this book was Juliet, our heroine. I did not like her. At all. And then it got tiring because the entire book goes from her point of view and I did not want to be in her head. Juliet had a lot of things to worry about, namely her father who is supposedly mad and a strange island where all things creepy are going on. But she kept dithering between her feelings for two boys.
The whole eerie atmosphere which was built up kind of lost its point when one second Juliet was describing her surroundings and the other second she focused on her attraction to one of the boys. Can you even think of how it would feel to hold a boy's hand at a time when some creature is killing the island's inhabitants? I am also not a fan of love triangles anyways, so the romance plot was a fail for me.
The two boys who made for Juliet's love triangle were Montgomery and Edward. I really liked Montgomery. Juliet and he shared a connection since their childhood and he genuinely cared for her. While Edward was shown as a mysterious guy he did not live up to it.
The interesting parts in The Madman's Daughter were definitely the experiments the doctor was conducting. There are quite a few gruesome scenes but nothing too severe. There were some interesting twists to the story even though the pace was a little slow, but not enough to make up for Juliet's irritating behavior. The Madman's Daughter was an okay read.