Thursday, July 14, 2022

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Title: The Daughter of Doctor Moreau 
Series: n/a
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Source/Format: NetGalley; eARC
More Details: Historical Science Fiction; Reimagining
Publisher/Publication Date: Del Rey; July 19, 2022

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Synopsis from Goodreads...
From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic and Velvet Was the Night comes a dreamy reimagining of The Island of Doctor Moreau set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Mexico.

Carlota Moreau: a young woman, growing up in a distant and luxuriant estate, safe from the conflict and strife of the Yucatán peninsula. The only daughter of either a genius, or a madman. Montgomery Laughton: a melancholic overseer with a tragic past and a propensity for alcohol. An outcast who assists Dr. Moreau with his scientific experiments, which are financed by the Lizaldes, owners of magnificent haciendas and plentiful coffers. The hybrids: the fruits of the Doctor’s labor, destined to blindly obey their creator and remain in the shadows. A motley group of part human, part animal monstrosities. All of them living in a perfectly balanced and static world, which is jolted by the abrupt arrival of Eduardo Lizalde, the charming and careless son of Doctor Moreau’s patron, who will unwittingly begin a dangerous chain reaction. For Moreau keeps secrets, Carlota has questions, and in the sweltering heat of the jungle, passions may ignite.

THE DAUGHTER OF DOCTOR MOREAU is both a dazzling historical novel and a daring science fiction journey.


Silvia Moreno-Garcia has this way of spinning tales—whether fantasy, historical, or noire—into truly engrossing stories. I’ve read a number of her books—Mexican Gothic, Gods of Jade and Shadow, Velvet Was the Night, The Return of the Sorceress—and now I can check The Daughter of Doctor Moreau off my TBR list.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau was one of my most anticipated 2022 releases, and it was everything I was hoping it would be. I read it in almost one sitting.

This isn’t the first time I’ve read a retold version of The Island of Dr. Moreau, but this is one of the best. It was a loose reimagining, but the hallmarks of the classic tale were there. At times, it read like a family drama with plenty of secrets. And yet, there was always that underling intensity and apprehension from the hybrids, friction with Moreau’s benefactor, and the isolated and enigmatic atmosphere.

Carlota Moreau was a character who disliked change. But with her upbringing, change wasn’t something that came often. But as the story progressed, the earlier periods of contentment became harder to maintain. Carlota had an interesting character arc, and I enjoyed the moments when she stepped outside the role of a dutiful daughter.

Doctor Moreau was a somewhat malevolent figure in the household—a stern father, a devoted scientist. He had his secrets, and the mystery surrounding the nature of his experiments was one of the reasons I kept reading.

Montgomery Laughton was a tragic character who was prone to indulging in his habits, but his chapters were some of my favorites from the novel.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau was another good one.
About the author....
Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of Velvet Was the Night, Mexican Gothic, Gods of Jade and Shadow, and many other books. She has won the Locus and British Fantasy awards for her work as a novelist, and the World Fantasy Award as an editor.

Disclaimer: this copy of the book was provided by the publisher (Del Rey) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you! 

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