I'm always quite envious when I see my daughter deeply engrossed in a story, blissfully oblivious to the world around her. I remember being the same once: a ferocious reader, keeping my books close in perpetual fear that I might find myself with nothing to read and nothing to do.

I'm sure there must be many like me, who find their reading is not as it used to be. 'Scrolling' is today's time- and attention-eating monster; it's easy to get distracted and often, a few pages in, my trusty bookmark slips into the crevice between the pages and I head to Twitter or Instagram.

Imagine, then, my absolute delight when I started reading Silvia Moreno-Garcia's new book and found myself a hundred pages in on the very first day. Not a mean feat by any stretch of the imagination. The Daughter of Doctor Moreau is an attention-grabber and any desire to reach for the phone dissipates as one becomes deeply embroiled in the world Moreno-Garcia has created with painstaking detail.

Inspired by The Island of Doctor Moreau - British writer H.G. Wells's 1896 science fiction novel about an isolated estate and its brilliant resident who succeeds in pushing the boundaries of science - The Daughter of Doctor Moreau can be thought of as a different perspective, or perhaps twist, on the tale. Or maybe a deeper examination of the original story's subtext.

A new novel is an attention-grabbing examination of the subtext of H.G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr Moreau and a shapeshifting force of nature

Set in the 1800s, amidst the strife and conflict happening in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the novel features two narrators. One is the doctor's daughter Carlota; the other is the melancholic Montgomery Laughton, who oversees the estate which is home to the 'hybrids' - a terrifying mix of half-animal, half-human creatures surgically assembled by the vivisectionist Moreau.

Change is an alien concept for Carlota, who has been raised in a secluded environment and is completely unaware of the world outside. When Eduardo Lizalde, the son of Moreau's patron and financier, suddenly arrives, reality shakes up Carlota's static and delicately balanced world, putting the island's fragile existence under threat.

Even though the story is primarily told through the eyes of the acquiescent yet silently rebellious Carlota and the sceptic, forlorn Montgomery, all of Moreno-Garcia's characters are protagonists in their own right. They all carry emotional baggage from their past and try to cling...

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