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Good As Gone
Douglas Corleone
Timothy Miller

The Madman's Daughter

The Madman's Daughter - I have very mixed feeling about this novel. Juliet Moreau, the main character, seems to end up in an even worse situation at the end of the story than she was in at the beginning. This story is supposed to be inspired by the H. G. Wells' story The Island of Dr. Moreau which I have never read. The setting in Victorian England and an isolated island off the coast of Australia. I thought the world building was well done as the story just drips Gothic darkness. However, I did have some problems with the science fiction aspects of the story and the timeline. When Juliet reaches her father's isolated island, he has populated it with his experiments, but according to Juliet's age when he left England and her age when she reached his island, only six years have passed. Even insane dedication, which Dr. Moreau clearly possesses, would find it hard to accomplish what he is supposed to have accomplished. The descriptions of the surgical reconstruction of animals to make them more man-like and the combinations of species and the injections to change the brain move this well out of science fiction and into fantasy.Juliet has a lot to deal with in this novel. Since her father's abandonment and the scandal that accompanied it and since her mother's death, her situation in London is dire. She is working as a cleaning maid in the medical school and being harassed by one of her father's former colleagues. When she sees one of her father's anatomical drawings and learns that one of the medical students bought it from a guy, Juliet begins to think that her father has returned to London. When she investigates she meets Montgomery who was a servant boy and who was Juliet's childhood companion. She convinces him to take her to her father when he returns.They pick up a shipwreck survivor during their sea voyage and bring him to the island too. This is the basis for the required young adult love triangle. Juliet loves Montgomery who feels unworthy of her regard and her father is pushing the shipwreck survivor, Edward Prince, at her due to his supposedly higher social status.Conditions on the island quickly devolve as Dr. Moreau's creatures are getting out of control and some unexplained murders are taking place. All the while, Dr. Moreau is still in his own dream world where everything is all right and he is still focused on his experiments to create his perfect creature.Readers who enjoy historical fantasy will enjoy this Gothic thriller complete with a mad scientist, a troubled beauty, amazing creatures, and a romance too.