Thursday, January 28, 2016

Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd (TBR Pile Challenge and It's New to Me Challenge)

The Madman's Daughter is a book I'd wanted to read for a long time.  I believe some time last year I won it in a giveaway on another blog.  But I keep forgetting to leave notes in those books to remind me when I blog about them.  This is the 2nd book by this author that I've read.  The first was The Cage, which is not related to this story at all.  Once again though, this author has written a story that is very unique.  I love that it is a retelling of a classic story, while not a fairy tale, still a story that is great to have more insight into. 

Basically it is kind of a retelling of The Island of Dr. Moreau.  Or more precisely not necessary a retelling, but some additions to the story.  The main character for us is Juliet, who is the daughter of Dr. Moreau.  Her father left her and her mother when she was just a girl.  He left because whatever kind of experiments he was doing were considered against the laws of nature, and he was chased out by the other doctors and scientists of the time.  As far as Juliet knows, he is dead.  Because she and her mother had to work at horrible low paying jobs, and lived terrible lives.  Juliet is 16 years old, and of course has an interest in medical science, as well as quite a vast knowledge of it thanks to her father.  But all she can do now is work as a maid at a college nearby.  But one day she discovers her father's old assistant is in town.  Montgomery was about her age, but because he was a boy, her father took him in and taught him to be his assistant.  She finds out from Montgomery that her father is still alive, and on an island where it seems he has continued his experiments.

As I mentioned, she works as a maid.  And one of the men she works for is kind of a jerk.  After she has a bad interaction with him, she decides she must leave town, and so she insists that Montgomery take her back with him.  They do, but the ship ride is long, and it is on an older, sketchier ship.  On the way the ship rescues a man who is floating by himself on a raft in the middle of the ocean.  His name is Edward, and he says he's from a well-to-do family back in London.  While they are on the island, her father tries to get Juliet and Edward together, as he feels they would be a good match, and he could take care of her back in town.  But Juliet still feels an attraction to Montgomery, which she's unsure if he reciprocates.

Now the island is full of genetically modified animals that are now very human like thanks to her father.  While they mostly seem to follow his rules, some are growing uneasy and unhappy.  Not to mention there is someone or something on the island that has begun killing.  Dr. Moreau takes the medicine away from his creatures in punishment, and then all chaos breaks loose.  Making it a fight to stay alive, and figure out how to get off the island.

Really an interesting way to make this story come alive.  I've never actually read the original story, but have seen the movie, the newer one.  This story makes me want to go back and watch the movie again, especially since I didn't really enjoy the movie, but think maybe now I will.  Maybe watching the original instead.  I'm looking forward now to reading the next book in the series, and I was glad to read that it would be based on another story instead of just a continuation of this one.

And this book also will count towards two of my challenges:  TBR Pile, as well as the challenge I'm hosting this year:   It's New to Me.  It's not too late to enter into my challenge either!