H.G Wells really knew how to write a sci-fi book with insight and style; The Island of Dr. Moreau has tons of both. Truly, Wells was far ahead of his time.
The story starts off with Robert Prendick sailing across the Atlantic, possibly in the Caribbean, heading back to England. The captain of the ship, drunk and out of his mind, has Prendick thrown overboard. Alone, in the ocean, with no chance of survival, Prendick gives up hope and waits to die. Remarkably, a small ship arrives just in time, and they bring Prendick aboard. Among the crew of his rescuers is a small man, covered in fur, with sharp teeth and off-colored eyes. Strange as this man might be, Prendick is to weak to press the crew for an explanation on where this man has come from.
The rescue party takes Prendick to a small island known to most as The Island of Dr. Moreau - the famous chemist/biologist/geneticist (as far as such men existed back in those days). Arriving on the island, Prendick finds this to be a small and not overly amazing place to inhabit while he waits for another ship from England to arrive and take him the rest of the way home. In the meantime, he is to be the good doctors guest, and is attended to by the doctor's odd, grunting, meowling servants.
Prendick eventually discovers that the people inhabiting and working on the island, are in fact animal human hybrids. They were designed to be the best of both worlds: combining human intelligence with the abilities and skills of the animal kingdom. After his frightening discovery, Prendick stumbles into a commune of deformed and mildly crazy half human, half animal men living in the caves and cliffs of the island. These animal-men have a very peculiar religion based on the negation of all things animalistic: thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not eat meat...and so on. All the while, they worship their master and God, Dr. Moreau.
Eventually, all @#$% breaks loose on the island, and Prendick is left to fend for himself against hords of powerful, crazed, and blood thirsty beast-men.
This was a great novel that dives into the questions surrounding human morality, genetic engineering, and the ideas of the soul.
I highly recommend this title.