The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia | Book Review

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia | Book Review

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.

I’m struggling with COVID brain fog as I write this, so apologies if it’s not coherent!

I’ve never read The Island of Doctor Moreau, so I have no basis of that for this review, just so we’re all clear lol

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is on track to be one of my favorite writers. I just love how concise yet detailed her writing is. It feels lush and rich somehow without being too flowery. Her characters always feel real and charming, too. She does gothic so well. I was very disturbed by parts of this, but it wasn’t horror, and I could still enjoy Carlota’s and Montgomery’s story.

I also loved her inclusion of Maya and settler colonial conflict within the story. I always appreciate a story where whiteness can be decentered, especially in historical colonial contexts.

I think I would have preferred if the ending were a little faster. There was a period of time while reading where I was just kind of confused about what was going on and how it would work out. But this was really the only time I struggled with reading the novel.

This was such an exciting read, and I actually liked it better than Mexican Gothic (which I also really enjoyed).

Thank you to NetGalley for providing the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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