Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

The Madman's Daughter

The Madman's Daughter - See more of my reviews sooner on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I received in a swap with a friend.This book. Hm... The Madman's Daughter is more than worth some of the hype it's gotten, but readers looking for a story more focused on the horrors of the island and Dr. Moreau's experiments on animals (may as well warn now for animal cruelty and such) than the romance will be disappointed.Shepherd's lovely, Gothic writing had me from the very first page's descriptions of King's College of Medical Research. Lush as they are, it's easy to get drawn in despite any issues with the content of the story itself. There are only a few occasional snafus, such as a piece on page 265 (ARC) where Juliet says she can hardly think of anything other than Montgomery's kiss and starts thinking of Edward immediately after. Some scenes are genuinely horrifying, such as the rabbit vivisection and the reveal of Dr. Moreau's experiments to Juliet--and I am not an easily horrified reader.Shepherd even manages to build some serious suspese despite how predictable some twists are. Out of all the twists offered (including one that comes in halfway through the novel and is basically spoiled by the jacket copy), there was only one I didn't predict, but she still kept me on the edge of my seat. Whether the reader is a total unknown to The Island of Dr. Moreau or overly familiar with it, some things are easily seen coming.Unfortunately, the romance completely takes over the novel from about page seventy. Neither Edward nor Montgomery are particularly interesting, and I have trouble finding things to say about Juliet too. Her connections with both men happen too quickly and with too little development for me to care who she gets with. Juliet has her great moments, but with how often she says she's attracted to/curious about her father's experiments, I don't see her displaying such curiosity often. She'll say she's curious about what her father does to them but then flinches from them.A rape attempt on Juliet early in the novel, perpetrated by one of the doctors at King's College, makes me more and more uncomfortable the more I think about it. What is its purpose? We are already aware of how little respect women--especially working women--had in the time period in which the story is set. The doctor ogling her in the first place and how the medical students disrespect her makes that clear enough. Getting fired and put out on the streets is enough reason for Juliet to beg Montgomery to let her go to the island with him. I simply fail to see a good reason for its presence in the novel.The second book of this trilogy will be based on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but I'm unsure whether or not I will stick around to read it. Hopefully, it will be more concerned with the story than the romance.