Review by evant794
“The Madman’s Daughter” is a novel written by Megan Shepherd, and is the first out of the three books in her “The Madman’s Daughter” series. Published by HarperCollinsPublishers, “The Madman’s Daughter” is a science fiction novel.
The setting takes place during the 1800s in London, England. Juliet Moreau is the main character of the novel. Her father, Dr. Moreau, used to be London’s best and most widely recognized surgeon, making him a very wealthy individual– but that was before the scandal happened.
Fast-forward, six years later, and Juliet Moreau went from being a happy, young, rich girl with loving parents and many servants, to being a poor sixteen-year-old orphan who makes a living as a maid at King’s College. The only person who seems to care about her is Lucy. Juliet and Lucy have been friends for a long time, back when Lucy’s parents thought that Juliet was a good influence to their daughter, but that changed. However, even though Lucy’s parents do not approve, they are still friends.
One evening, right after her shift, Juliet meets Lucy, who had been waiting for her in the cold. After socializing with some drunk male college students, all of them, including Juliet, decide to go inside the college to explore, only to find a group of students performing vivisection (dissection performed on a still living organism) on a rabbit. Juliet, wanting to end the poor creature’s misery, cuts its head off. When she sees the chart according to which the college students are performing surgery, she sees her “dead” father’s signature – which is what makes her want to search for him.
She desperately searches at a hotel in hopes of finding him. To her surprise, she finds Montgomery, her old friend and servant, who is about to leave London in two days, only to go back to her father with a ship full of supplies for his crazy experiments. After cutting the tendons in Dr. Hastings’s wrist, who calls the police, Juliet convinces Montgomery to take her with him.
Their trip is a long journey with a boat, accompanied by wild, loud animals in cages, Balthazar, who has an awfully deformed face and body, a very aggressive captain, many storms, and an almost-dead castaway, Edward Prince. Juliet is thrilled to reach her father’s island. From the moment she sets foot of that island, though, it feels like something is wrong – terribly wrong. Then her father “jokingly” throws Edward into the water and lets him drown, until Montgomery decides to finally save him.
While Juliet lives there, she sneaks into her father’s laboratory at night, since she cannot hold her curiosity in after long hours of hearing the terrible, horrific screams of desperate animals. To her surprise, she finally finds out about “the scandal” that has ruined her life. Her father, being an amazingly skilled surgeon, performs vivisection on animals to transform them into humans. This requires numerous complex surgeries on the animals’ spines, and replacing their organs with a variety of animal organs. The result? Monstrous beings, also known as the islanders. The worst part is that he does not anesthetize them, therefore making them suffer an enormous amount of pain. She also gets suspicious when she learns that these islanders take the same treatment as her and starts questioning her existence. Though Montgomery keeps telling her that she is thinking irrationally, since her treatment is for her pancreatic disease, while theirs is to keep their bodies from rejecting organs, Juliet is convinced that there is something wrong with her.
Juliet knows the she will not be able to live a life like this; knowing that her father is the madman everyone was talking about. Also, the creature that is free, slaughtering the islanders, is not making the situation any better. She must escape – fast. Even though the plan was to escape with Edward, Montgomery, and Alice, the plans change – and they change a lot.
“In the darkest of places, even love is deadly”.