The Daughter of Doctor Moreau

From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic and Velvet Was the Night comes a dreamy reimagining of The Island of Doctor Moreau set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Mexico.

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.


"This is historical science fiction at its best: a dreamy reimagining of a classic story with vivid descriptions of lush jungles and feminist themes. Some light romance threads through the heavy ethical questions concerning humanity. Readers of Isabel Canas' The Hacienda will be drawn in by the setting and themes; fans of other classic remixes, such as Megan Shepherd's The Madman's Daughter, will also enjoy."

Library Journal, STARRED Review!

"[T]his wholly new novel paints a vivid picture that is as alluring as it is unsettling, filled with action, romance, and monsters. However, it is Moreno-Garcia’s ability to mesh the unease of the scientifically created beasts with the real-life terrors of a life on the margins and the horror of colonialism that elevates this story. Readers will fall into this tale immediately, enchanted.”

Booklist, STARRED Review!

"Moreno-Garcia (Mexican Gothic) is a master of dramatic tension....Moreno-Garcia revels in her setting’s tropi­cal color palette, which is reflected in the rich green of Eduardo’s eyes and the bold colors of Carlota’s dresses. The author also includes small, down-to-earth details of pastoral life on the estate, resulting in a world that feels immediate enough to slip into. The Daughter of Doctor Moreau will pull readers in even as a pit grows in their stomachs, given all the things they know can—and likely will—go wrong."

BookPage, STARRED Review!

"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."

New York Times

"Carlota's love and empathy for the hybrids is the heart that keeps the story of THE DAUGHTER OF DOCTOR MOREAU beating"

USA Today

"In “The Daughter of Doctor Moreau,” Moreno-Garcia shapeshifts again, unspooling a slow-burn saga with a macabre shiver of science fiction."

L.A. Times

"Despite its dark story of oppression and cruelty, Moreno-Garcia [...] instills the novel with action sequences showcasing violent conflicts between humans and hybrids. And she injects the novel’s gory battles with cinematic energy equal to that seen in the Universal Studios’ monster movies and other genre classics."

Washington Post

"If 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."

Seattle Times

"If 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."

Star Tribune

“A sublime reading experience, threaded through with philosophy, romance, history and thrills enough to keep the pages turning. [...] Moreno-Garcia demonstrates an impressive scale of imagination and a keen, empathic focus on the nature of humanity"

Toronto Star

"With its evocative prose, post-colonial historical setting that drives the plot, and the introduction of vibrant, fascinating characters, both familiar and new, The Daughter of Doctor Moreau very much stands on its own."


"Through all of these characters, however, Moreno-Garcia weaves a story about how life is often hard and full of unwanted surprises, and how finding your own inner strength to face these challenges is as important as accepting help from those who love you, just as you are. It’s a story you can get lost in, and it’s a tale whose bittersweetness will pull on your heart just enough for it to ache but will also leave you with hope that the characters are moving on to something better, no matter how hard getting there may be."

"I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We are in the Silvia Moreno-Garcia era of SFF."

"[T]he setup is crucial to the book’s action-packed second half, and the payoff is worth it. Moreno-Garcia’s previous work has spanned genres—horror in Mexican Gothic (2020), noir in Velvet Was the Night (2021)—and in this volume, she deftly combines fantasy, adventure, and even romance; the result is hard to classify but definitely a lot of fun. This isn’t the first book to riff on H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), but it’s definitely one of the better ones. A fun literary remix."


“This imaginative retelling of The Island of Doctor Moreau takes place in 19th-century Mexico, revolving around the sole daughter of a reclusive researcher (who may or may not be a madman) and the unexpected guest whose curiosity compels Carlota to question things herself. It's got action, romance, and even monsters—what more could ya want??”


"Silvia Moreno-Garcia stuns us once again with her atmospheric world-building and beautiful prose in this historical reimagining of H. G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau. Fans of Gods of Jade and Shadow and Mexican Gothic will rejoice to have another fantastic read to add to their collection."

Barnes & Noble

"Moreno-Garcia does a marvelous job of conjuring up the atmosphere of Wells' original and of transplanting it into a new setting [...] the author is establishing herself as one of the most inventive new voices in SF, and her mining of materials from Mexican history and indigenous culture is a welcoming addition to the genre's palette of influences."


"If there are two things I love in this world, it’s contemporary reimaginings of Victorian era horror and sci-fi, and joyful genre mashups in literature. Thank the Lord, then, for Silvia Moreno-Garcia...A thrilling fable of imperialism and exploitation...This sublime hybrid of historical, speculative, and gothic fiction might be Moreno-Garcia’s best yet."


“I can’t get enough of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s playful takes on classic genres. In her latest, the Island of Doctor Moreau gets a Yucatan-set treatment, steeped in sultry atmospherics and set during the lead-up to the Mexican Revolution as the hacienda system begins to crumple.”


"Flawlessly combining science fiction and history, [THE DAUGHTER OF DOCTOR MOREAU] is an absolute treasure.”


“An evocative slow-burn SF drama about colonialism, heredity and scientific hubris, couched in lush prose.”

Financial Times

“From the brilliant and creative mind of the New York Times best-selling author of Mexican Gothic, this lush sci-fi novel reimagines H.G. Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau in 1870s Mexico. Silvia Moreno-Garcia gives us death, action, romance, and human-animal hybrids in a dreamy jungle landscape. With a narrative rooted in true historical events and heroine Carlota Moreau’s coming of age, The Daughter of Doctor Moreau takes an intersectional feminist and anti-colonial approach to the classic story.”

