Parents' Guide to

The Madman's Daughter

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Extra horror, romance in "Island of Dr. Moreau" update.

The Madman's Daughter Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+

Gripping horror with questions about humanity

Based on The Island of Dr. Moreau...a mad scientist who experiments with dissections and organ transplants. I have to admit that although the idea is terribly disturbing, I was also incredibly fascinated with it. Juliet is the daughter of exiled doctor Henri Moreau, living alone in England as a servant. When she runs into her childhood friend, Montgomery, she demands that he take her with him back to the island where her father is now living. Along the way, they rescue a castaway who is a young gentleman named Edward Prince. On the island, Juliet comes to realize that the rumours about her father's madness are true, and they were only a small bit of the horrors he has been practicing in his lab. Negative content: Dr. Hastings tries to take advantage of Juliet. Her friend Lucy convinces her to go to a party, where the boys keep trying to touch them. Juliet sees a prostitute in the city and wonders if she will end up like her. There are many scenes where Juliet and either Montgomery or Edward kiss, or she is thinking about being with them There are a couple uses of h*** as profanity
age 15+
It was a great book if you have a big imagination, like me. Although the author could have put more detail into scenes and characters, visualizing what the characters looked like was so much fun to do because everyone can have a different opinion on the matter. I feel that the story ended rather abruptly, but thank god for sequels!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (1):

Even if readers are not huge fans of gothic horror or the H.G. Wells sci-fi classic THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER borrows from, it's hard to put this book down. Sure, author Megan Shepherd keeps the science of making humans out of animals sound kind of hokey. (Hey, why not introduce the idea of DNA as in the 1996 movie version of The Island of Doctor Moreau?) Plus, Juliet Moreau's mood swings may grate on readers after a while. (Who really likes her: Edward? Montgomery? Is she going mad like her father? When will she have another fit, hit her father, and break things?)

Hokey science aside -- man, can this story take a surprising turn. And then another. The suspense ratchets up early and doesn't let up; there are plenty of dark mysteries to uncover as the story moves forward. For starters, who or what is hunting them in the jungle, creeping into the doctor's compound? Shepherd throws together some fantastic nail-biter scenes, making The Madman's Daughter well worth another trip to H.G. Wells' bizarre and creepy island.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate