Wednesday, November 14, 2018

[Book Review] Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Book Review of Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia was a dark, brutal, and action-packed read about vampires in Mexico City that I could not put down.

It has been a very long time since I read a book about vampires that I enjoyed. I picked this one up after reading a review from Deanna of Deanna Reads Books (click here to read her review of Certain Dark Things!). I was so happy when my copy arrived! I began reading and right from the first page, I totally sucked in.

So heads up, once you sink your teeth into this one, you won't want to let up. (Ha! Sorry, I just had to.)

Let's dive in to my review!

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This story is set in Mexico City, where gangs, drugs, and corruption run rampant. However, the gangs and the police can agree on one thing: they want to keep the city vampire-free. But little do they know that at least one vampire has been living in the city right under their noses for generations, and two others have recently made it across the border. While one of these vampires is on the run, the other is thirsty for revenge and won't stop until he claims his prize, destroying anyone who gets in his way.

My goodness... the history and detail about the vampires that was put into this novel was very interesting! I loved learning that the humans in this world first discovered that vampires were real in 1967. I also really enjoyed learning that there were ten subspecies of vampires, all with different strengths and weaknesses. I was so eager to learn more about each subspecies and I was thrilled each time a new piece of information was offered up.

I thought it was wonderful that the author helped the reader learn more about vampires through the questions Domingo asked Atl or other interactions or thoughts that various other characters had. There was a ton of information given to the reader throughout these pages that definitely could have strayed into info-dumping, but this author avoided that!

The overall storyline was rather simple but it was also super thrilling! I just could not wait to see what would happen next. This is one of those books that I seriously could not put down. I walked around our place numerous times with my nose stuck in the pages of the book while I went to get more tea or a snack.

The story was fast-paced and the action was so exciting! This author certainly didn't hold back when it came to the brutality of certain situations.

Then there were the characters. I just loved the characters! They were all so wonderfully developed for each of their roles! I really enjoyed that we mainly focused on two characters, Domingo and Atl, but that the chapters also focused on other characters to really give us the full story before their storylines all met up in one bloody grand finale.
  • Domingo was adorable. While he may have been a bit naive, he was also very loyal! I loved how interested he was in Atl and how he kept referring back to the characters of his comic books before he finally realized how different real vampires were from the media. I also loved that he was so willing to help whenever he was needed and that he was never willing to just walk away or give up. He was such a sweet person, and so thoughtful! The fact that he never had much money, but when he came into some money, immediately bought a gift for another person says a lot about his character.
  • Atl was strong, even though she was also bit broken and jaded. I really enjoyed seeing her storyline develop. Though she was a bit harsh, it totally made sense with what she had gone through, and was continuing to go through along with the deep internal struggles she was deal with. I loved when she would poke fun at Domingo for making a reference to the vampires seen in their media.
  • Cualli, Atl's trusty doberman, was so wonderful! Of course, I'm just a sucker for any dog character, but this one was especially exciting. Cualli was much larger than the regular doberman and he was trained to give warnings to Atl to help her survive.
  • Bernardino was so interesting! He seemed to be a stereotypical elder character; he didn't want to help at first and would prefer to be left alone in his dark home, but was pretty easily persuaded.
  • Ana, the cop, was a lovely addition. While her storyline was rather predictable, I really enjoyed the chapters that we spent with her. She was so strong and all she wanted to do was provide a better life for her daughter.
  • Nick Godoy was a horribly angsty teenage vampire that was so set on revenge that he could hardly think of anything else. I found his character to be very chilling and rather disgusting. He was quite the bad guy!
  • Rodrigo was one that I didn't care much for. Perhaps that was because he was a bit overshadowed by the nastiness of Nick. I did enjoy how straight to the point he was when dealing with Nick, however.
  • Then of course there were various other characters that, while they played smaller roles, played very important parts in this story.
Overall, an absolutely wonderful cast that made this story so exciting.

I could go on and on about this book! I just loved it so much! But let's move along here...

My favorite passages: 
Ana kept working this shit job for her daughter. But she worried. She wasn’t home nearly enough and the city had a hungry maw, one ready to swallow the young and the innocent.

Domingo gave the gate an experimental push. It swung on its hinges, groaning a welcome.

He’s never seen a door knocker except in horror movies, but there was one, a heavy iron ring, which he slammed against the wood.

Uncomfortable conversations with your deceased relatives should be saved for the Day of the Dead or a night of binge drinking.

He knelt by the bed, a cup in his hands, and looked at her. With her eyes closed, Atl’s features seemed to soften, like a switchblade that has yet to snap out.

“Vampires, we are a diverse lot. So many differences. Yet we are united by one simple unavoidable fact: we are our hunger.”

He loved the sound of her voice, like incense. It belonged in vast, elegant rooms lit with candles and strewn with fragrant, pale flowers.

He tilted his head slightly and planted a kiss on the corner of her mouth, very brief, like the question mark at the end of a sentence.

No one had ever looked at him like that. Like he was ever a star shining down on them that night and the ground beneath her feet, and every other ridiculous phrase found in books that he’d never believed could possibly be true.

My final thoughts:
This book has rock solid world-building, very compelling characters, and a wonderfully addicting storyline filled with action and violence.

If you're looking for a great vampire read, look no further! I highly recommend this one!

Thanks for reading!
Have you read this one yet? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts!

I'd also love to hear your other vampire novel recommendations!


  1. The world-building does sound really great on this one!

  2. Sounds awesome. I love books with great characters, and it's been awhile since I've read a vampire novel.


  3. Yay! Another Certain Dark Things lover! I gave it 5/5 when I read it too. Cualli has made several of my best "sidekick" lists. Wish I could give my pups glowing tattoos - as long as they wouldn't hurt them. I may have to reread this some day just so I can fall in love with it again!

    1. Aww yay!! Such a great dog!!! And right?! That would be so amazing!

  4. Yay! So glad you loved it. This author has become a favorite of mine!

  5. Wow five stars? Karen actually gifted this to me a while ago, I need to bump this one up on the list! I love characters that you can get excited about.

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

  6. This was such a great book! It was really special for sure. Loved the unique take on vampires.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

  7. I've still to read this book but I'm encouraged that it is fast paced and informative without the mass info dumps! I definitely need to make time for this one soon.

  8. Great review Robin, I just added it to my list. I'm always in search of a dark vampire read.

  9. I really need to read this one already. I don't think I've seen a negative review.

    1. I hope you enjoy it when you get the chance to pick it up!! :)

  10. This one is waiting for me on my kindle and you have me even more excited to delve in and read it! It sounds like the characters are so well developed and the that the world building is so extensive detailed - just the way I like it!