Author: Megan Shepherd, 2013.
Genre: Historical Fiction. Science Fiction. Horror.
Other Details: Paperback. 360 pages.
London, 1894. Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself—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 rumours about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns her father is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations were true.
Juliet is accompanied by the doctor’s handsome young assistant and an enigmatic castaway, who both attract Juliet for very different reasons. They travel to the island only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: he has created animals that have been vivisected to resemble, speak, and behave as humans. Worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape the island, even though her horror is mixed with her own scientific curiosity. As the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood. - synopsis from UK publisher's website.
This was a re-imagining of H.G. Well's The Island of Doctor Moreau as told from the viewpoint of Juliet, the daughter left behind in England when Moreau fled England to continue his experiments in the South Pacific. Its tone relies upon the tropes of the Victorian Gothic horror and certainly honours the source material while adding new aspects. Juliet herself was a strong character, a young woman coming to terms with her nature and questioning her circumstances without seeming too modern in her attitudes.
I understand that Megan Shepherd has planned this as a trilogy with the second volume available now. I expect that I will read this in due course as I found this first in the series an interesting and enjoyable read.