Cover Image: Mexican Gothic

Mexican Gothic

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Member Reviews

I loved this story.  It offers a unique take on a gothic thriller, and the slow burn really pulled me in.  Definitely a spooky, page-turning, unsettling read!
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Mexican Gothic is a horror novel about a young woman named Noemi Taboada who, after receiving a raving letter from her recently married cousin Catalina about ghosts in the walls, travels to the remote High Place to investigate. High Place is a large home built by the Doyle family who immigrated to Mexico from England to run a silver mine many years ago. The home is in disrepair and the Doyle family is quiet and creepy, but Noemi cannot detect any evidence of haunting or general violence. Her cousin’s letter remains unexplained however, so Noemi decides to stay at least long enough to determine whether her cousin is safe to remain in her husband’s home, or if some sort of intervention will be necessary.

Due to the mystery surrounding High Place, Mexican Gothic definitely feels slow at the beginning. Noemi is a likable main character and her bold actions provide a good source of entertainment even when the plot doesn’t seem to be moving much, so I did stay invested well enough to keep reading, but I wonder whether some of the mystery of the house could have been revealed a little sooner, and if that might have helped with pacing. I feel like I didn’t really get into the meat of the story until I was about halfway through – the rest was basically just world-building.

Because such a large portion of the book was spent on background and world-building, Noemi and Catalina’s world is fleshed out extremely well, and that definitely played a part in holding my interest. The house of High Place is described in great detail – both the High Place of Noemi’s waking world, as well as the High Place that seems to exist only in her dreams. Even when the reader does not understand the full history of the house, clear rules are still established for its behavior: Noemi is not permitted to smoke, to make loud noises, or to come and go at will. These rules are of course fleshed out as the plot deepens, but it still provides a firm base for that expansion, and given Noemi’s strongly developed personality, they provide a clear explanation for the slow suffocation of her free spirit. As the plot reveals the history of the house and the family, I was impressed to see that everything that is revealed at the beginning is built upon well-developed history and back story.

The characters in Mexican Gothic definitely were each assigned a clear archetypal role (Noemi as the plucky hero, Catalina as the damsel in distress, Francis as the reluctant side-kick), but within that role, each character had well-developed personal histories with complex motivations. I was actually quite impressed with the depth of these characters, as they could have so easily been two-dimensional. Francis had been my biggest concern: from the beginning, he demonstrates a vague loyalty to his family but strong morals seem to urge him to help Noemi where he can, and this reeked to me of a plot device. However, all of Francis’s motivations are revealed with time, and each of his layers build upon the others to create a character who has real motivations to reject the immorality he has witnessed since childhood. Noemi made a fun enough read as the main character, but Francis is the character that gives Mexican Gothic the complexity that makes it such a great read.

In all, I’ll give Mexican Gothic an 8 out of 10. Readers that enjoy horror will definitely enjoy this one, as it presents the reader a well-developed world with interesting, unusual supernatural elements.
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3.75– I wanted so badly for this to be five stars. Crimson Peak in a book, gothic mood and atmosphere was accomplished beautifully, but the plot had many holes and was a major distraction for me.
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A gothic tale set in 1950s Mexico. Twists and turns, and lots of creepy tone left me nervous about turning off the light. Noemi is the main character, and is interesting to follow. Touches of gothic, mysticism, and Mayan tales combine into a book that is hard to put down. Did expect more romance, but overall highly recommend this book and author.
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This book was something else. It was creepy and definitely belongs in the horror section. It was not gross horror, but "mess with your mind" horror. I don't usually like that, but with the weather finally cooling off, I was in the mood for something creepy. I got it! This is Gothic horror at its best!
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Gothic horror romance that take place in a Victorian house in the middle of a Mexican forest where nothing is as it seems. An enjoyable read great descriptive narration that gives it a classic gothic feel. I didn't want to put it down.
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I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading more from this author.
I really wondered right up to the last about how it would end.
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I devoured this book. I'm a fan of Moreno-Garcia's work, particularly Signal to Noise and Gods of Jade and Shadow. Moreno-Garcia has a way of weaving a tale around me so sinuously that I'm hooked before I know it. This one is creepy and wonderful. A young socialite visits her newlywed cousin in the country because she gets a strange letter from her cousin that makes her family think she's in some kind of trouble. What Noemi' finds there is stranger than she expected, and more dangerous than she imagined. The husband is unsettling and forward, the house itself is covered in mold. The only person at all likeable is the young nephew of the house. Noemi' investigates the strangeness, getting drawn further and further into the mystery as she tries to help her cousin, and then herself. 

I don't read much Gothic fiction, but this seems to fit the bill: creepy house, disturbing people, and a strange and magical mystery at the heart of it all. Check it out if you're into Gothic fiction, or creepy mysteries. If you love Moreno-Garcia's work, you'll appreciate this one, too.
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This story is late twentieth century but has all the gothic elements of a hundred years ago or more--a sudden marriage, mysterious rich old family in a castle, a strange illness, lots of wonderful creepiness-- set within Mexican culture. Highly appealing for suspense and Gothic fans as well as those wanting a compelling, creepy read.
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A classic gothic horror novel! Truly enjoyable, mysterious and creepy. Definitely NOT a romance, no matter how they catalog it!
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Perfectly executed weird, Gothic horror. An excellent story with rich characters, a terrifying setting, heaping uncanny unease, and a delicious side of feminist anticolonialism. My new favorite book!
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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early September.

