Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination, Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of the novels Velvet Was the Night, Mexican Gothic, Gods of Jade and Shadow, and a bunch of other books. She has also edited several anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows (a.k.a. Cthulhu’s Daughters). She has won the British Fantasy Award and the Locus Award for her work as a novelist.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s debut novel, Signal to Noise, about music and magic, won a Copper Cylinder Award and was nominated for the British Fantasy, Locus, Sunburst and Aurora awards. Her second novel, Certain Dark Things, focused on narco vampires in Mexico City. It was selected as one of NPR’s best books of 2016 and was a finalist for the Locus and Sunburst awards. Her subsequent novel, The Beautiful Ones, received the Romantic Times Seal of Excellence.
Silvia’s short story collection, This Strange Way of Dying, was a finalist for the Sunburst Award.
As an anthology editor, her works include She Walks in Shadows (World Fantasy Award winner, published in the USA as Cthulhu’s Daughters), Fungi, Dead North and Fractured. Silvia is the publisher of Innsmouth Free Press. She co-edited the horror magazine The Dark with Sean Wallace from 2017 to 2020. She’s a columnist for The Washington Post and reviews books for NPR.
She has an MA in Science and Technology Studies from the University of British Columbia. Her thesis can be read online and is titled “Magna Mater: Women and Eugenic Thought in the Work of H.P. Lovecraft.”
You can find Silvia on her website.
- StandaloneSilver NitrateSilvia Moreno-Garcia
Goodreads Choice Award Finalist 2022StandaloneThe Daughter of Doctor MoreauSilvia Moreno-Garcia
- StandaloneThe Tiger Came to the MountainsSilvia Moreno-Garcia
2022 Strand Critics Award FinalistStandaloneVelvet Was the NightSilvia Moreno-Garcia
Locus Award 2022 FinalistStandaloneThe Return of the SorceressSilvia Moreno-Garcia
2020 Locus Award Winner
2021 British Fantasy Award Winner
2021 Aurora Award WinnerStandaloneMexican GothicSilvia Moreno-Garcia
- StandaloneUntamed ShoreSilvia Moreno-Garcia
2020 Ignyte Award Winner
2020 Sunburst Award WinnerStandaloneGods of Jade and ShadowSilvia Moreno-Garcia
- StandalonePrime MeridianSilvia Moreno-Garcia
- StandaloneThe Beautiful OnesSilvia Moreno-Garcia
- StandaloneCertain Dark ThingsSilvia Moreno-Garcia
- StandaloneSignal to NoiseSilvia Moreno-Garcia
- CollectionsThis Strange Way of DyingSilvia Moreno-Garcia
World Fantasy Award WinnerAnthologiesShe Walks in ShadowsSilvia Moreno-Garcia
- AnthologiesFungiSilvia Moreno-Garcia
“Combining real history with unsettling magic, Moreno-Garcia effortlessly ties explorations of misogyny, addiction, antisemitism, and racism into a plot that never falters from its breakneck pace…This is a knockout.”
"Silver Nitrate is a popcorn thrill ride into the underbelly of 90s Mexican horror movie and occultism—Moreno-Garcia crafts a world so rich with details and history that you won’t be able to look away. Beyond being a break-neck read, this is a book that forces readers to reckon with the monsters that scare us, on screen and in the shadows."
Dana Schwartz, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anatomy: A Love Story
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a treasure and Silver Nitrate is a gem: a chilling roller coaster of a tale that captures perfectly why we love horror movies, scary books, and things that go bump in the night."
Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author of The Lioness
"I'd read hundreds of pages of just Montserrat and Tristán being cantankerously charming best friends, but add a cursed film and a secret society of sorcerers? Perfection. No one punctures the skin of reality to reveal the lurking, sinister magic beneath better than Silvia Moreno-Garcia."
Kiersten White, national bestselling author of Hide
"You don't just read this book, you live in it--and it will charm you, intrigue you, and scare the daylights out of you."
Tim Powers, World Fantasy Award winning author of The Anubis Gates
"Hip as hell, Silver Nitrate delivers a cinematic and exhilarating punch. Silvia Moreno-Garcia does it again with this creepy and unforgettable occultist thriller, teeming with the decadence of old horror movies. It’s Mexico City in the nineties, where beepers, cigarettes, and the ghost of an ex-girlfriend come alive as if leaping from the page. I felt cooler just reading it."
Kali Fajardo-Anstine, bestselling author of Woman of Light and Sabrina & Corina
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau
"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."
"[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.”
"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."
"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."
"Carlota's love and empathy for the hybrids is the heart that keeps the story of THE DAUGHTER OF DOCTOR MOREAU beating"
"In “The Daughter of Doctor Moreau,” Moreno-Garcia shapeshifts again, unspooling a slow-burn saga with a macabre shiver of science fiction."
"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."
"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."
"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."
“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"
"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."
"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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
"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!"
“[THE DAUGHTER OF DOCTOR MOREAU is a] decadent historical fiction journey.”
“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?”
“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.”
"...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."
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."
"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
The Tiger Came to the Mountains
"THE TIGER CAME TO THE MOUNTAINS has Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s signature lush and beautiful prose, and this tale is a beautiful piece about family, love and courage."
Velvet Was the Night
"It’s hard to describe how much fun this novel is—Moreno-Garcia, whose Mexican Gothic (2020) gripped readers last year, proves to be just as good at noir as she is at horror. The novel features memorable characters, taut pacing, an intricate plot, and antiheroes you can’t help but root for."
"This is a rich novel with an engrossing plot, distinctive characters, and a pleasing touch of romance. Readers won’t be able to put it down."
"Moreno-Garcia … brings together a romance-fiction obsessed secretary and a lovelorn enforcer during the brutally suppressed student riots in 1970s Mexico City… Their stories of danger and passion run side by side in an enveloping narrative that is at once dark and bright."
Booklist, Starred Review!
“Moreno-Garcia keeps the suspense high and the action intense, all while sharing a bit of 1970s Mexican history in this perfectly pitched novel.”
“Immensely satisfying, refreshingly new and gloriously written… The gift of this book, and Moreno-Garcia’s storytelling, is how it imbues this well-worn genre with added strength, grace and even musicality.”
"This is a noir with a heart of gold, and it's a narrative in which the empathy we feel for its characters ultimately reveals an important truth: That Moreno-Garcia is not only a talented storyteller but also an incredibly versatile one."
“The new novel by the best-selling author of Mexican Gothic shows another bewitching side of Mexico.... You'll be pulled into the tale with spies, romance, danger and rock 'n' roll.”
“Moreno-Garcia proves her prowess as a historical fiction powerhouse again.”
“[A] can’t-miss follow-up to Mexican Gothic.”
“A dazzling noir.”
"Sexy and simmering."
"An enthralling tale that’s as fun as it is mysterious... The characters are fascinating, the tone lush and romantic, and it’s all wrapped up in a mystery with twists and turns one likely won’t see coming... [Silvia Moreno-Garcia is] the sort of author whose works automatically end up on your “must read” list."
"Brutal, stylish, and infused with the passions of the times, Velvet Was the Night is a perfect political thriller.”
"These are deeply eccentric and fascinating characters who seem at times to have stepped out of an Elmore Leonard and into the chaotic politics of an exuberant and tumultuous Latin metropolis. That’s a heady mix, and Moreno-Garcia handles all the wildness and desperation with careful skill, creating a story that resonates with a genuinely edgy sensibility."
