Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
9/7/2021 by Tor Nightfire
Review by Angela
I really like this author, especially the fact that I never quite know what I’m going to get when I open one of her books. She jumps around genres, going from gothic suspense to fantasy to paranormal historical romance and I get a little excited with each new release.
Certain Dark Things is labeled as dark fantasy horror and the version I’m reading is actually a rerelease with a new publisher. This is a vampire book, but not like the many, many vampire books I’ve read before. Set in Mexico City, a vampire-free zone, Certain Dark Things introduces its readers to an alternate timeline, where vampires were discovered in the 1970s and have since built themselves up into power structures much like the mob or cartels. Instead of your garden variety bloodsucker, vulnerable to light and holy water, these vampires are many and varied, divided up into different clans depending on their nationality.
Atl is a vampire native to Mexico, whose family roots lie deep in Aztec culture. She’s also on the run from a group of Necros vampires who killed her family and want to eliminate her as well. She teams up with a local street boy, who becomes her companion throughout the book and helps her as she’s finding a way out of the country and to safety. There is a bit of romance and some action, but mostly this book is a bunch of walking around and having conversations.
While I liked the premise and world-building, and the idea of different species of vampires in competition with each other over resources, this book dragged for me. And despite the gritty, dark undertones, I had trouble staying engaged. I WANTED to like it more than I actually did. At about 50% in I started skimming to get to the end and find out what happens. Which… was fine.
Not my favorite by this author, but an interesting premise.
Final grade- C-