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

Title: The Daughter of Doctor Moreau
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Genre: Adult Fantasy / Retelling / Historical Fiction
Publication Date: July 19th, 2022
Publisher: Del Rey
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨

“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.” (Goodreads)

I am always down to read a book by this author! Her plots are always very unique and out there. In a good way, of course! Although this wasn’t a top hit for me, I still liked the world she created and learning who Carlota really was.

The book is told from two point-of-views, Carlota and Montgomery. Each one has a different take on religion and the world around them. I think that is why they pair so nicely together. Carlota is optimistic while Montgomery is realistic. I can’t say that I liked one more than the other. I felt for each character in different ways because each one has a different background and it comes to light on the pages. They both continue to make choices they deem are right and sometimes love can make us foolish.

There are other characters, some I liked more than others. It was interesting to feel more for the hybrids than humans but I guess that doesn’t take much when you look at our own world. Humans can suck sometimes. I do wish that there was more from the hybrids, especially more detail in the workings of Dr. Moreau. The reader only gets snippets here and there but nothing too wild really ever happens.

For me, the biggest letdowns were what I mentioned above and the romance. I knew who I wanted Carlota to end up with and even though that came true it was very much a side side plot and the ending just left me unsatisfied after them having a few great scenes together.

I can’t compare this to the original work since I haven’t read it but it does have more curious than anything to want to check it out.

Overall, this was a good read but it just needed a bit more in areas for me.

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Arc Review: The Return of the Sorceress by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Title: The Return of the Sorceress
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Genre: Adult Fantasy / Novella
Publication Date: June 30th, 2021
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Rating: 4 stars

“From the bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a magical journey of revenge and redemption.

Yalxi, the deposed Supreme Mistress of the Guild of Sorcerers, is on a desperate mission. Her lover and confidant seized her throne and stole the precious diamond heart, the jewel that is the engine of her power. Yalxi sets out to regain her magic and find a weapon capable of destroying the usurper. But this will mean turning to unlikely allies and opening herself up to unpleasant memories that have been suppressed for many years. For Yalxi is no great hero, but a cunning sorceress who once forged her path in blood – and must reckon with the consequences.

Set in a fantastical land where jewels and blood provide symbiotic magical powers to their wearers, The Return of the Sorceress evokes the energy of classic sword and sorcery, while building a thoroughly fresh and exciting adventure ripe for our era.” (Goodreads)

This cover is amazing like all of this author’s covers are! I just love every single one.

My only complaint about this book is that it was too short! And yet, this author packs so much feeling about revenge and redemption into such a short book. I didn’t realize it was a novella until after I started but I’m glad that I didn’t know otherwise it would have swayed my decision on picking this one up. I would have missed on reading this thrilling story about Yalxi.

I hope that one day she does write more in this world as I would definitely be interested in knowing more.

As always, I love her writing and even the shortest of books can make me feel a lot in a short amount of time.

Overall, I enjoyed it! I would definitely recommend if you are looking for a shorter fantasy or have read her other works.

E-Arc Review: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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53152636._SX318_SY475_Title: Mexican Gothic
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Genre: Fantasy / Historical Fiction / Gothic
Publication Date: June 30th, 2020
Publisher: Del Rey

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley for review. All opinions are my own.

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“From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a reimagining of the classic gothic suspense novel, a story about an isolated mansion in 1950s Mexico — and the brave socialite drawn to its treacherous secrets.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find — her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough, smart, and has an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.”(Goodreads)

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This cover is one of my favorites of the year. The blurb had me very curious and I was lucky enough to get my wish granted on NetGalley.

It’s hard to figure out what to expect when it comes to a book like this. The plot was nothing I would have ever imagined and the twists were ones I didn’t see coming at all. The author weaved so many different strings to create this intricate plot that had me utterly disturbed but also intrigued the further I got into the story. (The first 50% or so was slow going for me as I had a hard time really connecting with the characters or plot.)

Noemí is strong-willed and even though it’s not always the best trait to have, it really worked in her favor for this. I’m not sure how she coped with any of the things that were going on because I would have been in breakdown mode like her cousin.

The gothic house is filled with many people and all of them, besides Francis, are just strange. The more you get to know certain characters, the more you start loathing them. They each have a part to play and sometimes their part isn’t what it seems.

There is a tad bit of romance but it does not take up much of the plot. I did like the relationship between the two characters and thought that it molded nicely into the rest of the plot.

Overall, this was everything that a gothic novel should be. It may have taken me a bit to get into but the ending was worth the wait.

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Gods of Jade and Shadow: NetGalley Review

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36510722Title: Gods of Jade and Shadow
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction/Sci-fi/Fantasy
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All Opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

“Simultaneously heartbreaking and heart-mending, Gods of Jade and Shadow is a wondrous and magical tale about choosing our own path.”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

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My Review: 

I was really excited to dive into this book because of its take on Mexican folklore. It is an uncommon one to be written about. It also being in the Jazz Age was another plus for me! If those two things haven’t convinced you then look at that gorgeous cover! The colors are everything.

The plot, of course, is full of Mexican folklore that weaves itself into a unique and attention grabbing fantasy. The main character, Casiopea, is on a quest to help the god of death take back his throne from his brother.

Casiopea is far from being a pushover and even when certain circumstances arise with Hun-Kamé (god of death), she still holds her ground and does it the way she wants to. I loved her character and the attitude she brought along with teaching him a thing or two about human emotions. As for Hun-Kamé, he is stubborn, hard-headed, and sometimes just doesn’t get it. I mean, he is a a god after all. He grows on you throughout the course of the book and I loved his character development.

The romance in this book was one that I found myself enjoying because it didn’t just occur out of the blue. There was build-up and that is something I tend to need to make it more believable.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and hope others will enjoy it as much as I have! If you are a fan of folklore, definitely check this one out!