What a great twist on a classic story. The Madman's Daughter is a spinoff story for The Island of Dr. Moreau by HG Wells. While you can read this book without reading the other, I encourage the reading of both. Especially to see where the inspiration for this book comes from. Some parts follow very closely the story of Wells' book and others quite different. In particular is Megan Shepherd's original character, Juliet.
Juliet is the daughter the the infamous Dr. Moreau. She is 16 and orphaned on her own. Her father fled the country after information about his scientific experiments got out and her mother died several years later. From wealth to poverty and ridicule Juliet has not had the easiest life. Yet she is smart and educated. Quite knowledgeable in science, especially for a woman of that time. I must say I liked her inner strength and while she is may be unsure of her own "unlady-like" interests I simply find her ahead of her time.
She runs into her childhood friend (and her father's assistant) Montgomery who informs her that her father is alive. Against his better judgement she insists on being taken to him. On their journey to the island they come across a man named Edward. And the three of them, along this Balthazar (Montgomery's assistant) go to the island.
There things take a turn for the twisted. And anyone who has read The Island of Dr. Moreau know what I speak of. For those that have not, read it or this for more information. What I will say is that Dr Moreau is a very dedicated, and obsessed scientist. His experiments come above all else in his life. And that can come with unexpected prices for everyone.
Dark, often psychologically twisted with some romance and madness thrown in this adventure. We get some borderline steamy scenes between Juliet and Edward and Juliet and Montgomery. Both men very different and both seem to have their own secrets. I could never trust either own of them and yet was drawn to learning more about them. Although my favorite character was Balthazar. Sweet Balthazar who is quite caring, protective and puts others above himself. While he is a minor character in the story he is a great one. And dear, innocent Alice, whom I wish I had gotten to know more in this book. Even Dr Moreau had qualities that draw you in. So I must say Megan Shepherd did an amazing job with each character.
This story is very engaging, and well-written. Also thought provoking at times. Is Dr Moreau mad? The mystery behind each character keeps you guessing their intentions and what secrets they may possess. Who can Juliet trust? Each time you get a bit further, a new question to ask yourself arises. It makes for a very thrilling read.
Overall, I highly recommend this book for older teens and adults. There is a bit of something for all readers although the love triangle romance does have the book geared more toward females. The is some action, adventure, creepy science and more to be discovered!