“Intelligent, sexy, and highly entertaining… The historical detail of Velvet Was the Night lends the novel its gravity and intellect, but it is the author’s considerable skill with developing characters and thrilling, fast-paced plotlines that gives it its energy. The perfect summer indulgence, this book leaves the reader keyed up, breathless, and eager for more of what Moreno-Garcia has to offer.”
“Throughout her career, the style-shifting novelist Silvia Moreno-Garcia has demonstrated a remarkable ability to employ the tropes of genre fiction while simultaneously subverting and decolonizing them … Velvet Was the Night her riveting new noir, is an adrenalized, darkly romantic journey set during Mexico’s Dirty War … Moreno-Garcia keeps us guessing … Moreno-Garcia always leaves her own indelible stamp on any seemingly familiar genre.”
"Through precise, accessible yet poetic prose, these characters instantly come alive, and when they begin venturing into Mexico City’s darker corners, we are eager to follow them. The result is another triumph for one of genre fiction’s brightest voices, a book that will keep you up late into the night—not just for its intricate plotting but also for the two souls pulsing at its core."
"Moreno-Garcia skillfully weaves classic noir tropes into the political particulars of this setting"
"Romantic, eccentric and violent, this is a perfect example of neo-noir"
The Sunday Times Crime Club
"Moreno-Garcia is a magician able to switch genres with ease . . . a superb noir thriller."
"Pacy enough to keep you hooked - as it reaches its climax, so will your heart rate."
"This fascinating tale skilfully weaves the history and politics of the period."
The Sunday Post
"Within this rich world and character is a tense thriller that builds as the book reaches its climax . . . touches of John Le Carré espionage."
"An assured piece of historical fiction, as well as a slice of noir."
"A delicious, twisted historical novel for lovers of smoky noir and antiheroes, about a daydreaming secretary, a lonesome enforcer, and the mystery of a missing woman they’re both desperate to find. In Velvet Was the Night, readers will discover memorable characters amidst a fast-paced, intricate plot, full of suspenseful action and 1970s Mexican history."
“A neo-noir masterpiece that will have you cancelling your dinner plans so you can finish this sucker in one sitting. Folks, these pages turn themselves and despite the dark themes, freedom crushing state violence, and a story completely lacking in empathy, Velvet Was the Night is one of the most fun reads this year... It has become increasingly clear that Silvia Moreno-Garcia can bang out any genre she chooses. She’s a gift."
"Moreno-Garcia writes with an impressive clarity and immediacy... a delectable feast of a story."
“Velvet Was the Night is a must-read novel… Through daydreaming and lonely characters with a knack for solving mysteries, this genre novel leaves you wanting to encounter a mystery of your own.”
“Not your grandparents' pulp fiction or Quentin Tarantino's, either. 'Velvet Was the Night' is a wonderfully entertaining, slyly feminist pulp novel.”
But Moreno-Garcia’s latest novel does more than just give a taste of the noir we all know and love; it brings to light the cruelty and fear present for those living in 1970s Mexico City...you’ll walk away with a memorable snapshot of an ordinary Mexican citizen’s life during the political unrest of the 1970s."
"VELVET WAS THE NIGHT is a delicious, twisted treat for lovers of noir. Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a masterful writer who pulls you into her dark world and never lets you go. From the suspenseful, slow-burn plot to the crisp, desperate characters, you will be obsessed."
Simone St. James, New York Times-bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel
“Velvet Was the Night is a rollicking work of historical noir with a vivid sense of time and place and an unforgettable cast. Moreno-Garcia made me care deeply about her characters and their dangerous, riveting misadventures. This is a stylish, hard-boiled novel painted in shades of gray with a whole lot of heart.”
Steph Cha, author of Your House Will Pay
"Velvet Was The Night cements Silvia Moreno-Garcia's incredible versatility as an amazing writer who moves between genres effortlessy. A lush , magnificent trip into a world of danger and discovery. Not to be missed!"
S.A. Cosby, author of Blacktop Wasteland and Razorblade Tears
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia takes you into the gritty underworld noir of 1970’s Mexico City with a propulsive read where no one and nothing is as it seems.”
Isabella Maldonado, bestselling author of The Cipher
"VELVET WAS THE NIGHT is a smooth, amber tinted, cigar scented affair that rings in your ears. Corruption and a desperation to escape the world around you as it slowly unravels. Maite and Elvis are two sides of the same coin in this story. Maite and her dreamy avoidance of everything going on around her meets Elvis' blind rushing through the goings on, while still somehow missing the flying bullets. Told from these two points of view, it's almost like you're a part of the story as well. If you're just as unable to affect the circumstances effecting them. It's the perfect read for a hot summer evening, where the world is moving slowly, and the cicadas are screaming."
Caitlyn Vanorder, Bookmarks
“I have issues with Moreno-Garcia's books because I never want them to end! She always wants me wanting more and a sequel! VELVET WAS THE NIGHT takes place in the 70s Mexico City in the midst of political unrest. Maite and Elvis are two characters from different backgrounds whose paths align to find a person who has disappeared. Readers will escape and find joy in VELVET WAS THE NIGHT due to the action, the loneliness of both characters, and the beautiful setting of Mexico City.”
Deanna Bailey, Story on the Square
“Oh. My. Goodness. Could not put this down! Moreno-Garcia's ability to write people, characters, is stellar. The plot was suspenseful and very engaging, but to tell you the truth, I could read about Maite and Elvis brushing their teeth and be enthralled. We need more pulp/historical fiction in our lives! And thank you for bringing this important time in Mexican history to light!”
Jen Hillebrandt, Townie Books
“With the smoothness and soul of a priceless vinyl, Silvia Morena-Garcia’s prose envelope your senses and transport you to the 1970’s where Mexico City is caught in the throes of political unrest. You follow two nondescript, morally corrupt, yet fascinating people who from vastly different paths are pulled into the mystery of what happened to the beautiful Leonora, her camera, and why everyone cares so damn much. VELVET WAS THE NIGHT explores the unpolished edges of our souls we hide from one another and unveils the people who find the inadequacies of their lives to hold an inescapable gravitas. Here is a mystery that spirals into an achingly realistic look at humanity. Whose grit and violence is balanced with poignant moments of vulnerability. It’s written by a master of her craft whose mind you’d be remiss to not wander through. Simply put, it’s a fantastic read with an ending that I loved…”
Constance, Mysterious Galaxy
The Return of the Sorceress
Bestseller Moreno-Garcia (Mexican Gothic) packs an impressive plot into limited space in this dark sword-and-sorcery secondary world fantasy.… This well-plotted novella zips along with the darkly fascinating Yalxi at the helm.
"An efficient and energetic novella."
"This is a story about love and justice, friendship and redemption. And the way it got there – that’s the best part of this unexpected journey."
"THE RETURN OF THE SORCERESS is a quick, engaging, and highly entertaining read. This is the sort of fictional universe that I would love to return to again and again. Highly recommended to Moreno-Garcia’s fans, as well as fans of Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard, The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark, and Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse."
"Beautifully written, just like all of Moreno-Garcia’s books."
"Silvia Moreno-Garcia weaves a story that questions everything we believe about power, loyalty, friendship, and the subtle and obvious influence of mentors."
