Reviews

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau

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.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is an author that I only found last year, this is the 5th book that I have now read by this author. I think it’s fair to say that they’re an autobuy author as I know I’m going to have a good time with them.

I have fond memories of reading The Island of Doctor Moreau which influenced this book, so expectations were high and I was giddy. I really did enjoy this book!

The atmosphere was so sinister and creepy. This is something I’ve grown to almost expect from a book by this author. The story took place on a remote island (which is actually a peninsula) in Mexico which was surrounded by conflict. So for anyone to reach The Island they would need to take a very risky journey. This really added to the haunting atmosphere. I really enjoy a good book set on a creepy island which is a very specific niche but this book fulfilled that requirement.

The story was told through dual narrative with Carlota and Laughton taking alternate chapters. I loved this delivery! When one chapter ended the next would often pick up where the previous had started so that differing opinions were received and this helped me to try to work out whether I felt the new comers had genuine intentions or were silly little rich kids (I went with the latter).

I hated almost every human character. Definitely the male characters, I’m still unsure about Laughton. The timing of this book was in the late 19th century, not a good time for women. With Carlota growing up so cut off from others, I was so worried for her safety! I found Carlota to be quite annoying due to the way that she was so trusting but I felt that this was exactly how this character would have been. It was annoying but right for the character. I absolutely loved the hybrids and their little found family!

I didn’t guess the twist! I maybe saw it the chapter before it was revealed but that doesn’t count. I was so taken aback and I really loved it.

While this book was inspired by The Island of Doctor Moreau, it really was only loosely inspired. I don’t feel like anything was spoiled for me due to my familiarity with the inspiration. I loved the addition of the war as there was danger in the forest that wasn’t the hybrids.

This was such a fascinating book and was enjoyable on so many levels. I will definitely be rereading this and will no doubt find more to love about it.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia continues to be one of my favourite authors.

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