Book Reviews

Review: Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Silver Nitrate has to be my favorite Silvia Moreno-Garcia book. The pages flew by! The action, the character dynamics, it has it all! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Montserrat has always been overlooked. She’s a talented sound editor, but she’s left out of the boys’ club running the film industry in ’90s Mexico City. And she’s all but invisible to her best friend, Tristán, a charming if faded soap opera star, though she’s been in love with him since childhood.

Then Tristán discovers his new neighbor is the cult horror director Abel Urueta, and the legendary auteur claims he can change their lives—even if his tale of a Nazi occultist imbuing magic into highly volatile silver nitrate stock sounds like sheer fantasy. The magic film was never finished, which is why, Urueta swears, his career vanished overnight. He is cursed.

Now the director wants Montserrat and Tristán to help him shoot the missing scene and lift the curse . . . but Montserrat soon notices a dark presence following her, and Tristán begins seeing the ghost of his ex-girlfriend.

As they work together to unravel the mystery of the film and the obscure occultist who once roamed their city, Montserrat and Tristán may find that sorcerers and magic are not only the stuff of movies.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

In Silver Nitrate I immediately loved the Old Hollywood vibes. There’s a distinct grittiness, a feeling of nostalgia wrapped in these pages. Early on this setting is established and serves as the backbone for the tension and supernatural in Silver Nitrate. Because of how immersive it is, you sink into tiled bathroom shivers, old movie theater chairs, and sound editing offices. Another element introduced early on is the tension and horror touches.

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We know from the first quarter that something spooky is going to happen and Garcia only heightens that tension. The horror touches, mentions of the occult, and the fear only continue to develop and we aren’t sure what we will see once it does. If you love the idea of film noir, hauntings and the supernatural, and friendship this is for you! Silver Nitrate is my favorite of all the Silvia Moreno Garcia books I’ve read and I’ve read almost all of them! It’s fast paced, intriguing, and haunting.

Find Silver Nitrate on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, & Blackwells.


What is your favorite SMG book?

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