"[THE RETURN OF THE SORCERESS gets straight into the heart of the story and [keeps] interest to the end."
“Its archly intelligent tone and insightful writing make MEXICAN GOTHIC an original escape to an eerie world.”
“The author’s postcolonial spin on the gothic tradition evokes the usual suspects: Daphne du Maurier, Emily Brontë, Mary Shelley, even Anne Radcliffe. Like those authors, Moreno-Garcia works in a tradition in which chills and thrills tap into elemental cultural fears — runaway science, carnal passion. But to these she adds a more politically inflected horror, both ancient and timely: A racist will to power.”
“Moreno-Garcia’s energetic romp through the gothic genre is delightfully bonkers.”
“MEXICAN GOTHIC is a pitch-perfect Gothic novel.”
“Moreno-Garcia weaves elements of Mexican folklore with themes of decay, sacrifice, and rebirth, casting a dark spell all the way to the visceral and heart-pounding finale.”
"What makes “Mexican Gothic” so fresh is not only its cramped, crawly ambience—comparisons to “Jane Eyre” are not too generous—but also the fact that it’s steeped in a deep colonial history that haunts the narrative."
"Wonderfully creepy, blending chilling scenes of horror with classic Gothic tropes for a seductive and subversive tale. A book to devour in a few—very thrilling—sittings."
"Moreno-Garcia is having a blast playing with the conventions of Gothic literature."
“A dreamy gothic mystery [that] quickly unfolds into a visceral, almost hallucinogenic nightmare […] [MEXICAN GOTHIC] is a distinctive and cinematic horror novel that is not for the faint of heart.”
“It’s Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America […] MEXICAN GOTHIC gets seriously weird”
"When it comes to the horror, though, Moreno-Garcia gets it absolutely right... it’s enormously fun."
"A gothic chiller, set in 1950s Mexico, that will clamp you in its icy embrace and linger like a nightmare."
“This book is deliciously true to the gothic form, grotesque without becoming gross, and considered, always, in the way it thinks about power and its characters’ reactions to power.”
“Everyone has already told you to read this, and they were right. It’s Crimson Peak in 1950s Mexico, with a weirder, darker, ickier reveal. Moreno-Garcia said in an interview that her books were aimed at “the classy but trashy reader” and friends, I’ve never felt more seen.”
"This heart-thumping thriller-chiller from exciting writer Silvia Moreno-Garcia."
"A gripping read and, despite the horror and violence of the story, it’s a strangely beautiful one. This is an impressive chiller-thriller; the writing is steeped in the spirit of the Victorian gothic tale and it’s as well done as any recent homage."
"Immersive and suspenseful, Mexican Gothic is up there with this year’s best ."
"With peculiar characters, a family curse and enough suspense to hold the reader's attention, it is the perfect summer read’."
"This pitch-perfect Gothic tale is a delicious, delicious delight."
"A fitting example of a new American Gothic novel, as Moreno-Garcia re-imagines this classic genre. You'll certainly find yourself caught between gasps of horror as you start to unravel this mysterious story, just remember to leave the light on as you sit down for a good read."
“In Noemí Taboada, Moreno-Garcia has gifted us one of the most endearing and forceful heroines of recent horror fiction. A masterpiece of modern gothic storytelling, complete with a captivating storyline driven by a strong cast and brooding atmosphere, MEXICAN GOTHIC deserves all the plaudits it has received, and then some.”
"All of the spooky features and feeling of dread that we love in a gothic novel, but... freshened up a bit with Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s 1950s Mexican setting and characters and the lovely addition of fungus. The themes of racism and eugenics make the story even more disturbing."
"An astonishing example of how Gothic fiction can terrify in new ways while utilizing elements that have always been quintessential to the genre."
“MEXICAN GOTHIC terrified and fascinated me. Silvia Moreno-Garcia proves once again that she’s a genre-jumping wizard, one of the most exciting and necessary authors writing today.”
Charlie Jane Anders, nationally bestselling author of The City in the Middle of the Night
“Darkly brilliant and captivating. Readers who love old houses and family secrets will devour this book (as I did!). The setting itself—High Place, with its reputation for devouring the dreams of young women—is a character in this marvelously fantastical novel. From 1950s glamorous Mexican high society, to the crumbling pride of an abandoned silver mine, Moreno-Garcia enthralls with this twisty tale of love and betrayal.”
Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Tiger and The Ghost Bride
“A gorgeous piece of work [...] absolutely terrifying, and it has stayed with me in a powerful way.”
Sarah Gailey, Hugo Award-winning author of Magic for Liars
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia takes the gothic narrative of a mysterious estate hiding dark secrets and expertly blends it with psychological horror and her personal flare of rich Mexican imagery and culture to create a sultry, beckoning story sure to satisfy. Noemí Tuñon is a firestarter feminist character, and her classy yet clever quip adds just the right element to balance the sinister mysteries of High Place. Between the author, eye-catching premise, and the amazing cover design (wow, Jen Valero), this book will have no problem getting into the hands of readers.”
Cat Chapman, Oxford Exchange
"[W]ith devices reminiscent of many masterpieces and classics....will make you shudder! It's a new, familiar classic gothic horror!"
Hideo Kojima, game creator and founder of Kojima Productions
“This thriller sets a quiet tone before building slowly and evenly, showing how a meek teenager trapped by circumstance grows into a strong woman who takes control of her future.”
“This insightful look at criminal lifefrom the viewpoint of a sardonic yet lonely soul seems destined for more plaudits.”
Booklist, Starred Review
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia jumps into the Noir genre.”
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s UNTAMED SHORE is an engrossing book […] astounding in both its maturity and its cynicism.”
“[This] compelling crime debut [...] is a small masterpiece and presages well for Moreno-Garcia if she continues on a criminal path.”
“This is a really good slow-burn suspense novel [...] if you like character driven suspense, and are looking for an interesting setting you’ve probably never read before, definitely pick this one up!”
"[I]t’s measured, thought-provoking and darkly fascinating, the sort of insightful character study that Moreno-Garcia does so well, full of characters who are largely irredeemable but – in spite or perhaps because of this – utterly believable. Psychologically complex and darkly satisfying, it’s an absolutely fascinating, compelling read."
"While it is a slower paced novel, the focus on atmosphere and character development make it a compelling one. Moreno-Garcia once more draws the reader into her Mexico and presents a rich and vivid world."
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia continues her streak of amazing novels with UNTAMED SHORE. Her writing [...] sets the stage brilliantly and the reader truly can picture the village in Baja. Once you’re in this book, you’re in it. It’s nearly impossible to put down, even when the reader is mentally screaming at Viridinana to not be naive and just walk away.”
"A sizzling and suspenseful crime thriller with a likable, if not a little morally ambiguous, protagonist and a fun backdrop."
"This novel was a masterclass in subverting my expectations."
"Weaving suspense, murder, romance, and the throes of young adulthood together, Untamed Shore is a page-turner that will leave you hooked (pun intended) until the very end."
“The Great Gatsby meets Night of the Iguana in this elegantly spare and darkly twisted story of undercurrents, deception, and colliding cultures.”
Hank Phillipi Ryan
“Atmospheric, compelling, and very suspenseful.”
“UNTAMED SHORE is a masterpiece. I loved this book and can't get Viridiana out of my head.”
Gods of Jade and Shadow
“Moreno-Garcia takes her, and the reader, on a whirlwind tour of a 1920s Mexico vivid with jazz, the memories of revolution, and gods, demons, and magic which are both indigenous and foreign-born.”
