Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Madman's Daughter

Shepherd, Megan. 2013. THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER. New York: Balzer & Bray. ISBN 9780062128034. [Suggested grade level 8-12]

Based on H. G. Wells’ THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, this gothic thriller introduces Juliet, the daughter of a disgraced scientist who has been accused of performing gruesome experiments on animals. She has worked as a cleaning woman in a hospital to support herself, a great comedown from the privileged life she lived as a child. When she discovers that her father is still alive and living on a deserted island, Juliet travels to find him, accompanied by Montgomery, her father’s handsome assistant and an old friend, and Edward, a mysterious castaway. When she arrives at her father’s island, she discovers how insane he actually is and that he has continued his experiments, thus populating the island with all types of strange hybrid creatures. She also discovers the secret of her own medical condition and why she must take a strange serum on a regular basis. In order to escape his madness and save her life, she must end his experimentation and flee the island.

This blend of gothic thriller, science fiction, and romance is a page-turner that can easily be appreciated without background knowledge of the original tale. Juliet is a smart and feisty heroine and the basic love triangle acts that touch of romance that adds a tension to the tale.

Pair this book with H.G. Well THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU for a classroom or teen discussion group book study. Use the book as a springboard for discussion about medical ethics, cloning, research, and animal experimentation.

Wells, H.G. THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU. ISBN 9781619492332
Halam, Ann. DR. FRANKLIN’S ISLAND. ISBN 9780440237815
Shepherd, Megan. HER DARK CURIOSITY. ISBN 9780062128058 (Sequel, based on R.L. Stevenson’s DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE.)

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