The Madman's Daughter

The Madman's Daughter - *zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*sasdfj huh? Oh, is the book over? Well, I guess I’d better review it, then.THE GOODJuliet, our main protagonist and narrator, was pretty decent for the first few chapters. Smart, hard working, determined, but not without her female friends and wistful dreams. I liked her, really I did, but only at the start. Sadly, this goodness didn’t last.The writing, while not my style, was certainly atmospheric. Although it also had this strange tendency to be vague and wordy at the same time. There were times in the book where I could tell that Juliette was scared of…um…something…but I couldn’t really get a good picture on what was going on. It certainly worked from a tone standpoint, though. I didn’t always know what she was doing, but I always knew what she was feeling. Montgomery was a good character. I felt like he had a real potential to be a strong, complex character. Of course, the book kept harping on just a few points that were relevant to the love triangle, but he had all the building blocks of a man with a compelling story and dilemma. I even rather liked him and Juliet together. It was a romance that didn’t bother me in the least. THE BADThe plot! Oh my god, the plot. What was the plot? Well, Juliet goes to this island where her disgraced father lives and does confusing magic that this book claims is somehow science. She finds out what he’s doing, runs off in the jungle, gets lost for 200 fucking pages and then just goes right back anyway. She has a weak love triangle with the only two fuckable boys on the island. Then in the last few pages, everything catches on fire and she leaves. AND THAT’S IT. Somehow that takes 420 pages. Juliet barely even does anything except repeatedly mope and get lost. She can’t even be arsed to get herself off the island. That’s just a combination of the boys doing stuff and stuff happening. I don’t even know how I got through the whole thing, although it did take me much longer than I should have.The only thing worse than a love triangle is a love triangle where one corner doesn’t have a chance. Juliet was in love with one boy the whole novel. The other one was just there to make her whine more and fill the requisite trope. And this ‘romance’ took up the majority of Juliet’s thoughts, even while she’s being chased through the jungle by some poorly-worded and un-described threat.Why was Edward even there? He’s got a nice plot twist at the end, but it’s so poorly alluded to. It’s less a twist and more of a “HAHA, SOMETHING COMPLETELY NEW!” The author worked so hard to make sure that you never saw it coming that Edward’s entire raison d'etre got lost in the mix. For most of the novel, he was just there. Wasting space.THE UGLYDr. Moreau’s evilness was so overblown that I actually started to side with him. It’s sad, because he was doing some pretty creepy shit. The descriptions when Juliet found out about it was even properly horrifying. And then she spend something like six pages droning on and on and on and on and on and on and on about how evil and ‘mad’ her father is. And that’s not even including the rest of the novel, where she continues to whine inscently about his madness. It got to the point where there was so much wining and angst that I was willing to slap Juliet and tell her it wasn’t that bad, just as a knee-jerk reaction. Dr. Moreau’s experiments were not given enough space to let the reader come to their own conclusions about them, and that took a lot of horror away from what should have been a very horrifying concept.The science! Oh good god the science. Imagine for a moment that you’ve broken your leg. Some mad doctor comes along and sets it sideways. Makes and L-shaped cast and sets your leg at a right angle to where it should be. The bone heals in that configuration, and you’re stuck with a sideways leg. Now imagine that the same doctor comes and gives you pills, saying that if you don’t take those pills, your leg will straighten out again, even after it’s already completely healed in the new way. That’s the level of science comprehension we’re getting in this book. Absolutely none of it make the least god damn bit of sense. I don’t need my evil horror stories to make a whole lot of sense, but I’d rather they skip the explanation instead of give me one like this. The attempts to explain the science were so bad that they were actively distracting me from the book. The theme of madness was handled very poorly. I know what the book wanted to do. It wanted to have a feel of ‘the island is twisting everyone into madness.’ All of the characters were described as mad at some point. NONE OF THEM ACTED MAD. (Except for the doctor, of course.) They all acted perfectly within normal behavior ranges, and Juliet just randomly declared that some things were evil and other things weren’t. It completely gutted the intention of the story, and in the end, the only thing that actually felt crazy was Juliet’s wild leaps in logic. I was particularly upset with what Juliet described as her own ‘madness’ because, as one of her examples of proof, she includes DEFENDING HERSELF FROM A WOULD-BE RAPIST. Book, author, everyone, DON’T EVER INCLUDE SELF DEFENSE AS A SIGN OF THE CRAZIES.And, of course, the islanders. After Juliet learns the truth about them, there’s a huge hullabaloo over whether she thinks they’re human or not. She decides, in a fit of angst, that they act so very human and loveable and she can’t think of them as monsters. Until a paragraph later, where she calls them beats and animals. And the book hops over this line again and again. They’re monsters. Oh, but killing them is murder. But they’re beasts! But this one over here is cute, so let’s call him human. Back and forth and back and forth. It would have been fine if this was intentional, if it was made a point of Juliet’s character, where she struggles to decide what her viewpoint on them is. But no. It’s just there. She’s apparently fine with insisting that they’re people and then describing them as beasts.Just…ugh, the whole book was a mix of rolling my eyes and falling asleep.