Cover Image: Mexican Gothic

Mexican Gothic

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This wonderfully dark, creepy book is peak Gothic horror! It's rare that I really can't put a book down, and this one hooked me from the first page. It wastes no time in whisking our heroine away to a forlorn and decaying manor in the country, and from there, horrors abound!
Was this review helpful?
This novel started out very interesting. It seemed like it was a haunted house with a family of secrets. However, the story started taking a weird turn. The were many disturbing scenes. There were no horror scenes, but instead it showed the appalling actions of a deranged family. The reason for the family’s madness was not original. The plot has been done before. Thus, this was a very disappointing novel with a depressing end.
Was this review helpful?
As a thank you to NetGalley and the publisher I write this review of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic. This book was worth the wait for its sharp writing, gothic atmosphere, and engaging storyline. This novel follows Noemí Taboada and her journey in unraveling a mystery at High Place mansion ,  Noemi has been summoned by a close family member to High Place, for they have recently married its owner, The mansion, and supernatural elements rooted in reality held my interest as Noemi experienced more symptoms of the supernatural that could be easily explained with science. Garcia’s fine line between the natural and supernatural  was something I appreciated as elements of “magical realism” became apparent. I appreciated the ending but would have liked Garcia to have kept the elements that made me appreciate the novel be part of the ending that transpired. Overall I liked the book for the above reasons and give it 3.5 stars . On goodreads, I give this four stars.
Was this review helpful?
I inhaled this book. It was so atmospheric and had such amazing gothic vibes. Perfect to read during the Fall.
Was this review helpful?
Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s writing is just amazing. The way she could transport you into the story and just absolutely unsettle you with her words is unbelievable.
Was this review helpful?
There's a reason this is going to be Kade into a movie, and that's because this book needs to be seen, and not just read. I loved it!!
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to love this SO BADLY, but I think gothic novels just aren't for me. I enjoyed the setting (I'm a sucker for books that have houses as characters, apparently) but it was hard for me to get into. This could be a book that was just TOO literary for me, because as much as I tried I just didn't understand what all the fuss was about. And the last 50 pages just completely fell apart for me. PLEASE read other reviews before deciding if this is for you. I know so many who loved it and have just resigned myself to the fact that this genre doesn't work for me.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely adored this book. Noemi was a fun character and easy to sympathize with. High Place did not fail to deliver on the spooky factor, with its candlelit atmostphere, silent dour servants, mushrooms on the walls, and creepy inhabitants with ominous behaviors. The prose was lush and the gradual buildup of the frightening and strange to the climax where the mystery as to why people were acting the way they were and what the sinister family's motives were was a fun journey. I would definitely read more of this author.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately this just didn’t work for me and I had to stop reading.  The gorgeous cover caught my eye but this is not the right book for me. It’s not the book it’s clearly me.
Was this review helpful?
The book is fast paced and brilliant at first, but slows as Silvia spins webs around the reader, getting more and more complicated, drifting away from the mystery and more into a typical explanation of horrors instead of something that could have been darker and more frightening.  In all honesty, there's a fear of Mexican Americans that perhaps even the author feels as we dive deeper into her work.  I liked the book, but I sensed there were a lot of thoughts lying beneath the surface of the writing that bothered me, and when consulting with peers it bothered them too.  The real trouble for readers here is how to see past Silvia's voice, not the voice of the protagonist.  Yes, the book slows down as it becomes bogged down in supernatural explanation and really explaining away, two different things, and so a great book becomes just OK by its conclusion.  There are fantastic moments though--like the career of Joss Whedon...
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for the opportunity to read and review Velvet was the Night. Due to her recent tweets about reviewers I cannot review this book in an unbiased manner.
Was this review helpful?
Mexican Gothic is a mesmerising gothic horror that defies expectations. The story is reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca (1938), centered around a haunted house, a dead wife and an Englishman whose motives are clearly suspect. Silvia Moreno-Garcia's skillful painting of 1950s Mexico, both the city and the countryside, adds splashes of bright colour to the traditionally dark gothic novel.  Noemí is a sparkling protagonist: witty, charming, flirtatious and head-strong and she has _all_ the pretty dresses. 

