One of my favorite books last year was Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I absolutely loved the story and the Mayan mythology element. When I saw she was releasing a new book this year, I jumped on it. It helped that Mexican Gothic seemed right up my alley. It’s completely different from Gods of Jade and Shadow, but the idea of a Gothic novel set in Mexico just seemed like something I needed to read.
What It’s About
Naomi is living a glamorous life in Mexico City. But, after receiving a frantic letter from her cousin begging for help, she travels to the Mexican countryside to see what’s going on. Her cousin’s husband insists everything is fine. But when she gets there, Naomi senses her cousin might be right. Something strange is happening in the house.
Mexican Gothic is the perfect title for this book. Because it is a spot-on Gothic classic. Just a little bit modernized and set in Mexico. And you all know I love me some Gothic literature. And I really enjoyed this story. It was dark and mysterious and reminded me so much of the Gothic novels I love. I know it’s summer, but I think this would make an amazing autumn read. This book demands to be consumed on a rainy day, in front of the fire, with a cozy blanket and a cup of tea. It’s one of those books that will pull you in slowly, until you realize it’s four in the morning and you can’t put it down until you finish.
This book starts off slow, which allows the eerie feeling to set in before anything really happens. My one issue with the pacing is that the inciting incident of the novel – Naomi’s father receiving the letter from her cousin – happens pretty quickly. Which is fine, except everything that came after felt even slower. Not really a big deal, but the pacing just felt a little off to me, and it took me longer to get into the rhythm of this book.
Since this is now the second Silva Moreno-Garcia book I’ve read, I feel confident saying that she’s a very talented writer. However, I didn’t totally agree with some of the choices she made with this book. Personally, I thought it would be a lot stronger if it were told in first-person point-of-view. It actually got close a few times. To the point where it was a little disorienting when it was made clear that this is third-person POV. I just thought the mystery might have worked better, and it might have been easier for the reader to become fully immersed in the story. I am curious to see what other people think, because this might just be one of those things no one else notices.
The story, though, was easily ten out of ten. Like I said, Gothic literature is one of my favorite things. And this just made me want to curl up with some Gothic classics. It felt both completely unique and very familiar. From the first chapter, I was getting strong Rebecca vibes. And then I realized what else this book reminded me of: Crimson Peak and Ready or Not (the films). It just had those modern, creepy family, dark horror elements that I really enjoy. I honestly think I will end up picking this one up again. I think there is a lot more I might pick up on the second time around. And, like I said, fall will be the perfect time to do it.
★★★★☆ – I really enjoyed this Mexican Gothic! The only reason it didn’t get five stars from me is that the pacing and POV were just a little bit distracting. But, other than that, this was a great novel. I have been in a bit of a slump lately, but once this picked up, I couldn’t put it down. I am definitely looking forward to whatever Silvia Moreno-Garcia does in the future.
This book was provided to me by Netgalley, all opinions are my own.
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