Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Published by:Ballantine Books
Pub Date: 18 Jul 2023
Genre: Horror
Pages: 336
Date Read: 03 Jan 2023
      When I was a little younger, I fancied myself as someone who liked to read great huge tomes. In reality, as I’ve grown older, I’ve accepted the fact that I’m more of a novella type of gal. For some reason I lose interest in a book when I feel like the story is advancing too slowly. With Silvia Moreno-Garcia writing, her stories are so packed full and you just don’t really want it to end. So she seems to be one of my exceptions to the rule.

      Set in Mexico, 1993, Montserrat and her best friend since childhood Tristan are now approaching their forties. Both in the entertainment business, Montserrat is a sound editor and Tristan an actor. The first thing I liked about this duo was that the relationship felt real. Although Montserrat had a crush on Tristan when they were younger, it is a subject firmly behind them, and only picked at by Montserrat when she is upset. Montserrat has a no bullshit approach to most things in life, while Tristan has the playboy attitude you would associate with heart throb actors.

      Montserrat is a horror film enthusiast and has seen them all, except Beyond the Yellow Door directed by Abel Urueta. Beyond the Yellow Door is an obscure movie in which little is known, so when Tristan chances upon Abel Urueta as a new neighbor, he sets to work right away in getting Montserrat a meeting with him. There they discuss his film and discover that it was actually a good luck ritual designed by an occultist that was never completed. Since Tristan is an actor and Montserrat has access to record the sound, perhaps they could complete it and gain the benefits? If I were in their shoes, I too probably would have completed it. This is horror, though, so the luck doesn’t last for long.

      I had known that there were Nazi’s in Argentina, but I had not known that there were Nazi’s in Mexico, and this story provided an interesting history lesson. Frankly, I spent a great deal of time looking a lot of things up mentioned. The movies, which are listed below, have given me a new list that I want to work down and watch. Pictures of Mexico (because I have never been there) and the markets, specifically Mercado de Sonora. Lastly, she notes at the end some of her inspirations and I spent more time looking up lost films and daydreaming about the mysteries that could surround them.


      Here are two quotes that I particularly loved and wanted to share;

Chapter 7 — Page: 119

     And on bad days, if you told me what I had to do to time travel was rub chicken’s blood on my face and dance around the living room, I might. It’s stupid, but it’s also a bit of hope, and hope is hard to come by.”

Chapter 7 — Page: 122

     He understood this the same way he realized he was sometimes annoyingly childish in his demands and affection. But it was the only way he truly knew how to love someone.


      Anyways, this novel was clearly researched in the ways movies are made, and told to the reader in an expert way that doesn’t beat you over the head with terminology without definitions. The characters are well thought out, and all have their own personalities. I really loved this book and look forward to seeing it get the praise it deserves.


Vacaciones de terror
Child’s Play
The Amityville Horror
Lola la trailera
Knight Rider
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
The Evil Dead
Hasta el viento tiene miedo (Even the Wind Is afraid)
Cat People
Jir%C3%B3n de Niebla (Giron de niebla)
Three Men and a Baby
Tarzan and the Mermaids
Jorodowsky%E2%80%99s Dune
The Other Side of the Wind
The Black Cat
The Devil Rides Out
The Night of the Iguana
Dead Ringers
The Seventh Seal
Nightmare on Elm Street
The Blob
The Old Dark House
The Mummy
Alcanzar una Estrella
Mujer Casos de la Vida Real
The Count of Monte Cristo
Terror at the Opera
La Telaraña
The Bride of Frankenstein
El Monstruo Resucitado
La Bruja
London After Midnight

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