ARC Review: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

ARC Review: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-GarciaCertain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Published by Tor Nightfire on September 7th 2021
Also by this author: Mexican Gothic, Gods of Jade and Shadow, The Beautiful Ones
Pages: 272

From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a pulse-pounding neo-noir that reimagines vampire lore.

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.

Vampires, humans, cops, and criminals collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive? Or will the city devour them all?

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia has written so many books I loved, I couldn’t miss out on this one. Vampires in Mexico City, what’s not to love? It’s a thrilling urban fantasy with different factions of vampires. Some more gruesome than the other. I love this idea, that even within a fantasy race, they develop differently. And what are factions without rivalry or gang wars? Also, have you seen the cover? I absolutely love it.

As with all of her books, Certain Dark Things has its own voice that fits the genre well. Its pacing is much faster than The Beautiful Ones for example. The descriptions are sharp, filled with scents and lights. Or lack thereof. The first page is an excellent example of how to use voice to describe something. It’s a description of the garbage but from the perspective of Domingo, a homeless young man. He doesn’t see trash, he sees possibilities. It’s a way to make money. It’s beautifully written and I’m looking forward to analysing it further.

Domingo and Atl are great characters. Two completely different people who are forced together due to circumstances. He admires her for what she is but that soon changes when he gets to know her. It’s interesting to see how their two stories mesh together even though you’d never expect it at the beginning of the book. Atl’s dog is a very good dog and I’m glad he makes the end of the book.

I give Certain Dark Things four stars. It’s a great vampire novel with interesting worldbuilding and thrilling setting. If you’re looking for something completely different but with vampires, I highly recommend this one.

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