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The Madman's Daughter - Megan Shepherd As seen on Ed and Em's Reviews!The Mad Man's Daughter was not a book that immediately caught my eye. I had never really heard of The Island of Doctor Moreau, and am not that big of a horror fan. But once I saw some of my highly respected friends loving this novel, I knew I had to pick it up. I'm very glad that I gave it a shot and stuck with it until the end.If I'm being honest, I struggled with The Madman's Daughter at first. That's not to say it is not well-written. It definitely is, but I knew I was going to have at least one issue with it before I even started the book, which made it hard to immerse myself in the world that the author weaves. That was the LOVE TRIANGLE. The love triangle is a literary theme that has been abused, in my opinion. Too many novels use it to create conflict. There are some books that handle it well and there are those that do not. The Mad Man's Daughter fell into the latter category. So while I liked the story as a whole, my opinion of the romance in this story was pretty spot on and that made it often hard to enjoy.The last half of the book had me enraptured. The first half… Ehhhh. I almost put the book down. It starts off very slowly and it doesn't take long for the romance to come out and play. While I like romance in my books, the romances very nearly overpowered the plot in this book. If the romance hadn't been so "in your face," I wouldn't have hesitated to give this book five stars. The setting is terrifying and once the love triangle moves into the background, the plot is utterly engrossing. I finished the second half in one sitting because I was so tied to the story.Juliet Moreau is the daughter of a scientist. A scientist known to the rest of England as a madman. After his exile, Juliet and her mother struggle to survive until Juliet's mother dies and Juliet begins work as a mad at the college where her father worked. An incident has her running to an old companion, Montgomery, a boy she grew up with before her family's exile, for refuge and the opportunity to be reunited with her father. Along the way she encounters Edward, a mysterious boy who she feels a connection to from the first moment she lays her eyes on him. As if the struggle to decipher her feelings for Montgomery and Edward wasn't enough, something is happening in the jungle surrounding her father's home, something that she's sure has to do with her father's horrid past.It's hard to like a book when you don't like its characters, but somehow, and I'm really not sure how, somehow, I loved this book without really caring for the characters. They are not always redeemable and some of them got on my nerves more often than not. I struggled to like them mostly because didn't understand or agree with many of their actions. I did not like Juliet, Edward or Juliet's father (surprise, surprise), but Montgomery and Balthasar… Oh, how I adored them! Balthasar is a strange character. We never really get to know him, but he absolutely broke my heart. He's a sweetheart and my favorite of the islanders. There isn't much else I can say about him without spoiling the novel, but just know he's a character that will tug at your heartstrings. And Montgomery? Juliet is a fool for even believing that Edward was as on the same level as Montgomery. (Obviously, I want her to end up with Montgomery.)At lot of this book was predictable, but there were a couple of scenes that weren't and those scenes were what made the book. Before them, this book barely rode on two stars for me, after them I give it four. So, yeah. You know they have to be good. There is one scene that I was sure I knew what was coming and was totally wrong. I am so glad that Ms. Shepherd was able to reel me in, even if it didn't happen immediately.The setting in this novel and the gothic feel of the prose left me with chills. The best part of this novel is the fact that it can actually terrify you. Megan Shepherd is brilliant with horror and I hope the rest of this series can be a creepy as this book. It's not often that a book frightens me, but The Madman's Daughter did just that from beginning to end.The end… I have to admit the end left me breathless. It was unpredictable and made me regret reading it without the sequels being released. I say that only because it blew my mind and kinda destroyed my soul. It's a cliffhanger that I, personally, did not see coming in the least and aren't those the best kinds? The Mad Man's Daughter is a book that I would sincerely recommend, if you forgive the awkward love triangle and the slow beginning.I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Edelweiss.