I am beyond excited that this book was given a new lease of life by re-publication because it’s absolutely fantastic. A combination of a gripping plot and some of my favourite characters ever written made this a huge hit for me. Just weeks after praising Velvet was the Night, Certain Dark Things is now my favourite Silvia Moreno-Garcia book. I am here for this unique take on vampires in an alternative Mexico City!
Star rating: 5 stars
Atl is a blood-drinking vampire on the run from a different species of vampire after they killed her family. She has entered Mexico City, a vampire free zone where she has to look over her shoulder in every moment in order to not get caught. There she meets Domingo, a young man growing into his adulthood. Domingo grew up on the streets and hasn’t had an easy life, but appreciates every good thing that happens to him and loves music. When he and Atl meet you couldn’t put two more different people (lol and vampires) together. But the two have to get Atl out of the country so she can escape those who pursue her, including investigator Ana Aguirre, a cop with vampire experience, and Nick, a vampire from the family who killed Atl’s relatives.
So I am completely obsessed with the dynamic between Domingo and Atl. Domingo is such a cinnamon roll despite being roped into street crimes since he was young. The guy gives his entire heart to Atl despite knowing she’s a vampire and could kill him in an instant. Atl takes him on as her Renfield, a human assistant to a vampire, despite knowing her family would disapprove of it. Atl is the grumpy to Domingo’s sunshine, she tries everything to not have any emotional connection to Domingo but he does everything he can to change that with his unstoppable caring nature. I love that this book is just a snapshot of Domingo and Atl’s lives but it packs in so much connection and really looks at what it means to be human.
The plot focusses on Nick and Rodrigo searching for Atl, and how Atl and Domingo avoid them. There are fights, there are skirmishes, there are some really tense moments. I also really liked Ana, the detective also searching for the vampires. All of these points of view gave so many perspectives for a relatively short novel, I was blown away by the depth achieved in less than 300 pages. Shoutout to Atl’s modified dog, I love him a lot.
Overall this is definitely my favourite vampire book. The ending couldn’t have been more perfect in all its bitter-sweetness. Love, love, love!!!! Silvia Moreno-Garcia nailed the character connections and I am hear for it.