Review: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

It seems like every time I read a new-to-me novel by Silvia Moreno-Garcia it becomes my new favorite book of hers. Certain Dark Things is my current favorite SM-G, and I’m really glad it got a new edition print this year.

What it’s about

From the Goodreads description:

Welcome to Mexico City, an oasis in a sea of vampires. Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is just trying to survive its heavily policed streets when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, is smart, beautiful, and dangerous. Domingo is mesmerized.

Atl needs to quickly escape the city, far from the rival narco-vampire clan relentlessly pursuing her. Her plan doesn’t include Domingo, but little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his undeniable charm. As the trail of corpses stretches behind her, local cops and crime bosses both start closing in.

My thoughts

This is most definitely a fresh take on vampire novels, with excellent world building (and vampire lore building), a fascinating mix of different types of vampires, from terrifying to beautiful to nasty-gross to sexy, all with a gritty noir feel. One of my favorite things about Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s work is the way she blends genre lines so seamlessly, and Certain Dark Things is a shining example of that skill. Not clearly romance, horror, or fantasy, but an entertaining mix of all of those. I also love how cleverly she incorporates Aztec legends in to the vampire lore.

There are five different POV characters in this book, and the main characters are so varied as to really keep things interesting. I loved complicated Atl and her relationship with simple, good Domingo. While Rodrigo and Nick are far from likable, the chapters from their perspectives add a lot of tension to the story, and Ana’s POV brings the whole thing forward so well. The plot moves along quickly and there’s never a dull moment.

The only thing I wasn’t wild about with Certain Dark Things was the ending… and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I would actually love to see a sequel.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC in exchange for this honest review.


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