When Catalina's facade starts to crack and unwind, her younger cousin Noemi goes on damage control to tend to her. In an anglocized mansion with rumors of a family curse where Noemi experiences vivid nightmares. Yeah, it's hella Gothic. And with a heavy dose of Lestat velvet, droop-lidded mystique? Yup, this is my kind of book.
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The excitement around Mexican Gothic is grossly overestimated, which is unfortunate. 
I was excited about a novel that was proclaiming to be a "modern" Gothic novel set in 1950s Mexico, and that spun so many possibilities, such as tying it up with Day of the Dead traditions and legends, not to mention ancient Mayan mythology.
But this isn't to be. Noemi, the protagonist, who is toted as outspoken, fearless and forward-thinking, is nothing more than a sniveling brat who fails to show any strength of character when the situation requires it of her, or when she sees things that are beyond suspicion, or when she's being bullied by a sour-faced spinster aunt-in-law.
The plot also falls short. All the secrets of apparitions and voices revolve around an allegedly haunted house, but the reveal in the end, is so beyond ridiculous that I don't doubt it made many readers laugh out loud.
I'm so sorry to say that if you're looking for the next Withering Heights with a Mexican twist, this one is not it.
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I really liked this book and I would definitely recommend it. I think the author did a good job creating a creepy and gothic setting for the story.  I often find the endings of thrillers and haunted house books to be a let-down, but this ending was creative and a good resolution for the story. I also enjoyed the Spotify playlist!
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Content warnings for cannibalism, incest, sexual assault, miscarriage, suicide, eugenics, racism, white supremacy, murder, and gore.

Mexican Gothic is an #OwnVoices historical gothic horror novel that takes place in a 1950's Mexican mining town. Socialite and debutante, Noemi Taboada is tasked with visiting High Place, the Doyle family's estate, to check on her cousin Catalina who has recently been writing frantic worrisome letters.

The atmosphere is dark, rainy, and gloomy. The residents and help at High Place have very strict rules, aren't very hospitable, and don't allow Noemi to spend much time with her cousin. And so begins the mystery. Why has Catalina been sending such strange letters? Why is the house so creepy? Why is Noemi having strange dreams?

Buckle in for a slow stroll through WTF house and it's history. You will live here for 75% of the story with all the action and the big reveal happening in the last 25%. Some readers had major issues with this pacing. I personally didn't mind it and I found my interest in the story was consistent all the way through.

The reveal was an interesting mix of science and fiction and definitely a wild ride. While I never had the urge to DNF, I can understand why others might have.

All that being said, I wasn't sure what to expect since this was my first Silvia Moreno-Garcia book. However, I enjoyed the writing and all the scary, creepy bits. I can't wait to read her other books.

Those of us living for book adaptations will be happy to know that Hulu is turning Mexican Gothic into a series. I'm imagining something a la Locke & Key, but creepier. I can't wait!
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This book was one of the most fun reading experiences I'd had in a long time. Loved the twists, the atmospheric horror, and the buildup of tension and mystery. This is a perfect example of horror at its best.
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Deliciously horrific, Moreno-Garcia takes the gothic formula you love and makes it her own in Mexican Gothic. I absolutely loved every page. It's dark, dank, and the night crawls with terrors real and imagined. Noemi is a fantastic protagonist. Her sharp wit, biting tongue, and fierce loyalty is the cocktail needed at High Place, the perfect creepy atmosphere for this story. As it is in gothic fiction, the house itself is a character and it's enough to make your spine crawl. 

I also really enjoyed Francis and rooted for him to be free just as much as Noemi. The pacing is truly perfection and the prose both gorgeous and disturbing in equal mix. I cannot say enough good things about this book and I would totally recommend it to any reader but those readers who love gothic tales will be in for a real treat. 

Note: I received a free electronic edition of this book via NetGalley in exchange for the honest review above. I would like to thank them, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to read and review it.
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I enjoyed this slow burn of a gothic mystery. The background and the atmosphere was certainly creepy and left me feeling uneasy while reading, in the best way. I enjoyed the storyline and trying to figure out what was happening but the ultimate “reveal” left me wanting more. I was a little disappointed with the ending and expected more after the slow buildup.
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Family and fairy tales. Two pretty innocuous themes, but in the hands of Silvia Moreno-Garcia, both become fearsome and threatening. While I had hoped Mexican Gothic would be more of a genre-buster, it is a solid genre story that harks back to a number of gothic mysteries in which a smart, but perhaps too trusting, young woman finds herself at the mercy of another person, a house, a family, a ghost, or some combination thereof. It has some twists and some spine tingling moments and is a quick read. If you spook easily, read it on the beach!
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I absolutely loved The Gods of Jade and Shadow, so I knew I had to get my hands on Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s newest novel. I went into this one totally blind and I am SO glad I did.

I’ve never read a book quite like Mexican Gothic. It was a wonderful balance of horror, mystery, and suspense. My goodness, this book left me sufficiently creeped out in the best possible way. The writing was atmospheric and the second Noemí steps foot in High Palace, I felt like I was there too. Moreno-Garcia writes about the house as if it were its own character, which was absolutely chilling to me!

The story captivated me from the very beginning, but the pacing became a little slow. That ending though? The ending was just stellar.
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