As the story progresses, I was reminded of Jeff VanderMeer's Annihiliation: the same hypnotic horror overcame me. Moreno-Garcia's Lovecraftian scholarship paid off in spades as the mushroom-infested house began to haunt my nightmares while I was reading.

This is a fantastic novel and shows Moreno-Garcia's talent off to great effect. I highly recommend this to all fans of gothic horror. 

I was given a free copy of this novel for consideration for the 2020 Nebula awards.
Was this review helpful?
This book was just a mess for me! I love gothic and horror but dang this book was just a hot mess! I had no idea what in the world was happening and not in a good way.
Was this review helpful?
When a debutante leaves Mexico City to attend to her ill cousin in the countryside, she little knows what awaits her at High Place. Noemi's cousin has married a Brit, whose family has come to Mexico to mine silver, but they have little regard for their new land or its people. It gets as gothic as possible; essentially, if you like Mexico and plunk it in a blender with Crimson Peak, you will get Mexican Gothic. It's transgressive and out there and vivid.
Was this review helpful?
This book was allll things wtf. Gothic to the max (which I loved) and so twisted and magical in a way that required a suspension of disbelief. There were far too many mushrooms in this book and the ending was just silly. But again, I did love the darkness and the creep factor!
Was this review helpful?
Could not get into this one. The atmospheric writing was difficult for me to keep up with. This was my first attempt into some horror abd unsure the genre is for me.
Was this review helpful?
I thought this book was a little light on the surface but the central mystery was compelling and moved along at a rapid pace, the main character was enjoyable and the conclusion left just the right amount of openended-ness for a good mystery.
Was this review helpful?
Delightfully creepy story of a young socialite in 1950s Mexico, trying to unravel the mysteries of a possibly (probably... definitely...) haunted house and the family that owns it.
Was this review helpful?
This was a well written gothic novel, exactly as advertised. Spooky house? Check. Deep setting? Check. Creepy, mysterious family and servants? Check. Young single woman protagonist effectively confined to said creepy house? Check. Solid work and moderately compelling. 

What it wasn't was especially Mexican. Yes, it takes place in Mexico, but that's window dressing. The spooky family is even English and speaks English. The story could be easily translated to India, or Australia, or New England, or China without losing a beat. It's a very straight-forward down the middle of the road story with only one minor twist that was at all surprising. 

By contrast, the competing Nebula nominee The City We Became doesn't use NYC as mere window dressing. The whole story is so intimately tied up in New York that you couldn't move it fifty miles without turning it into a radically different novel. It is one of the most New York novels I have ever read. It is certainly the best representation of pre-Covid NYC circa 2019 I have ever seen or probably ever will see, and at least equal and perhaps superior to some of the most NYC novels of previous decades: books like Bright Lights, Big City, A Cannibal in Manhattan, House of Mirth, The Buddies Cycle, or Last Exit to Brooklyn. NYC keeps changing and the novels change with it. The City We Became is the latest in a long line of truly wonderful New York novels.

Mexican Gothic is good; make no mistake about that. Silvia Moreno-Garcia is indeed a very talented writer who can make a sentence sing and keep the tension building. However what this book isn't is original or unique, and that's what keeps me from calling it a great book. It is instead a perfectly executed rendition of familiar Gothic tropes. Well done.
Was this review helpful?
I liked this, but didn't love it for two reasons:
1. I disliked the main character, and that kept throwing me out of the story. Her "flirting" with Francis early on felt cruel and on par with Virgil's leering. Her reason for staying, in her own words, was that "she wasn't going to back down," and had nothing to do with Catalina's welfare at all. All of her decisions felt selfish. It was hard to root for her.
2. Everything was telegraphed too clearly for me to actually feel horror. The dreams and the Gloom were all excellent, and I would have liked to be creeped all the way out. Instead, I found myself having to be patient while we got there.

I also didn't like how often we were told that Virgil was handsome and Francis was not. It seemed to parallel how Howard kept talking about looks and purity, and not in a good way.

I really liked Francis. I loved that he found small joy and sanity in his horrific world. The whole mystery revealed was delightfully awful, and the villains were truly terrible and monstrous. Also kinda gross, but in a good, horror way.
Was this review helpful?