“Gods of Jade and Shadows is set in a fantastical 1920s Mexico. Casiopea Tun lives with her overbearing grandfather and her odious cousin, Martín. Since this is a fairy-tale, she lives a suitably Cinderella-ish existence, cleaning her cousin’s shoes, washing floors and atoning for her mother’s decision to marry into a lower class. Casiopea is a memorable heroine with “a knack for quiet insurrection”. One day she accidentally awakens a Mayan god of death, the urbane and gorgeous Hun-Kamé, Lord of Shadows. Cassiopea accompanies the god through the delights and colours of jazz age Mexico in a quest to help him to recover his throne from his treacherous brother. This is all a bit whimsical for my tastes, but Silvia Moreno-Garcia writes with verve and the Mayan mythology she draws on is fascinating.”
“Readers will gladly immerse themselves in Moreno-Garcia’s rich and complex tale of desperate hopes and complicated relationships.”
“Snappy dialog, stellar worldbuilding, lyrical prose, and a slow-burn romance make this a standout.”
“The magic that Silvia Moreno-Garcia weaves in her 1920s-set historical fantasy, GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW, immerses the reader in a fairy tale like no other [...] Readers will be floored by Moreno-Garcia’s painstaking attention to detail. Her descriptions of the emotionally charged interactions between realistic human characters and otherworldly gods, witches and demonic forces are unforgettable, as are as the fairy-tale and folktale aspects of the plot.”
“GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW is a magical fairy tale about identity, freedom, and love, and it’s like nothing you’ve read before.”
“[GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW] is a moving description of a young girl’s coming of age and a seamless fusion of the real and the magical.”
“Although pre-Columbian mythology and magic and the Roaring Twenties may seem like a strange combination, in Moreno-Garcia’s hands they comprise an enchanting cocktail, just as Casiopea’s unsentimental view on her story is the perfect counterpart to its fantastic and at times hair-raising events. Raise a glass, and keep more like this coming.”
“Moreno-Garcia has a talent for taking Mexican folklore, customs, and mythology, twisting them around, and turning out fascinating stories immersed in different genre tropes […] Fans of lush, evocative language will be thoroughly delighted.”
“The balance between Mayan mythology and historical fantasy is handled with impressive assurance and disarming good humor.”
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest is striking.”
“GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW is a page-turner that immerses you in a forgotten culture and it is a coming-of-age story about finding what you really want in the most unlikely of circumstances.”
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia uses beautifully descriptive prose to take us on a tour of 1920s Mexico.”
“This magical story blends Mexican history and mythology into a fantastic adventure. The lush world Moreno-Garcia has built will carry readers away on a feminist coming of age journey with Casiopea, a heroine for our time.”
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia beautifully weaves the glamour and possibility of the Jazz Age with Mexican folklore, crafting a lush, enthralling coming of age fairytale. Full of wonder and symbolism, it delves into the power of myths and stories, the choices that make a hero, and what it means to actually live. The relationship between Casiopea and Hun-Kamé develops tenderly and quietly, built on courage and wistful dreams. This is a hopeful and bittersweet tale, with a whip-smart, practical protagonist, and will appeal to fans of S.A. Chakraborty, Naomi Novik, and Katherine Arden.”
“Casiopea Tun leads a constrained lives in 1920s Mexico until, in an act of rebellion, she opens a casket belonging to her grandfather and unleashes the Mayan death god who insists she help him regain his throne. Based on folklore, this is a coming-of-age fairytale of haunting shadows co-mingled with vibrant life.”
“GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW is a page-turner that immerses you in a forgotten culture and it is a coming-of-age story about finding what you really want in the most unlikely of circumstances.”
“[GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW is] full of energy, vibrancy and Mayan culture.”
“This is an extremely impressive tale that immerses me in an epic quest and journey of discovery for two very different yet both powerful people who need the other to find themselves.”
“Moreno-Garcia has a way with words.”
“I recommend Gods of Jade and Shadow to fantasy/mythology fans looking for something a little different.”
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s prose is like the best kind of fairytale–dark, enchanting, and makes you wish that you could live within its pages. Casiopea’s journey belongs on every bookshelf.”
Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of Labyrinth Lost
“Pushed down by her grandfather and cousin all her life, stubborn Casiopea is surprised to find herself a hero when she accidentally frees the Mayan God of Death from imprisonment. Inextricably tied together, Casiopea must assist him as he regains his strength to battle his treacherous brother for the Underworld. What neither of them realize is the simple power that humanity holds in his world of glittering and ravenous shadows. I absolutely loved this gorgeous and original historical fantasy, a great comp to Katherine Arden’s Winternight series or Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.”
Sami Thompson, Square Books
“Simultaneously heartbreaking and heart-mending, GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW is a wondrous and magical tale about choosing our own path. I felt weepy and happy and hopeful when I finished—everything you want to feel at the end of a great story.”
Kevin Hearne, The New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Druid Chronicles, the Seven Kennings trilogy, and the Tales of Pell with Delilah S. Dawson
“Set in a lushly rendered and gorgeous world, this is historical fantasy at its best: a fresh, feminist coming-of-age tale that lets the ancient and the new meld and clash in a tale you can’t put down.”
S.A. Chakraborty, Bestselling author of the award-nominated The City of Brass
“A lust, bittersweet tale of courage, lover and carving your own place in the world […] Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s evocative prose will take you on an adventure for the mind and the heart.”
Christina Henry, Author of the national bestselling Black Wings series
“A vibrant story of grit, giddiness, and glory with a protagonist whose personality burns bright as a star. Casiopea Tun will capture your heart and draw you into a jewel-toned world of myth-making and jazz music.”
Lara Elena Donnelly, Nebula/Lambda-nominated author of The Amberlough Dossier
“A beautiful work that will draw you in and keep you transfixed and reading far too late. It blends the “real” and the mythic seamlessly, and the clear-sighted heroine is a joy to read about. It’s the sort of book that will leave you with beautiful after-images for weeks to follow, and going back to re-read favourite sections.”
Genevieve Cogman, author of the Invisible Library series
“An elegant and immersive tale, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW opened my eyes to the Mayan Underworld and took me on an adventure with a strong-willed, practical heroine and a prickly fallen god that I never wanted to end. It feels like a modern classic, and is absolutely unforgettable.”
Kendare Blake, #1 NYT Bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series
“For lovers of mythology, this is a real treat. I was not familiar with Mesoamerican myths so this was very exciting for me – a new voyage to a land of dreams and possibilities. When Casiopea opens an old trunk in her grandfather’s room, she allows the Mayan God of Death to escape (think Pandora’s box) and her previously boring life takes on a new purpose as she is sent out to help him regain his former status. Her journey takes her away from the quiet town of her birth and into the jungles of the Yucatán peninsula, into the raging crowds and bright lights of Mexico City, and as far away as the “underworld.” It’s the Roaring 20’s and things are hopping. I loved this reverent fairy tale.”
Linda Bond, of Auntie’s (Spokane, Washington)
“Cassiopeia has had a difficult life, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. The story begins with a girl who dreams of a brighter future and quickly finds herself at the mercy of ancient gods. Laced with ancient Mayan myths, demons, ghosts, sorcerers and witches, this tale takes us from the Yucatan, through the depths of Xibalba–the kingdom of the lords of death–and back to Mexico where the hearts of readers are certain to break. With beautiful use of language, fantastic world-building, and a classic underdog story woven throughout, this book is a winner for me.”
