The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
"Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.
Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood."- summary from Amazon
This was such an interesting book, and such a compelling read, at least by the time Juliet gets to the island. I will admit that the beginning part was a bit boring for me. But jeez, once the island pops up, I was absolutely riveted and a bit repulsed. I mean, this is a creepy island with plenty of things that scare and yet fascinate.
The climax had me on the edge of my bed the whole time (that's where I read). I could not put the book down; it's a crazy ride and I loved being a part of it. Shepherd wrote an amazing debut and honestly, I'm having a hard time putting into words why I liked this book. I'm interested to see where the next two books go because it seemed to me that this could be a stand-alone and this book ended in a bit of a sad place but it's a good, solid ending.
Overall, if you're into creepy and gothic atmospheres, read this book. I haven't read Island of Dr. Moreau, but this made me want to; I'm curious to see the parallels.
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.