Fantasy · Historical Fiction · Romance (All) · Young Adult

[Review] A Second Look at The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Juliet Moreau went from riches to rags after her once well-respected father crossed the line in experimentation. Since her family’s fall, Juliet has seen her mother’s dignity crumble, seen her die, and constantly had to escape sexual harassment from a Dr. Hastings as she worked as a maid.

If only her father was still alive, then Juliet wouldn’t be alone. And like a perfect change of fate, Juliet stumbles upon a diagram made by her father on vivisection, the dissection of live specimens. Tracing the map, she finds Montgomery, a boy who once served her family. Finding out that her father is still alive and living on an island not far from Australia, Juliet immediately makes up her mind and goes out to reunite with her father.

As they make their way to the mysterious island Juliet and Montgomery encounter a castaway English gentleman by the name of Edward Prince. Who is Edward Prince, what is he running from, and what plans does Juliet’s father have for him once they set foot on his island?


As an FYI, this is the second time I read this book. Before I let you guys know my thoughts of it now, let’s revisit what I thought the first time I read it!

4.5! Wow, I can’t believe he did that at the end!
And there are still three more books, which makes me think, what next? Will read the sequels.

I like the whole chimera thing, the experiments, the blood and madness, etc. I so totally knew that Edward was being fishy. Then there was the MC and I can’t help but think she was rather annoying at times. I especially thought her love-triangle was bothersome. As for my favorite character, I would have to say it’s Montgomery. There’s just something about him that really pulls him in. I suppose it’s the way he’s so kind to everyone, the way he doesn’t try to justify what he’s done, etc.

A truncated review I left on Goodreads

My opinion still stands on the chimera, experimentation,  and madness that happens in the book. It was actually the reason I picked the series up. For some reason I’ve always been fascinated by books that have even a little bit of a ‘how far will humans go for X-reason’ and this one fit the bill nicely.

As I started to finish up the book, I still couldn’t connect with Juliet for some reason, possibly because of the constant triangle shoved at me. She clearly loved Montgomery but she still continued lusting over Edward, going so far as to say she would have fallen to temptation if he ever confessed his love for her or stayed just a bit longer. I just can’t wrap my mind around the concept of ‘I love person A but I’d make out with person B because of our mutual physical attraction.’

By the end of the book, however, I did finally see the worth of Edward and no, he wasn’t just put in to make Juliet drool over him. I do hope to see him in the sequel, especially with his status unconfirmed at the end of the book. I mean, Juliet thought she’d rid us of him, however, it was never confirmed and she tends to make a lot of mistakes. Which is sad since she’s supposed to be analytical.  Near the end, I just hoped she’d at least analyze something correctly but alas, it was not meant to be.

Another thing I noticed that Juliet frequently did was say that the madness ran in her blood and that it was hereditary. I don’t know much about madness and whether it is, but sometimes I felt like she overly blamed her father for the things that fascinated her (like science, blood, wanting to see the experiments). I mean, why couldn’t she be more like Montgomery who accepted that his actions were crazy and didn’t try to blame someone or something else? Own the madness!

Out of all the characters, I felt the most for Balthazar because he’s just this giant deformed experiment who wants to go to London but because he’s an experiment he shouldn’t technically leave the island. I just wanted to slap anyone who’d come between him and getting off the island

Overall, I’m not sure how I’d rate the book. If I put aside my dislike for Juliet, this book isn’t all that bad. There’s a lot of suspense that happens as our characters are stuck on an island with a Monster and experimented-animals-turned-humans.  As murders start to pop up, blame starts to go around and we have to pay attention to the little clues scattered in the book (though I think they could be a bit more direct) to find our culprit.

Still, I don’t think I’d recommend this book just yet. I feel it would depend on what I think of the next book or even the whole series.

My rating: 3.75 out of 5

Parting Thoughts: Even though the romance felt overbearing at moments, the story is pretty interesting and there’s enough tension and suspense that it feels truly scary. Of course, all of this starts to happen closer to the end. The book also ended while I still had some doubts and questions and I’m hoping they get answered in the next book.

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3 thoughts on “[Review] A Second Look at The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

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