Sophie Giroir, of Cavalier House Books (Denham Springs, Louisiana)
“Set in 1920's Mexico, this is a work combining Mayan mythology, history, fantasy, and coming of age. Casciopea is an emotionally intelligent, brave, funny heroine readers will look up to and want to hang out with. Moreno-Garcia broadens our imagination with Hun-Kame, the Mayan God of Death, who shows that even gods need help sometimes and vulnerability is endearing! The book is also a geography nerd's dream, with beautiful descriptions of the landscape and culture from Yucatán to Mexico City to Baja.”
Grace Hagen, The Novel Neighbor
“I’d also give the highest recommendation to Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s novella, PRIME MERIDIAN, a subtle and powerful tale of Mars, movies, and Mexico City which stands amongst the best novellas of the past few years.”
“[PRIME MERIDIAN] ekes out its own unique space as an elegant novella that deserves to be recognized as more than a genre expression.”
“PRIME MERIDIAN is a haunting novella that swept me away with its dream of Mars.”
"PRIME MERIDIAN by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a beautifully low-key novella set in the near-future where a young woman struggles in the gig economy and dreams of moving to Mars."
“Although this functions as a standalone, there’s more than enough room for a sequel. I hope to encounter Amelia again in some future work by Moreno-Garcia.”
“It’s wrenching in a way that has nothing to do with big worldwide events or apocalyptic calamities. It’s just about people, and the hope of getting out.”
“I enjoyed this book [...] The sci-fi aspect was more of a subtle theme than a major plot point and I really liked that. It focused on real circumstances faced by those who aren’t privileged to be living luxuriously.”
“Melancholy and wise. I strongly recommend it.”
“I would love to read a sequel to this thought-provoking story as I find myself wondering about the character and what happens next. Recommended for fans of literary fiction.”
The Beautiful Ones
“This is the third novel I read by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and I loved all of them in different ways: each in a different genre by a chameleon writer with incredible writing skills.”
“Moreno-Garcia fills her fantastic novel of manners with sumptuous language and plausible romantic complications in a setting that appears to be based on 19th-century France and is lightly garnished with minor magic […] Readers who enjoyed Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist Histories magical Regency series will be particularly enthralled by the genuine emotions evoked in the course of the unsustainable love triangle.”
“The telekinesis […] adds a fantastical spin to a story that would otherwise be a great fit for fans of the 18th-century French classic Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Valerie is an especially compelling character to watch […] [Moreno-Garcia] returns with a novel that is light on fantasy but overflowing with delicious melodrama.”
“THE BEAUTIFUL ONES is a hauntingly lovely book, romantic and crushing by turns, touched with magic on every level. Garcia-Moreno has crafted an utterly convincing world, populated with characters both wonderful and terrible — often with the same character.”
“THE BEAUTIFUL ONES demonstrates Moreno-Garcia’s smart and colorful writing, with descriptions both sensory and sumptuous, and characters you will root for, even in their worst moments.”
“The true strength of the novel of course lies in its characters and its depiction of an era when wealth and its correct show is all that matters […] It’s a slow-burn, stately novel about the magic of what it means to love, and love truly.”
“[T]he whole book is a magnificent tangle of unspoken words and feelings. Nothing is tepid; everything, even the absence of feelings, is charged with danger and heartache.”
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s THE BEAUTIFUL ONES is an elegantly paced novel that moves its characters into place with ease, with careful attention paid to ways a word or a moment can change an entire life.”
“If you’ve ever thought that what Dangerous Liaisons really needed was more Force Adepts, this may very well be the book you’ve been waiting for.”
“A lot of times, when you read a novel, there’s always a few flaws – character traits or incidents that just don’t make sense. THE BEAUTIFUL ONES had none of these. There wasn’t a single part of the book that made me pause; I read straight through with an insane amount of love and excitement for what I was reading.”
“THE BEAUTIFUL ONES completely won me over. If you love mannered, suspenseful, lushly written historical romances, pick this up.”
“Filled with gothic overtones and lush, vivid characters this is a story that captures the heart and imagination.”
Heroes and Heartbreakers
“THE BEAUTIFUL ONES by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia lives up to its title – it’s beautifully written, both in the sentences themselves and the images they create [...] [R]eaders who enjoy light speculative elements, historical fantasy, romance, and beautiful prose will find a trove. Straddling several genres with elegant intelligence, THE BEAUTIFUL ONES is both an easy read and a fulfilling one.”
"Moreno-Garcia’s masterful writing elevated this trope and made reading The Beautiful Ones an emotional, meaningful experience."
"The Beautiful Ones is a beautiful gothic tale full of wonder and feels absolutely real. The characters are vividly complicated. I seriously loved everything about this from the gorgeous, lush prose, to the tiny intimate moments of heartbreak."
Mary Robinette Kowal
“Truly one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in a long time. This sweeping tale of love lost and found is told with old-world elegance, grace and just the right touch of magic.”
M.J. Rose, The New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Language of Stones
Certain Dark Things
“Beautifully and powerfully reinvigorates one of the seminal horror fiction monsters in some truly unexpected and sublime ways. Filled with powerful themes of trust, corruption, vengeance, and bloodlust, this novel is by turns sensual and grim, introspective and disturbing, suspenseful and moving, and all told in the sleek and lyrical prose for which Moreno-Garcia is deservedly acclaimed. CERTAIN DARK THINGS is arguably THE vampire novel for the 21st century.”
“Darkly ironic worldbuilding is the real treat of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s CERTAIN DARK THINGS, which posits that vampires are a species that coexists with humans, most recently amid the human underworld.”
“One of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s great achievements in CERTAIN DARK THINGS is her representation of Mexico City as a real place, a city with history, districts, subways, with beauty and ugliness, with problems […] The whole is a beautifully balanced portrait of imperfect people making terrible choices and gritting their teeth magnificently through the consequences.”
“The Mexican setting is a huge part of the allure of this new novel from Moreno-Garcia, as are the fascinating varieties of vampires she sets forth.”
"Vampire fiction fans will sink their teeth into this."
“A bittersweet, satisfying ending confirms that Moreno-Garcia is an author to watch.”
“CERTAIN DARK THINGS is a gorgeously (dark) emotionally gripping thriller. Moreno-Garcia’s characters are vivid and compelling, as is her prose. As a novel, it’s fantastic: honest, wrenching, compassionate, and brutal. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
“With CERTAIN DARK THINGS, Silvia Moreno-Garcia demonstrates that there is always more to be done with familiar figures such as the vampire, and that in the hands of a talented writer, the creatures can rise to new (un)life.”
“This is a vampire story unlike any you’ve ever read, beginning with its setting: modern-day Mexico City, where a scrappy kid named Domingo spends his days searching through the city’s trash [...] Vampire gangsters, a messy romance, and distinctive Mexican flavor, in the skilled hands of the author of Signal to Noise, one of our favorite books of 2015? You simply cannot go wrong.”
“This novel is a must if you love vampire novels. Especially vampire noir novels.”
“Action-packed, endlessly fascinating and thorough in its world building, it won’t be easy for readers to not devour what is hopefully the first of many books in this enthralling version of a Mexico teeming with wonderfully realized predators.”
