Tuesday 5 July 2022

Book Review: The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Historical Fantasy-Horror)

Title: The Daughter of Doctor Moreau
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Publication Date: 19 July 2022
Pages: 320
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Historical Fantasy-Horror
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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 Yucat√°n 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.


I confess I have never been much of a fan of The Island of Doctor Moreau. However, I also never pass up any new releases from Silvia Moreno-Garcia, so I decided to give this re-imagining of the tale a try, and it actually worked incredibly well. The story was transported from an island to Mexico and given a feminist slant. All the characters were compelling and well crafted, with the narration shared between Carlota and Laughton. The plot was intriguing and perfectly paced, and I was always keen to turn the page to see what would happen next. The ending, too, was satisfying overall. It's hard to know how to classify the book (as is the case with several of this author's works) as it straddles a few genres, but the closest I can say would be 'historical fantasy-horror', so if that sounds like your sort of thing, I recommend giving it a read. It gets 4.5 stars from me.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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