The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was, at least to my estimation, a superior re-telling of the original The Island of Doctor Moreau.
Purists may want to lynch me, but I stand by my words. Gothic feel, traditional Mexican history, isolationism, and of course the whole rich plantation/quasi-slavery aspects all make this story pop with more details.
And I think it was a smart choice, not just a feminist choice, to make the prime character the "daughter" of Dr. Moreau. Carlota was very much a gothic belle destined for discovery, romance, disillusionment, and eventually -- strength.
Everything about this was finely crafted and succeeded in its tasks, but all this presupposes that the reader wants nothing more than this.
As a nominee for best SF in the Hugos, I can't rightly say it's an SF except by broad strokes. If you can assume animals can be grafted together like plants, then I guess this qualifies, just as the original qualifies, but I also had issues with the original. It's a really light SF, or perhaps light fantasy, with just enough beasties to make a UF fan perk up a bit, but I can't say it stretches any kind of boundaries.
It's just a well crafted tale, an enjoyable journey of self-discovery. Beyond that, nothing more.
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