Tuesday 19 July 2022

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

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia book cover

AD* | 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 labour, 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.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau is a historical fantasy novel, packed with twists and turns.

Carlota Moreau lives with her scientist father, the eponymous Doctor Moreau, and an assorted cast of misfit characters. They live on a crumbling island estate, baked in the unrelenting sun, and far from civilisation. Carlota loves her small world and never really dreams of life beyond the island - until the fateful day when Eduardo Lizalde arrives at her home. This arrival sets a spiralling chain of events into motion, that is sure to change Carlota's world forever.

To a certain extent, there is also a case of morality in the book. Who is the real villain of the story? The reader is left to make their own mind up about the characters, and come to a conclusion without having their hand held throughout.

Although I loved the characters, world-building, and writing style, I felt that the plot lets the book down. It felt rather predictable and unexciting. The story is a reimagining of The Island of Doctor Moreau, which I'm personally unfamiliar with, but I feel that this would only be amplified for those who already know the original story. However, the book doesn't tie up every loose end completely - perhaps intended for a future sequel?

The writing is warm and languid, like a lazy afternoon in mid-summer. It envelopes, immersing you in the island and the world the author has created. Silvia Moreno-Garcia is such a talented author, and this book is further proof that she can seemingly turn her hand to any genre she pleases, with expert results!

Lastly, I also think it's important to mention the beautiful cover of this book - isn't it gorgeous?

Rating: 3 stars

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below! 

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