ARC Review: The Daughter of Doctor Moreau



SERIES: Standalone


GENRES/ SUBJECTS: Historical Science Fiction


Look at that cover. Look at that cover! LOOK AT THAT COVER!!

Okay… Moving on…

THE DAUGHTER OF DOCTOR MOREAU is a retelling of THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU by H. G. Wells, but you don’t need to have read the original to enjoy this one. It sticks to a similar time period but shifts the story to Mexico, and takes a look at themes of womanhood, personhood and colonialism. I do think THE DAUGHTER OF DOCTOR MOREAU losing some of the eerie, unsettling horror of the original, but personally, I think it more than makes up for that with what it adds in both fleshed out, fully considered, complex characters (both of Carlota Moreau and the supporting characters) and it the gorgeous setting.

I loved the POV of characters of Carlota and Montgomery, and how the relationship between them was twisty and complicated and imperfect. I loved the way Eduardo’s arrival began to shift all the precarious dynamics within the house and the way that he wasn’t made a 2D caricature either, but had layered motivations of his own.

The writing is rich and the setting immersive. Moreno-Garcia really draws you into the 19th Century and into the isolated jungle where the beautiful estate is beginning to show signs of a sort of decaying past glory. A wonderful reimagining of a classic, that will breathe fresh life into Wells’ work for readers familiar with the original, and yet is a completely riveting standalone for those who want to take it entirely on its own merits.

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.

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

5 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Daughter of Doctor Moreau”

  1. This one sounds interesting, but I do want to read the original before I read this one. (Also before I read The Album of Doctor Moreau… maybe I’ll get to all three this autumn, to take advantage of spooky season?)

    Did you find this to be a quick read? I know that I’ve often found Moreno-Garcia’s work to be lush and luxurious, and so they ended up feeling like slower reads to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d say it was slower paced in the first part and picked up towards the end? I didn’t adore this one quite as much as Mexican Gothic but I thought it was a huge leap (for my taste) from the other books I’ve read from her (Certain Dark Things / Gods of Jade and Shadow). I’m not sure I that sort of helps place it?


          1. Yeah, it probably does! I’m glad that the first two novels of hers that I read showed off the differences, and yet were both books that I liked. It prepared me for reading her body of work, I feel, in a way that reading similar books of hers would not.

            Liked by 1 person

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