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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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The Madman's Daughter

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The Madman's Daughter Cover

ISBN13: 9780062128034
ISBN10: 0062128035
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For fans of Libba Bray, this first book in a gothic suspense trilogy is inspired by H. G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau and has been hailed by New York Times bestseller Carrie Ryan as having "beautiful writing, breakneck pacing, a pulse-pounding mystery, and an irresistible romance."

Following accusations that her scientist father gruesomely experimented on animals, sixteen-year-old Juliet watched as her family and her genteel life in London crumbled around her—and only recently has she managed to piece her world back together. But when Juliet learns her father is still alive and working on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the old accusations are true. Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward, Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's insanity. 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.

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid and trying to forget the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he's alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she's determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward, Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the secret of her father's new life: He experiments on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. 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.

About the Author

Megan Shepherd grew up in her family's independent bookstore in North Carolina. An avid reader and world traveler who spent several years in the Peace Corps, Megan now lives with her husband in Asheville, North Carolina. The Madman's Daughter is her first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

slsteckler, May 31, 2014 (view all comments by slsteckler)
I was smitten with this book. I didn’t think by looking at the cover that I would fall so madly for this book but I dreaded the day I would finish it. It was one of those books where I wanted to read it slowly to enjoy the ride yet I couldn’t put the book down. Once living among the elites, Juliet is now learning what it is like to work for a living and trying to keep her head above water. I don’t feel that bitterness is in Juliet’s vocabulary, I think it is the mystery of the unknown that leads her to discover the truth of her father’s whereabouts. She is once fierce and determined teen and when she climbs aboard the ship sailing for the island that is supposed to house her father, I fear for her safety. I know what horrible people can become under harsh conditions and when you put a bunch of sailors on a ship headed to an isolated island with the likes of Juliet, I was hoping she knew what she was getting herself into. The passage way to the island sets the stage for what is in store for Juliet once she arrives on the island. Once Juliet meets her father, I am overcome with the same emotions as Juliet. Why, oh why? He left his wife and Juliet to move to this island, why? His research seems to be so important to him, why? He never told her he was alive, why? How can a loving father do this, I was lost and the words on the page where not coming fast enough. As her father’s experiments screamed into the night, Juliet paced the floor and I tossed and turned all night.
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The Lost Entwife, December 14, 2013 (view all comments by The Lost Entwife)
I have a weakness for classics remade by a modern author. I have thoroughly loved reading books that take their inspiration from great stories and authors, and The Madman's Daughter does this beautifully by taking H.G. Wells's story The Island of Dr. Moreau, and putting a new, fresh spin on it. At times gruesome, other times horrifying, and sometimes spine-chillingly terrifying, Shepherd manages to still capture the attention of this skittish reader and I found myself reading until nearly 5am just to figure out what happens.

While I've had some experience with Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau has never been high on my list to read. It is now. And it is for that reason (and I'm sure many others have now put the book on their to-read radar) that I am grateful to re-explored classics. I finished reading The Madman's Daughter and I felt compelled to pick up the next book. I had to have it - now. Thankfully, I managed to get my hands on an advanced copy or... seriously, there's no telling what would have happened.

I had seen some buzz about The Madman's Daughter late last year and it had always been my intention to check it out but what made me ultimately take the leap is the gorgeous cover. The book was sitting on the shelf at my library and I had to read it now. I picked it up, brought it home, and cracked it open without regard for my scheduled readings. I wasn't disappointed.

The Madman's Daughter is the story of a girl who was once the daughter of a prominent surgeon but now struggles to make ends meet after her father was labeled a madman. She believes him dead - and now, she's on her own as her mother has also passed away. She struggles with what you can imagine young girls struggle with: the unwanted attentions of older men, the decision of how to make a life for herself, and the curiosity and desire to know what exactly was going on under her own childhood roof. Then, one day she stumbles into an old friend/servant and her life changes. But does it change for the better?

Imagine taking a leap of faith and sailing to an unknown island in the company of someone that you haven't seen in years. Imagine being completely surrounded by lies and half-truths and trying to figure out just what it all means. That's what was captured in The Madman's Daughter and why it was so riveting to me. But that's not to say that it was perfect. I felt as if the ending stretched a little too much. That's saying something when talking about science fiction, but it still has to remain somewhat believable. I found myself wincing a bit, but willing myself to just accept it because I was having too much fun to think too hard about the faults of what I was reading. And, ultimately, that's the most important thing: to create a story that even the things that normally bug readers can't detract from.

I highly recommend The Madman's Daughter to those who are looking to veer away from the zombie apocalypse novel-types and are looking for something a bit different with the same sort of feel. I think this book would appeal to a wide range of readers and, if nothing else, will catapult a new generation of kids into reading one of the greats: H.G. Wells.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780062128034
Author:
Shepherd, Megan
Publisher:
Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Subject:
Children s-Scary Stories
Subject:
Horror & Ghost Stories
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
20131231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 8
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
8 x 5.3125 in 10.4 oz
Age Level:
from 13

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction » Europe
Children's » Scary Stories » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Science Fiction
Young Adult » General

The Madman's Daughter New Trade Paper
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Product details 464 pages Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - English 9780062128034 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid and trying to forget the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he's alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she's determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward, Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the secret of her father's new life: He experiments on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. 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.

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