Cover Image: Silver Nitrate

Silver Nitrate

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Member Reviews

I at first had a very hard time getting into this book. However at around page 60, I thought the plot really started to pick up and I had more interest in not only the characters, but where the story was going. The background and plot was set up extremely well. I am a HUGE fan of horror movies so this book was right up my alley. I thought the historical stand point was also really well done throughout this book as well!
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I found this a little hard to follow at times but I loved the concept! I never knew the involvement with the occult the Nazi's had.
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I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is not my normal genre but I enjoyed it: I liked that it was set in Mexico City. I recognized a lot of the places. I also like that it was set in the 90s. The story moved pretty well and was well developed. I liked the characters but was not a fan of their love story at the end. I preferred them as friends.
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A supernatural, spooky, and trippy tale through 1980s hollywood. Add in relatable TWO bi-sexual leads unraveling the mystery of the occult. I wish it did lean away from the romance a bit more. Moreno-Garcia excels at building suspense but stalls during the romance for me. THe crepping sense of dread in this dark tale is delicious and perfect tale for fall!
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Beautifully written, suspenseful story on witchcraft, magic and the occult and how film can be used as a conduit for all of it.
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Mexican Gothic was a fever dream of a book and I loved it. Moreno-Garcia’s latest was quite a different reading experience, but still one that I enjoyed. There’s a lot packed into these pages (and there are a lot of pages😬). From occultism to Nazis to Mexican horror move history, there is no shortage of interesting material!

A sound editor and a soap opera star befriend a cult horror film director and discover he is the producer of an unfinished long lost horror film that he claims is cursed (the Nazi occultist screenwriter is likely to blame for that) He begs them to help him complete the film so the curse can be lifted. They all soon find themselves in terrible danger as spirits and unexplainable magical shit starts happening. 

"But sometimes, when you've been around magic, you tend to attract the attention of other things that lurk in shadows. Monsters, ghosts, and the evil eye."

Moreno-Garcia is such a distinctive and unique voice and I absolutely love the atmosphere she creates. A creeping sense of dread hovers throughout and I love that in books. This is definitely a slow burn. Slower than I would like and at times I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue, but that last 30% of the book was so worth it! Rich in historical detail, Silver Nitrate is much more than just a spooky story. I learned a lot about nitrate film (used up until the 1940s) and while it creates some beautiful high-contrast images, it is highly flammable and dangerous if you don’t store it properly.

This is a great book for cinephiles and those who are looking for a supernatural and spooky read. I got some Rosemary’s Baby vibes for sure. Another great pick for #latinxheritagemonth 🙌
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i am so very sorry, but i had to dnf this at about 20% just because any talk of cancer treatment is a very big trigger for me right now. but i did enjoy everything else, and i was really adoring the set up. smg is such a talented author, who means a lot to me, and i hope they receive so much success with this one! :) thank you!
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I loved this. The story was fast paced and kept my interest the whole time. I loved that many of the characters were LGBTQ. Highly recommended. I cannot wait to read more from This author.
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3.5 stars -- Not a new favorite for me from this author, but Silvia Moreno-Garcia always manages to make me deeply invested in her characters and this was no exception to that rule.  Definitely the slowest-paced of her novels that I've read, though very action-heavy at the end.  Overall I enjoyed it but had hoped for more.
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☀️Happy Pub Day to Silver Nitrate by Silvia Garcia-Moreno ☀️ 

I started Silver Nitrate last night and could not put it down!  I fell in love with Silvia Moreno-Garcia after reading Mexican Gothic. So I am super excited about this book and so far she has pulled me in once again and hasn’t disappointed me. 

💭 What is your favorite Silvia Moreno-Garcia book? 

