Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Review


Received from Goodreads giveaway in exchange for honest review.

Published: October 25, 2016

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Genre: Fantasy – Urban

Pages: 336 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 4.0/5.0




Welcome to Mexico City… An Oasis In A Sea Of Vampires…

Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is busy eking out a living when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life.

Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, must feast on the young to survive and Domingo looks especially tasty. Smart, beautiful, and dangerous, Atl needs to escape to South America, far from the rival narco-vampire clan pursuing her. Domingo is smitten.

Her plan doesn’t include developing any real attachment to Domingo. Hell, the only living creature she loves is her trusty Doberman. Little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his effervescent charm.

And then there’s Ana, a cop who suddenly finds herself following a trail of corpses and winds up smack in the middle of vampire gang rivalries.

Vampires, humans, cops, and gangsters collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive?

Silvia’s debut novel, Signal to Noise, has been selected as a finalist for the British Fantasy, Locus, Aurora and Solaris awards, and was named on seven year’s best lists in 2015: B&N’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, RT, BookRiot, Buzzfeed, io9, Vice, and Tor.com. She has also been nominated for a World Fantasy Award for her work on the anthology She Walks in Shadows.

Certain Dark Things is one of those vampire books that totally breaks the mold and sweeps you away. I was totally into vampire books as a teenager (Twilight and all that other crap) and I will admit that it’s king of a guilty pleasure to this day. Certain Dark Things is not like these other YA, paranormal romance things- it’s so legit.

Similar to Holly Black’s book The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, vampires are openly known to exist and governments across the world have begun persecuting them and forcing them from their countries. Many vampires have gone to Mexico and some of the other South American nations that are less hostile. Our story is based in Mexico City, which happens to be a vampire-free zone thanks to the human gangs uniting and forcing them from the territory, but Atl, a native vampire of the Tlahuihpochtli subspecies, is on the run and hiding in Mexico City. Her family was a major power in the northern drug trade, but was brutally murdered by the Godoy family who are Necros vampires. Nick Godoy is now hunting her and life has gotten significantly more difficult. She is alone but for her dog Cualli and her new human friend Domingo.

The story’s focus is primarily on Atl and Domingo and how they both deal with the threat of the Godoy goons. It’s a brilliant introduction to vampiric subspecies, culture, and the social impact of vampires in this new world. I do hope this will continue on as a series because there is SO MUCH POTENTIAL HERE! This could be a goldmine and really revamp (no pun intended) the vampire fiction subgenre, which suffered a case of paranormal romance for a number of years. While there is a slight note of romanticism in this book, it’s not actually what the book is about- the whole plot doesn’t center on Atl and Domingo’s relationship, though that’s certainly a big part of it.

I really enjoyed reading through Certain Dark Things and found it to be a breath of fresh air! I think fans of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown or Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson will really dig this. I can’t wait to see what else the author has in store for readers. I hope we’ll get to see more of the other vampire species that were mentioned in the information section at the end of the book because they all sound super interesting. Some mentioned had mind reading powers, bioluminescence, and even shape-changing abilities! Not you’re run of the mill vampires, huh?