Reader's Digest

“Mexican Gothic and Velvet Was the Night author Silvia Moreno-Garcia is back with a historical science fiction thriller that's a reimagining of H.G. Well's The Island of Doctor Moreau, set in nineteenth-century Mexico and weaving in political themes like colonialism and feminism that Moreno-Garcia effortlessly pens.”

Teen Vogue

“Once again the author of Mexican Gothic demonstrates her genius for genre mashups, combining contemporary political awareness with the appeal of a creepy gothic romance.”

The Guardian

"Set in the sweltering heat of the jungle where passions are bound to ignite, this is the ultimate summer read – perfect to lose yourself in on holiday!"

Northern Life UK

“[THE DAUGHTER OF DOCTOR MOREAU is a] decadent historical fiction journey.”

Apartment Therapy

“Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Daughter of Doctor Moreau answers the question, “What if we took an H.G Well’s classic but made it feminist?” Intrigued? This genre-bending drama takes place during real-life events (The Caste War of Yucatan in the mid-1800s) while set against the fictional backdrop of The Island of Doctor Moreau… Throw in a sweltering jungle, some science-fiction weirdness, and you’ve got an unlikely winner of a novel. Is there anything Silvia Moreno-Garcia can’t do?”

Fodors Travel Guide

“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.”


“With her well-crafted gothic style, Moreno-Garcia draws readers into the lush setting and asks them to think carefully about the morality of experimentation, the damage wrought by colonization, and the unpredictable fancies of the heart. [...] The result is an entertaining and thoughtful tale --- a page-turner that is both creepy and fanciful, and always smart.”


“Moreno-Garcia shifts through genres, blends, and reimagines them through a Mexican lens, from gothic romance to vampire noir and beyond. The authors latest gives a new take on the Island of Doctor Moreau, set in nineteenth-century Mexico. Moreno-Garcia’s lush worldbuilding and cultural perspective make familiar material feel fresh and gripping.”

Bloody Disgusting

"...Moreno-Garcia weaves a lush, vibrant narrative about exploitation, colonialism, and science gone much too far. Once you pick up this irresistible, dazzling historical science fiction drama, you won’t be able to walk away."

Barnes & Noble

Silvia Moreno-Garcia has consistently written books that interest and engage very easily. Readability (especially when the concept is a little strange), is not an easy task to accomplish, but Moreno-Garcia manages it with aplomb in her latest novel.... It’s a clever, well written and tragic tale of love, obsession and creation."

"A beautifully crafted book, elegantly blending its inspirations and component parts into a powerful and irresistibly evocative story."

Track of Words

"An unputdownable read."

Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

"The brilliant and unstoppable Silvia Moreno-Garcia continues to weave her magic in The Daughter of Dr. Moreau, a smart, sinister fable about social inequality and exploitation, isolation and abuse of power. In her usual fashion, Moreno-Garcia has given us an extraordinary heroine to root for in Carlota, a young woman who can’t know until she’s tested how much power is hers to claim. Both lacerating and deeply empathetic, this story satisfies the reader on every page."

Paula McLain, New York Times-bestselling author of The Paris Wife and When the Stars Go Dark

"With intelligence, energy, and unexpected tenderness, Silvia Moreno-Garcia takes on Wells’ classic tale of scientific hubris. Carlota, the mad Doctor Moreau’s only child, is a creation more original than anything her father’s cruel experiments could ever conjure. At once playful and deadly serious, The Daughter of Doctor Moreau is an irresistible and thoroughly satisfying novel."

Valerie Martin, author of Property and I Give It To You

"Beautiful, feral, and as sharp as a jaguar's claws...I felt the anger and hope in this story down to my very bones. Truly, Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a virtuoso of the anti-imperialist gothic novel."

Annalee Newitz, author of Autonomous and Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age

"Lush, eerie, and compulsively readable. This story got under my skin and stayed there."

Alexis Henderson author of The Year of the Witching and House of Hunger

"Silvia Moreno-Garcia goes from strength to strength. The Daughter of Dr. Moreau is my favorite of her novels so far — a gothic tour-de-force with characters who will keep you glued to the page, and a series of satisfying, surprising riffs on Wells’s original story."

Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble

“I don't even know what to compare this book to, it's just so incredibly unique and wonderful. Yes, it is a reimagining of a classic, but it's by a WoC about a WoC, where the villain is now white men impeding in Native spaces, and the horror that always follows, inflicted upon the native people and the land. Silvia's words are sweeping and yet calculated, crafting a dreamy affair where so-called monsters are more human than the actual humans are. Readers who were obsessed with GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW will devour this book!”

Caitlyn Vanorder, Bookmarks

“A lush and atmospheric retelling of THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU set in 19th century on the Yucatan Peninsula. Part sci-fi, part romance, this is a thought-provoking look at what defines and separates humanity and animals.”

Jamie Southern, Bookmarks

“Drawing inspiration from the famous HG Wells novel, Moreno-Garcia has penned a novel that defies genre, mixing elements of historical fiction and sci-fi with a dash of romance. The heroine's character development from obedient daughter to independent badass was particularly enrapturing, as was the role of the hybrids. I early await Moreno-Garcia's next project.”

Chelsea Stringfield, Parnassus Books

Awards & Accolades


#15 on the New York Times Bestseller list!


#127 on the USA Today Bestseller List!


#3 on the LA Times Bestseller List!


#7 on the Vancouver Sun Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List!


#3 on the Vancouver Sun International New Release Bestseller List!


In its third paperback printing!


Powell's "New Favorites" Title July 2022