#pubdaybooks #pubday #silviamorenogarcia #bookstagram  #bookstagrammer #bookrecommendations #bookporn
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***3.75*** Stars Rounded up

I'll be the first to admit I was unsure I'd be reading Silver Nitrate when we got wind of the premise. SMG is and will always be one of my top favorite authors and if there's anyone who can get me to read a book based on horror films, it could only be Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Character driven and slower paced than some of her other books, Silver Nitrate is a blend of Horror and Historical Fiction set in Mexico City during the 90's with references to the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema. Our main characters Montserrat is a sound editor who is stuck at a bad paying job where all the projects worth having are given to the owners favorites. Montserrat stays for the love of what she does but doesn't do so silently, she's tough and isn't one to keep quiet at the inequality of it all. Her best friend Tristán who she's been in love with since childhood, is a soap opera actor whose career is rapidly fading. After a break-up Tristán packs up and moves into a building and discovers his upstairs neighbor is the legendary cult horror director Abel Urueta. Montserrat and Urueta hit it off when he senses her real passion for horror films and so he tells them of the curse he believes is responsible for ending his career overnight. Urueta tells them of his involvement in a cult led by a Nazi occultist and how silver nitrate stock was being used in an effort to dispel magic through the screen. This of course backfired and cast a spell on all those working on the film, Urueta is one of the very few to have made it out alive. 

We really get to know Montserrat & Tristán once they decide to get involved with helping Urueta and start living through the repercussions. For Tristán it's the ghost of his dead girlfriend and for Montserrat its the feeling that she's being followed by a dark presence. It was around the 60% mark that I started feeling as if I couldn't put the book down, I was engrossed in the paranormal happenings at this point. Our MC's who are an odd pairing to say the least are also deeply connected to one another, there's real care and concern coming off the page. Tristán is freaked out and would much rather close the door on all of this while Montserrat can't turn away, it's just not in her nature. She's always had to play the tough role as someone who's disabled and was bullied at a young age but never backed down. The contrast of personalities worked really well in getting me to care for these characters which in turn got me to get invested in the horror/historical elements that play center stage. SMG is a phenomenal writer! it was easy to reimagine Mexico City in the 90's through her pen similar to the magic of Velvet Was The Night. Whether the muse behind this book was my jam or not doesn't take away from the fact that this author continues to deliver quality story telling. Silvia Moreno-Garcia continues to prove that she cannot be boxed into any one genre and I'm here to read anything she writes! 

Review goes live on Lair Of Books Blog on 9/27/2023 8AM EST
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kind of reminded me of night film, kind of reminded me of literally any spooky historical fiction, kind of great. it was missing something to make it truly unforgettable but i'd sub this for a horror movie as a recommendation any ol' day in october.
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I love everything Silvia Moreno-Garcia writes and she will never disappoint me. This being one of my most anticipated books, just because I love the author (it has nothing to do with the plot), I was excited to dive into another well crafted historical horror that has well flushed out characters. I'm not a huge movie buff but the film aspects of this novel were one of my favorite parts. It was interesting to learn about the history of movie making and the different aspects and planning that need to go into creating film. I had heard of Silver Nitrate film before going into this, and I have learned so much about it's creation, use, and it's overall exsisitence. I just wish that this book was just a little longer so we could see the true aftermaths of the witchcraft that was done throughout the novel. This was just another hit for Silvia Moreno-Garcia and I'm excited to read whatever she write.
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Silvia Moreno-Garcia is very hit or miss for me. I always love the synopses of her books, but sometimes the executive leaves something to be desired, and that’s the case here.

The first 25% of this book really takes its time setting up the rest of the story and while I did find that it got more interesting once we moved into the Feature Film portion of the book unfortunately it never fully came together for me. 

I love how Silvia Moreno-Garcia writes across so many different genres and that her books all seem to take place in some lesser known era of Mexican history. Silver Nitrate is no different. It’s set in 1993 Mexico City but the plot deals a lot with Nazi occultists in the 1940s and the Mexican film industry of the 1950s and beyond. There were definitely parts of this that read like they should have been in a nonfiction.

I also struggled with our two main characters. Montserrat and Tristan are both bisexual, which I love to see but I struggled buying into their friendship and even more when it became potentially romantic at the end. They are both going through personal things, but they treat each other like garbage. And I’m all for messy characters and did like following them but the romance sort of ruined that for me.

I liked the thematic exploration here, the way the glitz of movies was peeled back and the conversations about colorism and Nazis in Latin America. I just think that it was a little too long and I struggled buying into the relationship between the two main characters.
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Silvia Moreno Garcia’s prose is consistently beautiful from book to book, but sadly this one wasn’t a favorite for me.

