Monday, June 22, 2020

Review: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican Gothic
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Del Rey
Publication Date: June 30th, 2020
Hardcover. 352 pages

About Mexican Gothic:

"After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region. 

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom. 

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. 

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind."

Mexican Gothic was one of those books where I didn't really know what to expect from it, but it still somehow managed to take me by surprise by how completely weird, creepy, and unpredictable it was--and I mean all of that in the best way possible! I read Moreno-Garcia's Gods of Jade and Shadow and was really impressed by her beautiful prose and sort of dark fairy tale/folklore style of storytelling that is present in Mexican Gothic as well.

Noemi is not the typical character that you might expect in this book. She cares for her cousin, but at the same time she also cares about her own life and doesn't exactly want to be spending her time in the dank, dark, and secluded High Place where her cousin and her husband, as well as some of her cousin's husband's family members, currently live. Noemi is an outgoing woman who is always the life of the party and has a confidence about her that I can only dream to one day have. She initially visits to appease her father and then return home, but she soon realizes that there is more going on at High Place that she could have imagined and opts to stay to try to find out what is going on and to make sure that her cousin is safe. Noemi's intelligence is apparent from the very start of the book, but I really liked how over the course of the novel we really got to see her character progress and her intellectual side combine with her common sense side and sense of self-preservation to begin to get to the bottom of the strangeness of the High Place.

I think my favorite element of Mexican Gothic is Moreno-Garcia skill in creating an environment that is simultaneously horrid, creepy, and inhospitable, as well as being relentlessly compelling and one that I couldn't seem to get enough of. In most books with some creepy location as the main setting, there's usually some curious desire in the reader to see this place for yourself, but I have to say that I'm not sure I'd actually want to ever visit this place! I love how much Moreno-Garcia was able to bring this setting to life in a way that felt so real and tangible and that was able to create such genuine and strong feelings towards it from me. There are also some incredibly creepy and awful characters living at the High Place (some members of her cousin's husband's family), but I won't discuss them too much because you really need to experience them firsthand on your own. They all added so much to the general atmosphere and general unease about the book and I think Moreno-Garcia incorporated all of the characters and their personalities perfectly.

Mexican Gothic is a book that I would place within the realm of the horror genre as well as fantasy, as it is full of some truly chilling and grotesque scenes and images that stayed with me for a while after reading it--and that still come to mind when I think about reading this book. Once you figure out what's really going on and what constitutes everything going on, you'll probably find yourself having some major moments of shock and confusion--and definitely some feelings of being utterly disturbed--but it fits perfectly with the story and adds such an incredible extra layer of depth to the book that it's impossible to put down or forget.

I loved the creativity, uniqueness, and general madness that made up Mexican Gothic, and if weird and creepy is your thing, I think you might like it, too! I expected it to be a little dark, but not quite as dark as it ended up being and it was an incredibly wild ride that I enjoyed every second of. Overall, I've given Mexican Gothic five stars!


  1. Wow, 5 stars! I just started reading this last night and was immediately sucked into the story. I can't wait to keep reading today😁

  2. Every review I read for this book makes me that much more excited to get my copy!