ARC Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)
The Madman's Daughter
by Megan Shepherd
Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 
Release Date: January 29th, 2013
Source: Publisher/Edelweiss


In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—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 rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. 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.


Historical Fiction. That word seems to scare a lot of readers. I'll be honest. I've grown weary of the genre. Why? Because I was deluded. I always thought that hot YA romances couldn't fit into a historical setting where simply chaste kissing is going there. Let me clear something up....The Madman's Daughter is one hell of a hot, sexy, OMG historical fiction. It slapped me across the face and told me how wrong I have been all these years.

Okay, now onto the real review. The Madman's Daughter isn't just another pretty cover. It's gorgeously written and the plot has one twist that will leave your eyes bugged for days. I may be dramatic, but honestly it's one of the few books I've read recently that just seemed so original. It's a great Gothic with creepy, deformed Islanders. I know this is inaccurate but I kept picturing them as orcs from The Lord of the Rings. Maybe because I was having a LOTR marathon when I read it, but added to the overall creep factor.

The romance is obviously a love triangle. You can gather as much from the synopsis. It's not my favorite love triangle (and I actually prefer some shapes in my fictional romances) but it did serve to further a great plot. And it was really steamy! Montgomery and Edward are vying for Juliet's love. One is a wild lower-class guy. The other is from a posh background. But one of them is obviously the better match. I'll always root for the best childhood friend. It's a given. So I was Team Montgomery from the very start.

Now it wouldn't be The Madman's Daughter without the Madman himself. Her father is cray-cray. And a great character to read! His weapon of choice: a parasol. I'll let you mull over that for a moment. Yes, it's pretty funny. Also, he's not only a creepster but extremely sexist as well. A winning villainous combination!

The only criticism I have is that I felt like the book was too long with too much filler. The middle dragged a lot more than the beginning and end. And I'm not quite sure how Shepherd plans to extend this book into a trilogy. I think it would have been a solid standalone. Though, I'd love to eat my words next year after reading the sequel ;)

Overall, a great original story with enough Gothic creepiness, twisting plot, and steamy romance to keep me reading for more.



  1. The Madman's Daughter sounds amazing. I also always root for the best childhood friend ;) I'm very excited to read this, thanks for the great review!

  2. I'm definitely going to be reading this one. I'm a sucker for gothic, creepy stories and historical romances... if they're done right and this one sounds like it is!

  3. How is it that you can always seem to convince me to give books that normally I'd never give a second glance, a chance?? I do not like historical novels but you've given me plenty of reasons why I will like this one. I'm still trying to figure out that parasol part... which is bringing me to that episode of Boy Meets World where Cory dreams about killing Shawn by shoving an umbrella down is throat and opening it. "Oh Shawny! I Mary Poppin'd ya." LOL. This one is officially going on my tbr list. Great review, very convincing! :)

    1. LOL :) I LOVE Boy Meets World. You seriously had me laughing hysterically!

  4. I love your review! I just finished The Madman's Daughter a couple of days ago and my review would never come close to yours! I am so excited that there will be 2 more books!

  5. 15 days until this releases. I can barely contain my excitement!!!!!

  6. I can't wait for this book! It sounds soo good! I'm glad that you think its a good book!!