Carlota Moreau: A young woman growing up on a distant and luxuriant estate, safe from the conflict and strife of the Yucatâan 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. 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.
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 novel immerses readers in the rich world of 19th-century Mexico, exploring colonialism and resistance in a compulsively readable story of a woman’s coming-of-age ... The visceral horror of what Carlota has endured, combined with Moreno-Garcia’s pacing and drama, makes for a mesmerizing horror novel.
... enthralling ... makes a number of ingenious adaptations to Wells' tale ... Moreno-Garcia imagines that this island is actually the Yucatan peninsula, allowing the book to use a real historical conflict, The Yucatan Caste War, as a backdrop. This puts the political ramifications of the hybrids' otherness into even sharper relief ... f you're a they-don't-make-'em-like-they-used-to type of reader who longs for the romance and high drama of big 19th-century novels, The Daughter of Doctor Moreau is a flawless replica. But like the best historical fiction, this novel also speaks to the heart of what contemporary readers turn to literature for, as it draws out the colonial and racial implications of Moreau's 'research,' enlarging Wells' own moral message. Ultimately, it's a good thing Moreno-Garcia is so prolific: It's likely we won't have to wait too long to see where she'll take us next.
Over the 300-ish pages that comprise The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, Silvia Moreno Garcia breaks your heart just to help you put it back together again. An emotional novel dense with both mystery and the unsettling sense that something is slightly off, Garcia instantly captivates you through vivid imagery and characters that tug at your heartstrings from the book’s first few scenes ... The novel is initially set in 1871 and spans six years, placing the characters at the forefront of the uprising and using it as a decisive plot point that makes Moreno Garcia’s historical fiction even more mesmerizing ... While Moreno Garcia borrows some elements from H.G. Wells’s original novel, she gives us the gift of Carlotta Moreau, the Doctor’s intelligent and alluring daughter who assists him with his experiments. A stunning character in her own right, Carlotta is faced throughout the book with existential and moral questions that make her ponder her faith, the way people frequently 'play god' with others, and what exactly family means ... Moreno Garcia’s ability to write characters in a way that makes you instantly adore them despite their flaws ... While the swift action, layers of deceit, bloodshed, and fantastical creatures she concocts are intriguing, what makes The Daughter of Doctor Moreau so enchanting is the fact that it has heart. Of course, the science-fiction elements add a layer of surrealism to the novel that makes it almost impossible to put down, but the raw emotion that Moreno Garcia bestows upon her characters is what truly grabs you ... By no means a light novel, The Daughter of Doctor Moreau commands your attention at every turn and asks heavy questions about some of the beliefs we hold most dear. With sentimental character arcs and a haunting feel that will have you mulling over the novel for days, Moreno Garcia delivers one of the most evocative books of the summer, if not the year.