Rights sold:
  • French: Actes Sud


Novel , 2015

Stella Maris

On 6 September in an unknown year in the near future strange events start happening around the world: animals suddenly crowd together in groups, human beings move crazy, mixed with animals and insects, destroying everything, including themselves.

In Spain, a group of characters receive a note sent by the biologist Carlos Mandel, two years before he commits suicide: Nico Reinosa, a former policeman, painter and former lover of Mandel, is asked to protect in a laboratory people who were close to Mandel. World leaders flee in terror around the world, but also end up succumbing to the effects of destructive behaviour. People in the laboratory have a recording where Mandel tells them he foresaw this situation, like the mythical Croatoan that wiped out an entire population in the sixteenth century. The aim of the meeting in the laboratory is to find something that could save them.

Somoza's novels often take the reader on a journey into a horrible world, but Croatoan goes further toward an apocalyptic novel.  The title refers to the word that is found engraved on a tree where an entire population in the sixteenth century mysteriously disappeared.

"Extremely subtle and intelligent…. Totally absorbing." Evening Standard

"An ornate rumination on the razor-thin line between satisfying one’s scientific curiosity and violating the laws of nature." Booklist

"Literate, savvy, tense and thoughtful with plenty of atmosphere. It’s a pleasure to read a Jose Carlos Somoza novel." Steve Berry, New York Times

"Somoza’s tale is as disturbing as it is fascinating. It is a highly rewarding, intelligent and thought-provoking read." The Review Zoo




"José Carlos Somoza displays an unhurried style and a refreshing appreciation for advance science." Entertainment Weekly