NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of Mexican Gothic and Velvet Was the Night comes a lavish historical drama reimagining of The Island of Doctor Moreau set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Mexico.
“This is historical science fiction at its best: a dreamy reimagining of a classic story with vivid descriptions of lush jungles and feminist themes. Some light romance threads through the heavier ethical questions concerning humanity.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“The imagination of Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a thing of wonder, restless and romantic, fearless in the face of genre, embracing the polarities of storytelling—the sleek and the bizarre, wild passions and deep hatreds—with cool equanimity.”—The New York Times (Editors’ Choice)
FINALIST FOR THE HUGO AWARD • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, Time, NPR, Polygon, Tordotcom, Paste, CrimeReads, Booklist
Carlota Moreau: A young woman growing up on a distant and luxuriant estate, safe from the conflict and strife of the Yucatán peninsula. The only daughter of a researcher who is 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 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 live in a perfectly balanced and static world, which is jolted by the abrupt arrival of Eduardo Lizalde, the charming and careless son of Dr. 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s bold new take on H. G. Wells’ sci-fi classic The Island of Doctor Moreau touches on everything from colonialism to women’s rights. Set in 19th-century Mexico, Moreno-Garcia’s tale finds the mad scientist creating his disturbing human-animal hybrids as replacements for the Mayan workers who are revolting against the ruling class. But when a young foreigner arrives and falls in love with Moreau’s headstrong daughter, Carlota, it triggers a chain of events that places everyone on the island in jeopardy. The story is told from the dueling perspectives of Carlota and the island’s forlorn caretaker, Montgomery, cleverly highlighting how they have dramatically different views of the same events. We love Moreno-Garcia’s imagination—she brings a fascinating humanity to Moreau’s creations. Whether you’ve read the original or not, this stirring literary remix is a winner.
In this thorny riff on The Island of Doctor Moreau, bestseller Moreno-Garcia (Mexican Gothic) interweaves several threads in 19th-century Mexico. Carlota, the naive daughter of a mad scientist bent on creating a race of hybrid animal-humans in remote Yaxaktun, strains against the boundaries of her life as she searches for love and connection beyond the world her father has engineered to contain her; Montgomery, a caretaker who self-medicates with alcohol in order to cope with a tragic past, pines for Carlota even as she explores her attraction to Eduardo, the spoiled aristocratic son of her father's benefactor; and the hybrid creatures created by the eponymous doctor struggle to maintain their autonomy and personhood as the forces surrounding them attempt to subjugate their wills for their own ends. Moreno-Garcia's worldbuilding chops are on display as she creates a distinct, vibrant backdrop to her audacious retelling. The prose, however, exhibits a cold remove that occasionally makes it difficult to remain invested in the action, and though the characters' arcs reach satisfying conclusions, wonky pacing makes the work of reaching them a challenge. The third act rights the ship, however, with an ending that will linger long in readers' minds. Fans of cerebral, atmospheric historical horror won't want to miss this.
Different than anything I’ve read before—in a good way! I preferred it over Mexican Gothic.
ve this book forever!
It wasn’t what I expected
Being completely honest, at first I wasn’t vibing with this book. I read the first two chapters and was ehh ok but something prompted me to keep going. I’m glad I did because I ended up pulling an all nighter on the 4th day reading. It was so good! Had the perfect amount of excitement. I loved it!