Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Size: 432 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in a Trilogy
Source: ARC through Netgalley.com
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through Netgalley(dot)com. Thanks to Balzer and Bray and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book. This was an engaging and disturbing young adult retelling of the Island of Dr. Moreau.
Juliet Moreau is struggling to make a living as a maid; years ago her father disappeared and not long after that her mother died of cancer. Then Juliet hears rumors about a strange doctor staying in a nearby inn and sees copies of her father’s drawings. When she goes to investigate she finds the her father is not dead as thought, but merely on a deserted island continuing his questionable medical studies. She travels there with her childhood friend and Dr. Moreau’s assistant, Montgomery, and finds things more horrific than she could ever have imagined.
Excellent young adult retelling of The Island of Dr. Moreau. This story has a bit of a gothic/thriller type feel to it. The mystery unravels slowly. Those who are familiar with the Island of Dr. Moraeu won’t be surprised by what Juliet finds when she goes to her father’s island but you will be surprised as the mysteries surrounding Juliet herself are revealed.
The book is beautifully written and very well done. There is a bit of a love triangle here, which I am not a huge fan of. Still it was decently done.
Juliet is a strong character that is easy to admire and engage with. The other characters on the island are similarly interesting. You are constantly wondering why Montgomery continues to work for Dr. Moreau and what Edward’s mysterious background is. There is just a lot of mystery hidden within all of these characters.
The plot is very engaging and there are some huge twists in the story which caught me by surprise. There is also quite a bit of medical talk in the book since Juliet has been learning from all of the medical books her father left behind, I enjoyed this as well.
The book is definitely best for young adult and older. There is an attempted rape scene, torture, and rather gory maiming of animals…just a heads up to be ready for some disturbing gore.
Overall I found the book very hard to put down and very engaging. It was a fantastic read. The enjoyed the mystery and the twists and turns the story took. I also enjoyed Juliet, she is a strong female lead with some interesting aspects to her personality. I strongly recommend to fans gothic horror, who don’t mind a somewhat disturbing read.