Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia takes place in Mexico City, but in an alternate universe Earth where in the late-60s, vampires were found to be real. In this story, vampires are barred from entering Mexico City, but a young vamp named Atl has sought refuge there after her family was killed by a rival family of vampires known as Necros.
The hot-headed young necro Nick seeks to destroy Atl and chases her into the city, with his human “Renfield”/bodyguard. Atl finds help in a young street kid named Domingo, who offers up his blood willingly, and assists her with other tasks she cannot do without being discovered.
To add to the chaos surrounding Atl, a human cop has been tasked with finding her by a human drug cartel, Deep Crimson, who want both Atl and Nick killed, so they can get back to business as usual.
One thing I really liked about Certain Dark Things is that there is more than one type of vampire, all drawn upon different lore of vampires from around the world. Atl and her family are Tlahuihpochtli, which has Aztec roots. Females of this species have the ability to sprout feathers and even walk in daylight, though it’s unpleasant. The Necros are closest to what is normally portrayed as a vampire – a creature with an enormous lust for blood and carnage.
The descriptions in this book create a very real world where vampires and humans coexist, and Moreno-Garcia does a wonderful job of eschewing stereotypes in favor of fully evolved vampire characters.
There are a few descriptive scenes of gore and killing, but the bulk of the story is a scared young woman trying to stay alive as she is stalked through the city by both vampires and humans.
The ending is brutal and bittersweet, and you get the feeling there may be another story yet to be told. Not everything is neatly resolved, yet the book ends on a satisfying note.
I would give Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 4 1/2 stars out of 5.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review purposes via NetGalley. As always, my opinions are my own. There are also affiliate links used in this review which help pay for this site at no additional cost to you.
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