RT Book Reviews
“With dark and delicious elegance, Moreno-Garcia delivers a satisfyingly bloody vampire story with a tantalizing twist – Aztec mythology – and a romance that warms the heart even as it causes it to pound a little faster out of sheer terror […] Not since my days of reading Anne Rice has a vampire story so wholly delivered such a head-spinning plot combined with true substance of character.”
“A hard-edged, emotionally mature, occasionally heartbreaking example of contemporary fantasy at its finest.”
“This fast-paced horror tale presents a new, alternate world of vampire-human rivalry and will appeal to those who enjoy rooting for unlikely heroes.”
“Moreno-Garcia weaves together Aztec mythology into her vampire lore, and situates the clans in the drug world of Mexico. There’s a cast of sympathetic and layered characters, and the writing is equally effortless even when describing gory action scenes and contemplative moments considering moral dilemmas. This is a new favorite.”
"She has invented a complex world in which humans run around half in terror or in subjection, and half in love with countless subspecies of modern-day vampire . . . Will you be gripped to the last page? Oh, I expect so."
"A sleek and brutal noir thriller . . . balanced on a knife edge between hope and horror."
"Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a chameleon of an author . . . her writing is truly one of a kind."
"Silvia Moreno-Garcia pulls zero punches, bares all the fangs, and goes for every throat in the room with Certain Dark Things. And then she walks out without looking back."
Stephen Graham Jones, bestselling author of The Only Good Indians
"A fresh, stunning interpretation of vampire lore...Silvia Moreno-Garcia's writing is unforgettable."
Christina Henry, author of Alice and the Ghost Tree
“With its vibrant prose and stellar world building, CERTAIN DARK THINGS is one of the best books I’ve read in years.”
V.E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s gritty novel is steeped in the history of Mexico City and vampire lore and yet manages to deftly re-invent the bloodsucker. The wonderfully complex Atl and her 21st Century Renfield, Domingo, are revelations.CERTAIN DARK THINGS packs a wallop.”
Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts
"One of my favorite books by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and one of my all-time favorite horror books...Certain Dark Things will make you think about vampires in a whole new way."
Charlie Jane Anders, Hugo Award-winning author of The City In the Middle of the Night
“CERTAIN DARK THINGS is a delicious, elegant, gritty vampire noir. Moreno-Garcia has created a world that pulses with life and terror and honesty.”
Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author
"A tense crime plot wrapped in grim, glittering vampire lore and perfectly delivered with Moreno-Garcia’s unflinching prose, Certain Dark Things is a bloody neon dream of a book."
Hannah Whitten, author of For the Wolf
“Not since Anne Rice’s seminal Interview with the Vampire has the vampire story been so radically reimagined. Silvia Moreno-Garcia reinvents it for the 21st century in this high-concept, explosive tale of narco-vampires in Mexico City and just when you thought it was safe to step out of the coffin. CERTAIN DARK THINGS is dark, inimitable, and so very, very cool. Unmissable.”
Lavie Tidhar, World Fantasy Award Winning Author of Osama
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia carves out the heart of Mexico City, and then eats it, in this riveting noir-punk reinvention of vampire lore. CERTAIN DARK THINGS is exquisitely vicious and brutally beautiful.”
Ann Aguirre, New York Times bestselling author
“If The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo met (and devoured) Interview with a Vampire to the twined rhythms of Octavio Paz, Bram Stoker, and Ozomatli, you might come close to the layers and textures of CERTAIN DARK THINGS. Set in a beautifully and heartbreakingly rendered Mexico caught up in Narco-Vampire wars, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s novel lets us fall in love with many perspectives before she breaks our hearts and puts us back together again. I cannot wait for the movie.”
Fran Wilde, author of Updraft
"A lush and haunting supernatural noir, CERTAIN DARK THINGS is visceral, beautiful, and teeming with originality and complexities."
Alex Segura, author of the Pete Fernandez series
“If you’re looking for a rather romantic read that still manages to crush about every trope from vampire romances, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for blood and death and awesome genetically modified dobermans, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a nuanced examination of hunger and longing, corruption and hope, this is the book for you. Go read it.”
“It is in those moments, when blood lust and corporeal lust commingle and hang like perfume, that CERTAIN DARK THINGS is at its most frightening.”
“If you enjoy these darker vampire stories, I’d definitely recommend picking this up.”
“A unique urban fantasy that’s brimming with folklore, legend, and the magic of Mexico City, this will not disappoint. […] It’s tight, well-executed storytelling.”
“CERTAIN DARK THINGS gives us a reason to love vampire novels again. It’s something new, with a fresh perspective I’ve not seen before. It’s a slick, smart, bloody novel with characters that are all too human–even when they’re not. “Stylish, bloody, dark and HARD, not a sparkle in sight, I read this book quick.”
“CERTAIN DARK THINGS is fantastic; it’s a calculated tale accompanied by charming morally gray characters. You need to pick up this book, you won’t be disappointed.”
“Silva Moreno-Garcia did something impossible in my world [...] she made me like, (nay…love) a vampire novel. Stylish, bloody, dark and HARD, not a sparkle in sight [...] This tale is smart, fast paced and while in my opinion, skirts young adult territory (mostly from a character prospective) it is a awesome October read. A great world and probably did more to make me interested in vampires than anything else did in media in a while.”
“This is an elegant, modern, dark take on classic vampire lore […] it’s the vampire tale I did not know I was waiting for.”
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s CERTAIN DARK THINGS is the book I wish had been my introduction to vampires in literature back when I was a kid.”
“There is solid building of the different types of vampires. You can actually see how the city looks by her descriptions.”
“This is completely Moreno-Garcia’s world, her characters, and a very well-told story. […] If you think nothing new can be done with vampires, then I suggest you read CERTAIN DARK THINGS.”
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia offers a whole new world to discover in CERTAIN DARK THINGS, a novel that offers rock solid world-building and compelling characters that are guaranteed to charm you and open your eyes.”
“If you haven’t read any of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s work yet then I don’t quite know what you’re doing with your life, she’s a fantastically fresh voice in the world of speculative fiction and CERTAIN DARK THINGS is proof of her creativity.”
The Moor Maiden
“CERTAIN DARK THINGS is an excellent example of what a vampire novel can be. The characters are strong, the writing is fast-paced, and it paints a vision of a world we have not seen before.”
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia weaves together a great story centered around vampiric gang politics with a dash of history all the while integrating Mexican folklore and other cultures in this up-tempo and fast-paced read. If you’re looking for a refreshing and new spin on the vampire lore I highly recommend CERTAIN DARK THINGS.”
Signal to Noise
“Moreno-Garcia employs her back-and-forth structure beautifully, building suspense and emotional resonance between the two parallel storylines. Her main strength, though, is in the voices she gives her characters […] SIGNAL TO NOISE feels uncluttered and understated […] funny, touching, and engaging […] In a poignant, graceful coda, Moreno-Garcia brings the book full circle.”
“The magic in SIGNAL TO NOISE may be short on spectacle, but it runs deep in what it tells us about pain and alienation. The astute use of music practically gives the novel its own soundtrack — and helps make this one of the outstanding debut fantasy novels this year.”
“Meche jumps off the page; by turns rebellious, precocious and vulnerable, she wields her magical ability for good and bad — and Moreno-Garcia brilliantly details the consequences of such power in the hands of an unruly teenager […] Haunting and beautifully nuanced, SIGNAL TO NOISE is a magical first novel.”
