Book Review: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

September 29, 2021 in SFF

AD • I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post also contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are marked with a (*). When you purchase an item through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, please read my Disclosure.

Certain Dark Things
by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Date of Publication: 7th September 2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (SFF)
Format: eBook (320 pages)
My Rating: Liked it! 👍

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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 and beautiful – and very dangerous. Domingo is mesmerised.

Atl needs to escape the city quickly, to get far away from the rival narco-vampire clan relentlessly pursuing her. Her plan doesn’t include Domingo, but little by little, she 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. Atl and Domingo stand little chance at all of making it out alive before the city devours them all – but they are determined to try . . .

Content Warnings

  • Some body horror/gore

Book Review

Going into this, I had no idea what “neo noir” meant and I’m not really that into vampire fiction BUT it’s Silvia Moreno-Garcia and I will read anything and everything she puts out into the world. As it turned out, I didn’t need to fully understand what neo noir meant because once you start reading it all makes sense.

One thing that I loved about this book was Domingo as a main character. His innocence contrasts so deeply against Atl’s true nature as a vampire. In fact, I felt the same way about Domingo that I did Nina in The Beautiful Ones. Both characters were seen as somehow undesirable by their society but were beautiful on the inside, showing kindness and loyalty above anything else. As for Atl, well… she was one kick ass femme fatale. I liked that she was eventually able to be vulnerable with Domingo.

Certain Dark Things was both not as dark as I expected and gorier than I expected it to be. That’s on me for making assumptions about the level of gore where VAMPIRES are concerned. So I must admit I did skip a few of the gorier moments. There weren’t many of them but the ones that are present are a bit gruesome.

All in all, I thought that Certain Dark Things was a fantastically engaging story. I thought the inclusion of extra content at the end was a nice touch and not something I’ve come across often. (For reference, there is an encyclopedia about the different vampire clans, an interview with the author, recipes and discussion questions.) I think that fans of vampire fiction or Silvia Moreno-Garcia in general will find something here to love.

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