Title: The Madman's Daughter
Author: Megan Shepherd
Summary/Review: Juliet Moreau is the daughter of a doctor exiled from England for his extreme scientific experiments. Among them? Vivisection. But when Juliet comes across her estranged father's assistant, she begs him to take her to her father in an effort to find the truth.
The Doctor lives on an island which ships pass by about once a year. The isolation is perfect for the madman because no law dictates what he can or cannot do with his subjects. Montgomery has been his assistant from very young and travels to England on occasion to bring back supplies...and subjects.
The themes are grossly fascinating and the thought of the possible advancements in science are astounding. Serious questions of ethics are posed and the characters bring to life the turbulence of being clinically detached, but not losing their humanity. Boundaries of society are tested and Juliet finds herself questioning whose side she is on. Did she inherit her father's mental sickness? Or is he simply a victim of an oppressive society? Overall, an amazing novel which I rated 5 stars on Goodreads. Read it if you haven't!
Rant/Gush: Despite how much I loved the book as a whole, there were a few things that really made me want to hurl the book. I found out after I finished reading the novel that this is indeed going to be a series. Which made it a little bit easier to swallow some aspects of the story. Like the fact that Juliet was totally kick-ass in the beginning of the novel! Totally awesome and I loved her character!
She was doing so well on her own. She stayed out of the slums after her mother died and worked an honest job to support herself which was tough for a girl her age and at the time. But then she screwed it all up. My opinion of her went down the drain as soon as she met Montgomery. She was whiny. Overly familiar with him despite the fact that they hadn't seen each other in YEARS. And she treated him like a servant! Even though insisting that they were equal in status since she was of course the daughter of a man that caused the scandal of the century. Juliet picked up her princess syndrome and did not let up THE ENTIRE NOVEL.
To the very end. it was all about how she was in such a difficult position and about what she wanted and how it was her decision. EXCEPT SHE NEVER REALLY MADE A DECISION. She says she is in love with Montgomery? Then why does she feel the urge to kiss Edward when she is with Montgomery? And then Edward makes advances and she daydreams about Montgomery. What is her issue?! I feel she only chose Montgomery in the end because Edward was irrevocably out of the picture.
But again, she didn't really choose Montgomery. She knew him well enough to identify his innate wildness, but refused to see the truth. She chose someone that adored her because she didn't want to be lonely. And because it was a sort of revenge against her mad father. Juliet thinks about how pitiful Balthazar is and how she is going away with Montgomery and never ever stops to consider what the heck MONTGOMERY might be going through. She is all-knowing, of course.
The irony is the regression of the islanders in the end is so much like Juliet's. Instead of growing in this novel, she seriously went backwards. I don't know if this was because the author someway into the book got the okay to make it a series and therefore had to leave room for Juliet's improvement over the course of a few books, but Juliet seriously needs help.
Ending was tragic. I was like...wait?! Is there another book after this?! Please don't let it be another Kartik-type ending! But I suppose the next novel will answer my questions. Like why the hell doesn't she jump in the water? Stupid Montgomery would save her. Would she rather float out to sea on the hope that the Polynesian traders haven't yet passed? Montgomery is usually so organized and he does seem to truly care for Juliet, so why would he just send her on her merry way to who the heck knows where? Or does he know something I don't?
As much as I despised Juliet by the end of the book, the story was extremely compelling. You can bet that I will be snatching the next one up as soon as I can and that I will probably completely be hooked by the plot. There is some seriously amazing stuff to be found and the dilemmas are quite pertinent. I just wish Juliet hadn't been so hot and cold and self-absorbed.