“The book is this rich, elaborate symphony of awesome that defies simple definitions […] It is incredible how Moreno-Garcia builds this seamless whole […] Meche is a complicated and complex character and to see her arc from teenager to adult was utterly gratifying […] It’s a little bit funny how some books grow on you the more you think about them. SIGNAL TO NOISE, with its intricacies and complicated people, is one of them […] This book destroyed me into little pieces and then the last page put it all back together in the best possible way. I know it’s very early in the year but I can already tell this is one of the Notable Reads of 2015.”
“[A] sweet debut […] This accurate depiction of outcast teenage life cycles effortlessly between eras. Meche, Sebastian, and Daniela are deeply believable characters, and numerous ’80s musical references make this unusual story a welcome blast from the past.”
“Moreno-Garcia uses the trope such an ingratiating way, and with such intriguingly conflicted characters that it seems vibrantly new […] [SIGNAL TO NOISE] is one of the most important fantasy debuts of the year so far.”
“It’s a vivid, poignant, understated take on urban fantasy, and the setting teems with texture and life. But it’s also a family drama, one whose tragic overtones are heightened by the supernatural elements in play throughout the story. It’s one of my favorite novels of the year, and one that doesn’t necessarily take a genre geek like myself to appreciate.”
“SIGNAL TO NOISE is a perfect young adult crossover novel, full of appeal, diverse characters, setting, wonderful writing–and magic […] The author does a wonderful job of pacing the revelations through the narratives. She creates suspense around the fates of her character’s relationships, which propels readers through the book.”
“This fast-paced horror tale presents a new, alternate world of vampire-human rivalry and will appeal to those who enjoy rooting for unlikely heroes.”
“Beautiful, descriptive language and authentic character banter are bith essential parts of Moreno-Garcia’s lyrical storytelling. Set in Mexico City and switching back and forth between the late 1980s and 2009, SIGNAL TO NOISE is a captivating story that is a wonderful blend of music, magic, friendship and love. Meche is a strong and complex protagonist who moves the story along at a steady pace. Refreshing, lively and unique, Moreno-Garcia’s debut novel is a triumph.”
RT Book Reviews
“This charming literary fantasy [...] will resonate for readers of all ages. After all, we were all once teenagers, and can remember a time when we discovered that one band that seemed to be speaking directly to us, transmitting a message so powerful it felt like it could change the world.”
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a delight; she explores all the insecurities and difficulties of a teenaged life […] Moreno-Garcia’s writing is enchanting and engaging. Despite their flaws, it’s difficult not to see a little of yourself in the prose, and this makes the problems the characters face all the more heart aching. If you like well drawn characters, cool tunes, and lashing and lashings of nostalgia, then you should check this out.”
“SIGNAL TO NOISE builds to a powerful ending, in both the 1989 and 2009 segments, that I hadn’t seen coming. It’s the sort of ending that makes you glad you stuck around, and it will leave you with a new awareness that books, like records, have the power to make all sorts of things possible.”
“I read Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s debut novel, Signal to Noise, early in 2015 and it became my yardstick for every read after. I love music, even if I can’t play an instrument or sing to save my life, and so reading a coming-of-age story where magic lurks in old records really spoke to me. Set in Mexico City and told in two times, 1988 and 2009, Signal to Noise is a delight from start to finish.
“This book tows that wonderful line between nerdy and hip, balancing good music, cool magic, and fumbling teenagers.”
“Silvia Moreno-Garcia perfectly captures a realistic teenage voice, which includes all of the optimism and confusion and annoying traits that all teenagers have. Music is also heavily but well integrated into the storyline, which I absolutely adore. This little indie release deserves all the attention.”
“Signal to Noise is an indie book by a debut novelist, so it was bound to be missed by many, but that would be a mistake to anyone who passed this book by [...] If you want a book that will have you feeling feels, this book is for you!”
“Charming [...] Meche’s ability to cast spells using songs makes this fascinating read as much a meditation on the incredible power of music as it is an exploration of why some friendships disintegrate, and whether they can be put back together again.”
“Meche is a vividly drawn character: abrasive, passionate, and damaged, with a voice like “caramel-coated razors” (one of several great turns of phrase) […] Suffused with the music – English-language and Spanis, pop and punk – that Meche and friends use to make their magic and soundtrack their lives, this is both a spiky coming-of-age tale and a charmingly sweet romance of making amends and starting again.
“SIGNAL TO NOISE is refreshing, innovative and really poignant as it delves into the magic of important music and friendships.”
RT Book Reviews
“Exceptional [...] A tale of fathers, daughters, and music set in Mexico City in 1988 and 2009. I loved Meche and her friends, and anything to do with music resonates with me. I can’t wait for her next book.”
Locus (Jonathan Strahan)
“The portrait of Mexico City in SIGNAL TO NOISE by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is so much the better for being written by someone with intimate knowledge of that city. The book is a great piece of urban fantasy too.”
Locus (Cheryl Morgan)
“Moreno-Garcia is a wonderful writer, and I look forward to reading her next novel.”
“The power of music and its effect on people is at the heart of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’ SIGNAL TO NOISE […] I found SIGNAL TO NOISE immensely enjoyable. It made me vividly remember being a weird, alienated, angry teenager. Like a mixtape from a new friend, it introduced me to bands I’d never heard of. It reminded me of the songs that got me through crappy days, when musicians performed their everyday magic on my life.”
“One that took me completely by surprise and wrung me out so it could collect all of my emotions in a little tin bucket. This is my favourite book of 2015.”
The Moor Maiden
“An engaging story about magic and the power of music, set in a vividly realised Mexico City [...] Moreno-Garcia is particularly adept at capturing the feel of life as a teenager. Her characterisations of Meche, Sebastian and Daniela feel believable and honest, without being clouded by nostalgia. 10/10”
“This is one of those books that stays with you long after you finish it. It’s poignant story that you don’t want to finish and one that will have you thinking about it for a long while after completion [...] Music, magic, family problems, love, and magic — how can you not love a novel that deals in these?”
“A stunning exposé of the rich and magical complexities of life, SIGNAL TO NOISE is the best debut of the year.”
“The novel is filled with wishes and regret, and magic, and the words feel like the heavy breeze before rain […] SIGNAL TO NOISE is a strong first effort by Moreno-Garcia and by stepping into the lives of these people I get a sense of great things from her in the future. She has a concise, understated writing style I found a pleasure to read.”
“[Moreno-Garcia is] a writer with evident gusto for complex storytelling.”
Quill & Quire
“[Moreno-Garcia has] built an impressive body of work that’s distinguished by political mindedness, as well as refreshing takes on a range of calcified genres and conventions […][she] has demonstrated it in her story collections, both of which showcase her unique approach to everything from vampires to steampunk–often with healthy doses of Mexican folklore, reflecting a homesickness for the country she was born and raised.”
“The author captures perfectly our ability, as children, to see the wonder and beauty in life, even when it seems elusive, and she does this with magic, friendship, and of course, love. SIGNAL TO NOISE is an utterly gorgeous book, and will make you want to get out your old turntable and records and give them a spin or two (or three.) Don’t miss out on this one.”