While normally I can find myself completely engrossed in her work, I found myself just wanting this one to be over. The characters weren’t really likable, the concept of the plot was good, but the execution just wasn’t there. I’ll still read more of her work, because I do love it, but this one just didn’t meet my expectations based on her previous novels. If you liked Velvet Was the Night (for which I did) you may still find yourself enjoying this one so don’t let my opinion away you. I think I just went into this with higher expectations. Thanks to Del Rey for my eARC. Silver Nitrate is available now.
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Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

336 Pages
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey
Release Date: July 18, 2023

Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Motion Pictures, Audio Recording

Montserrant is a sound editor and Tristan is an actor. They have been friends since childhood, and both have faced tragedy. She has had surgeries to fix a twisted leg. Tristan had surgeries after a car accident which killed his girlfriend, Karina. Tristan just moved into a new apartment and receives mail for another tenant, Abel Urueta, a former fil producer. After getting to know him, the three of them agree to dub an unfinished horror movie that is on silver nitrate film. Abel has kept the film in his freezer, even though it is highly flammable, but because he believes it is cursed. The main character of the film, Wilhelm Ewers, was a thief, opportunistic and magic practitioner. 

The book is fast paced, the characters are well developed, and it is written in the third person point of view. This story is full of broken characters. There is not one person in this story that has not been touched by tragedy. The author brings the story to life by including a woman as a sound editor since her mother was a sound editor when it was mainly a man’s profession. If you like a good horror-ish mystery, you may enjoy this book.
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I had attempted to read Mexican Gothic and had to DNF it. So I was determined to read Silver Nitrate the whole way. I've come to the conclusion that Ms. Silvia and I do not vibe on writing styles. The only reason I finished was because I was dead set on seeing this through. It took until 75% in the book until it got interesting for me. It also took all that time for me to really connect with the characters. I feel as if Moreno-Garcia wrote a WHOLE LOT about what was going on around the characters but took more than half the book to strip down the characters.

I will say the plot was a bit confusing, again until about 75%, but once I got past that 75% I flew through the rest of the book. The Nazi/Mexican/Hollywood storyline was actually quite fascinating once I understood what was going on. I probably will not read Silvia again for a little bit, but I did rate this book a 3. The ending really does grip you and you finally get invested with everyone and everything.
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For lovers of cinema and history with a sprinkle of romance, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Silver Nitrate is another smash hit. 

Follow Monserrat and Tristán as they get enveloped and entwined in a larger than what it all seems ride as they help Tristán’s new found neighbor (an old director the fell into obscurity that Monserrat and he both loved) dub and finish an old film believed to have caused Abel his bad luck. Only after finally completing the film they find things did not go as planned and they may have unleashed things much more sinister than their understanding.

I absolutely loved this story. SMG’s prose is always such a treat and the way she is able to seamlessly blend large amounts of history with her own creative universe is a masterclass of blending reality and fiction in itself. 

I applaud SMG for writing such strong and true FMC and that absolutely doesn’t falter here. She is unafraid to write women as unfavorable, or undesirable in the eyes of society but I still love the fact that she acknowledges those traits don’t make a woman unwanted or impossible to be with in fact, it can make them just as desirable if not more. It shows strength. And just as she is unafraid to write strong women, I love that she is unafraid to write men who veer from the path of machismo culture. Her dynamics of writing people bring me such joy. 

If you are a lover of film, occult history, or simply want a great thrill ride with a will-they-won’t-they kind of romance on the side Silver Nitrate is an incredible thrill ride for you.
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One of my favorite reads of the year. Not surprising at all considering the author, but full of such exquisite details. Couldn't put it down, will be obsessing over it for a while.
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This author is an instant buy for me, I will buy all her books! Set in Mexico 1990, following a sound editor, an actor, and a retired cult horror director. This is a heart-pounding, and riveting supernatural horror story, combining occultism, and horror movie anthologies. After the initial introduction of the characters and plot, the pacing does slow down. The author then explores the film industry history in Mexico during the 90’s, introduces what exactly is silver nitrate, and uncovering dark magic/curses.
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