This book had a lot of things going for it. First, the eye candy! The blood red font, the girl's ghostly pallor and the swampy/muted background hint at Juliet's dark world. Titles like this intrigue me. I immediately wanted to know more about the madman and his daughter. And, of course, I was sold by the mention of Montgomery. A boy from Juliet's past who is now--and always was--her crazy father's servant? Montgomery who now--and always has--had a place in Juliet's heart? Yes, please. Sign me up!
So, parts I loved:
1) The Gothic tone. There was a constant chill/mystery/threat in this story, and I appreciate Sheperd's ability to create suspense. Not everyone pulls this off as effortlessly or as completely as she did.
2) Juliet. Her voice was perfect. She was flawed, curious, reckless and brave. Juliet's struggle (internal and external) is what made this book so interesting.
3) Edward aka the mysterious castaway. Honestly, after reading the summary, I had it in my head that I was a Montgomery girl. Period. But the book didn't truly pick up for me until Edward was found (fyi page 77)--half-dead, adrift at sea, clinging to life, hand clutched around a faded picture of...?
4) The romance. Wow. I liked how Juliet wasn't afraid to want--and I also liked that Sheperd made it difficult to choose between the two guys. Again, in most books, I know who I'm for instantly. But this one…I liked both love interests, and Sheperd didn't try to sway me.
5) Jaguar, Jaguar, Jaguar! In it all of two seconds, BUT he reminded me of Jaqen H'ghar from Game of Thrones. Don't know why, but a GoT reference is never a bad thing J.
Parts I didn't love:
1) The cruelty to animals. I should've expected this. It says so right in the description for goodness sakes: Dr. Moreau experiments on animals, and he's freaking crazy. But yeah, I'm a big animal lover (P.S. Never go see animal movies. They always end badly!). So those parts really upset me--which I think they were supposed to.
2) Juliet's prejudice against the islanders/her father's creations.
3) The ending and the fact that it's not standalone. This is a personal preference. I think the book would've been great as a standalone. Although I'm all about the HEA, I liked (and loathed) how this one ended.
This one was tough at times for me b/c of the animal experiments, but it was a well-told story. The mystery was excellent. The twisty turns in the book were unexpected and kept me guessing. I liked this story, and I think it was an exceptional debut. Very evocative, very intense.
Anyone else read The Madman's Daughter? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts!