Maria's Pick: "The Daughter of Doctor Moreau" by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
A reimagining of H.G. Wells’, “The Island of Doctor Moreau”, this story, set in the mid-19th century, takes the viewpoint of the doctor’s only living daughter, Carlota.
Carlota has been raised on the remote estate on the Yucatan Peninsula where her father conducts experiments resulting in human-animal hybrids. He and his benefactor, Mr. Lizalde, imagine that these sedated and placid creatures will replace the Mayans, whose enslavement has resulted in violent revolt.
Montgomery Laughton, who has his own tragic past that he often dulls with alcohol, is hired on as an overseer to the hybrids. Six years go by in relative peace but their fragile and secretive existence is upended when Eduardo Lizalde, son of Moreau’s benefactor, sets his sights on Carlota and horrifying truths are exposed.
Although this is obviously fantasy, themes of prejudice and colonization are based on historical events. An engaging and intense read, lovers of both historical fiction and fantasy will enjoy this story.