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.
An atmospheric and, at times creepy, this story is a retelling of HG Wells’ Island of Doctor Moreau. Set in 1894, Juliet Moreau is destitute and working as a cleaner in the Kings College, where her father had been ostracised for experimenting on animals. A chance meeting with a childhood friend brings the knowledge that her father is alive and working on a desolate island in the South Pacific.
This novel is equal parts gothic and historical fiction. It straddles mystery, science fiction, and horror. The island scenes are well described and tense. Our heroine is strong and smart, and despite a few choices that can be put down to age, is very likeable.
What I had issue with (and what I always have issue with) is the love triangle. I understand it is a very popular trope, but I wonder if it’s done it’s time.
I didn’t realise until the end that it was the beginning of a series, but I am glad because they finished this story a little abruptly. I will definitely be picking up the other two books to read.