My Bookish Ways
“I hope others will give SIGNAL TO NOISE a chance. It is a novel which doesn’t set out to shake the world but rather to present something that is personal and thoughtful; emotional but sometimes guarded. In this, it is much like the box of mixtapes I’ll always keep.”
Nostalgia for Infinity
“SIGNAL TO NOISE combines magical realism with the kind of love for music that inspired so many people of my generation to spend hours with a record player and a tape deck […] a reading experience full of cultural references that are often sorely missing from the genre […] SIGNAL TO NOISE by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a unique and very welcome entry in the fantasy genre […] I’d love to see more novels like SIGNAL TO NOISE.”
“A captivating story about friendship, music and magic […] The story has a quite classic double temporal setting that is neatly developed and very clearly managed […] SIGNAL TO NOISE is not only an interesting story, it also works perfectly as a time machine. As happens when you listen to an old song, you’re thrown back to your own youth, to your own friends and family.”
“This book is about mood, about adolescence and adulthood, about growing up and accepting loss and a whole lot of other things. It’s solid and intense and I could probably write like five different critical essays about it. But for now I will only strongly recommend it. SIGNAL TO NOISE is an amazing read.”
“This charming literary fantasy will resonate for readers of all ages. After all, we were all once teenagers, and can remember a time when we discovered that one band that seemed to be speaking directly to us, transmitting a message so powerful it felt like it could change the world.”
“This book is a beautifully-written love letter to the power of music […] [it is] quiet but emotionally powerful literary fantasy […] SIGNAL TO NOISE is an original, unique, and compelling debut novel and a wonderful introduction to the work of Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I look forward to reading many more of her novels in the future.”
Urban Fantasy Magazine
“For me, there wasn’t one note, scene, or music selection out of key […] Meche is worthy of such celebration for me mainly because she is uncomfortably realistic in both her guarded emotions and her simmering rage at the world around her.”
“Moreno-Garcia uses alternating chapters set in 1988 and 2009 to slowly unspool Meche’s story with the careful plotting of a master storyteller […] [Moreno-Garcia] gives us a wonderful ending, one that is cinematic in its fulfillment, but sad and lovely at the same time.”
The Spec Fiction Hub
“SIGNAL TO NOISE is a great debut that uses music and magic to bring something a little different to the exploration and struggles of teenage years.”
“SIGNAL TO NOISE conveys the raw emotions of the teenage years without slipping too far into nostalgia or downplaying the emotional struggles of adulthood. It’s a marvelous balancing act. I can’t wait to see what Moreno-Garcia does next!”
”I am impressed by this book, immensely so. I am in awe of what it achieved, I can’t help by praise the writing, the depictions and the sheer realness of the characters. It was a deep, powerful book that deserves a high fang rating even if it wasn’t fun or what I was looking for.”
Fangs for the Fantasy
“[This story] drew me in so slowly and seductively that I hardly realized it was happening, until I felt compelled to turn page after page. The real world faded away as the vivid colors of Meche’s, Sebastian’s, and Daniela’s Mexico City surrounded me […] An evocative, powerful, and beautiful tale of magic, dreams, love and hate, betrayal and redemption, this book is heartbreaking and heartwarming, and one of the best I have read so far this year.”
“A magically manifold Mexican mix tape of a novel — SIGNAL TO NOISE will stay lodged in your brain and haunt you for days afterwards like the best kind of tune.”
Lavie Tidhar, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Osama
She Walks in Shadows
“The women (and generally similar beings) represented defy easy categorization. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose. Sometimes they are recognizable Lovecraftian characters in their own right and sometimes they merely encounter them. Some are monsters and some are victims, though more often, both and/or neither. SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS has garnered itself a well-deserved World Fantasy Award nomination for Best Anthology.”
“What I love more than anything about this collection, and which I think blows out of the water that Lovecraftian fiction belongs to a certain niche, is the varied settings, characters and mythical interweaving into such a variety of cultures of this collection.”
“All of these pieces are well written, and the description contained in these pages is something to be admired. As with their inspiration, this book is a perfect read for when you have a few moments to spend diving into another reality. Lovecraft fans will appreciate the numerous allusions to his work or direct references to events or characters from the tales we already love.”
“It is a cornucopia of imaginative force and literary talent, and each of the fictions it contains works, in some way, to simultaneously expand and interrogate the limits of what “Lovecraftian” can mean.”
“Several of the stories stuck with me long after I finished reading the anthology, and some may linger in my nightmares for a very long time.”
Awards & Accolades
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau
#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!
L.A. Times profile: "How Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s shapeshifting visions of Mexico took over the bestseller list"
Al Día: ‘The Daughter of Doctor Moreau’: fantasy, romance and science fiction in 19th century Mexico
Powell's "New Favorites" Title July 2022
LA Times: "How Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s shapeshifting visions of Mexico took over the bestseller list"
Geek Tyrant: "The Most Anticipated Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books Releasing in July 2022 According to Goodreads Members"
Fodors Travel Guide: "The 15 Most Anticipated Books This Summer, According to Goodreads Members"
New from New Hampshire: "What are you reading this summer? Here are some top picks from around N.H."
The Tiger Came to the Mountains
Amazon: #1 New Release in Fantasy
Velvet Was the Night
The Return of the Sorceress
LA Times: "37 Weeks on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List"
#9 New York Times hardcover list (13 weeks on the list)
In its 19th printing!
#14 New York Times combined print and eBook list
#9 on the SoCal Indie Bestseller Trade Paperback List!
Midwest Independent Booksellers Association bestseller
New England Independent Booksellers Association bestseller
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance bestseller
Mountain and Plains Independent Booksellers Association bestseller
Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association bestseller
Northern California Independent Booksellers Alliance bestseller
Southern California Independent Booksellers Alliance bestseller
Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association bestseller
Library Reads: “#1 Book for June 2020”
Random House Book Club: “Spotlight Pick”
Indigo: "October Staff Pick" 7k copies ordered
Netgalley: "#1 Performing Title"
Stylist: "Top App Reads"
The Skinny: "10 Best Books From Lockdown"
Woman's Way: "Summer Reading Round-Up For Historical Fiction Lovers"
Over 200k Sold!
2021 PNBA award: "Winner"
USA Today: "The 12 Scariest Books We've Ever Read: 'Mexican Gothic,' Stephen King and other ghastly frights"
Cosmopolitan: "The 50 Best Horror Books of All Time in Case You're in the Mood to Ruin Sleep Forever"
Gods of Jade and Shadow
Goodreads Choice Award: 2019 “Best Fantasy Novel”
The Skinny: “Top Realism Books of 2019”
Bustle: “15 Must-Read Fantasy Novels if Arya Stark is your Favorite ‘Game of Thrones’ Character”
Decentred Lit: Inaugural “Book of the Month”
Big Issue: “Top Five Magical Realism books”
The Beautiful Ones
Chirp: "July 2022 Audiobook Pick"
Certain Dark Things
Amazon: "Editors' Pick for Best SFF"
Amazon Audio: "#3 New Release in Noir"
LibroFM: #6 in Horror Bestsellers for Audiobooks
National Latino Book Club: “June 2017 Book of the Month”
Signal to Noise
RT Book Reviews: “Editor’s Best Books of 2015”
RT Reviewers’ Choice Award Nominee: Best Fantasy Novel
2016 Locus Awards Finalist
2016 Aurora Award Finalist: “Best English Novel”
2016 British Fantasy Award Finalist: “Best Novel”