Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Review: The Album of Dr. Moreau by Daryl Gregory

Title: The Album of Dr. Moreau
Series: n/a
Author: Daryl Gregory
Source/Format: Won from a Twitter contest; Paperback
More Details: Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Tor.com; May 18, 2021

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Synopsis from Goodreads...
Daryl Gregory's The Album of Dr. Moreau combines the science fiction premise of the famous novel by H. G. Wells with the panache of a classic murder mystery and the spectacle of a beloved boy band. 
It’s 2001, and the WyldBoyZ are the world’s hottest boy band, and definitely the world’s only genetically engineered human-animal hybrid vocal group. When their producer, Dr. M, is found murdered in his hotel room, the “boyz” become the prime suspects. Was it Bobby the ocelot (“the cute one”), Matt the megabat (“the funny one”), Tim the Pangolin (“the shy one”), Devin the bonobo (“the romantic one”), or Tusk the elephant (“the smart one”)? Las Vegas Detective Luce Delgado has only twenty-four hours to solve a case that goes all the way back to the secret science barge where the WyldBoyZ’ journey first began—a place they used to call home....

The Album of Dr. Moreau was a short, occasionally strange, and enjoyable mystery steeped in speculative elements right from The Island of Dr. Moreau. Except it had a music angle, with the genetically engineered people being in a popular but troubled band called the WyldBoyZ. When the band’s sketchy manager winds up dead, the mystery launches from there.

In terms of mysteries, The Album of Dr. Moreau was a pretty good read. The speculative elements were handled well, and if you know anything about The Island of Dr. Moreau, then you’ll sort of know what to expect going into this one.

The characters were interesting. In particular, the detective, Luce Delgado, was a personal favorite of mine. Her style of questioning was as razor sharp as her deductions.

I did like Gregory’s decision to make this a multiple POV story, which added another layer to the mystery and tension. And as the story progressed—with more and more of the past of the WyldBoyZ being revealed—there were sufficient motivations all across the board for almost every character.

In a general sense, the story delivers on everything mentioned in the synopsis, and it did feel like a loose reimagining of The Island of Dr. Moreau. I liked this one.  

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