Confession time: I've never read The Island of Doctor Moreau, so I can't make any claims about how good or bad a retelling this is. But as a story on its own, without any knowledge of the Gothic classic it's based on, The Madman's Daughter works well. It tells the story of Juliet Moreau, a girl living in poverty after the death of her mother and her physician father's disgrace. When she happens to meet up with a childhood friend, who is working for her not-dead father, she is determined to see him and find out what happened -- even if that means going to a remote island in the Pacific Ocean, where spoken danger lurks in the jungle, and nothing is as it seems.
The novel does have some serious flaws. The love triangle seems entirely superficial and is frustrating to read (couldn't she just have been friends with one of these guys?), and sometimes the pacing seems a little off. It was far too easy to put down the book in the middle. But the final third of the novel is unputdownable, and the whole thing has an unsettling, foreboding atmosphere which is great for any fans of the Victorian Gothic. Although I kept thinking I had guessed what was going on (changing my mind on the matter every few chapters), the ending still completely shocked me, and it was a gripping, thrilling reading experience.