DNF ARC Review: THE DAUGHTER OF DOCTOR MOREAU by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I received an eARC from the publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in white on blurred pink, green, and orange image
Genre: Sci-Fi
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: DNF at 50%
Series: standalone

Blurb:

Book cover for THE DAUGHTER OF DOCTOR MOREAU: title in white on image of a girl in a orange doorway surrounded by pink wall covered in ivy

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.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

This is the first Silvia Moreno-Garcia I haven’t made it through, so I think I want to retry it at some point.

This is a sci-fi in the vein of Frankenstein – set in the same rough time frame and with the same human experiments elements that make Frankenstein sci-fi rather than fantasy. It is never described as magic, just science perverted.

THE DAUGHTER OF DOCTOR MOREAU is, apparently, a retelling of a book by H. G. Wells called THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU. I hadn’t heard of that book before, and I didn’t want to google the synopsis in case it spoiled things, so I’m just going to take it as read that it was a retelling. Some moments might mean more to readers familiar with the book inspiring it, as there might be particularly clever references etc.

Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into this story. I think my main issue was that the book would often have a chapter recount a set of events from one perspective (it’s a dual POV book from Carlota and Montgomery’s perspectives), and then retell that event in the next chapter from the other’s perspective. Not only did this feel very repetitive, but it was also really hard to keep track of what was happening.

The chapter that retold the events from another perspective would start before the previous chapter, showing the lead up. But it wouldn’t signal it was back in the past, so it felt like it was continuing chronologically, and then the event we’d already seen would happen again and I was left trying to reconfigure the timeline in my head. This probably happened every third chapter.


Read my reviews of other books by Silvia Moreno-Garcia:

Standalones:

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