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Certain Dark Things

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,611 Ratings  ·  458 Reviews
Welcome to Mexico City… An Oasis In A Sea Of Vampires…

Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is busy eking out a living when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life.

Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, must feast on the young to survive and Domingo looks especially tasty. Smart, beautiful, and dangerous, Atl needs to escape to South America, far f
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books
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George Set in the same vampire eco-system? Quite possibly. Following Atl or Domingo? Conceivably.

Following Atl and Domingo? That would be ... unfortunate.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rick Riordan
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Certain Dark Things is not just another vampire novel. Set in Mexico City, the novel imagines an alternate present in which the discovery of vampires' existence in the 1970s has fundamentally reshaped the world of the 21st Century. Mexico City has become a closed nation city, leaving the rest of the country at the mercy of powerful vampire gangs who fight for territory against each other and the humans. And it's not just one kind of vampire. Vampires from every culture in the world -- dozens of ...more
C.G. Drews
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh hey look! A vampire novel that is filled with culture-rich folklore and excellent writing and isn't cliche or awful! SOMEONE FRAME THIS BOOK. Or, I don't know, read it too?? Read it. Then frame it. And I also fully confess I 500% read this because I saw VE Schwab recommend it on her twitter and like...yes. (Also I totally see why and it reminded me of This Savage Song in a smol way. Not like a lot?? But I see connections.)

• it's really bloody
• it's set in Mexico Ci
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
4ish stars.

Really a great book. Especially considering it's a vampire book. Don't get me wrong, the reason I don't like vampire books isn't because of the campiness or the shimmering in the light, it's because of the blood. I can't handle blood. Typing the word blood is making me light-headed. Drinking blood and the teeth in the neck and the words 'veins' and 'arteries,' stakes piercing through hearts blech blech blech blech. This book has made me like vampires. In spite of the blood.

Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: noir, vampires, fantasy
What a treat! This was a fabulous vampire book. Admittedly I'm biased because I enjoy a good vampire story, but even if you're not usually a fan, I would still recommend this one. It's original and with the exception of Fevre Dream by George R. Martin, is the best I've read.
This is a modern take on gang war-fare in Mexico City. The main character, Atl, is a young vampire on the run from a different vampire sub species and gang. What is fascinating, as other reviewers have established, is the det
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Longer RTC.

Remember what Anne Rice did for the vampire novel 40 years ago with "Interview with the Vampire"? Silvia Moreno-Garcia has done that now with THIS BOOK. This was a fresh and elegantly blood-soaked reboot of the vampire tale, and I did not want to put it down. From Dusk till Dawn meets Blade meets Vampire: The Masquerade, but polished to perfection.

Going right onto my Top 5 Books of 2016 list! Absolutely stunning

////Seriously AMAZING.//// Totally changes the game as far as the vampire
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I’ve been champing at the bit to read Certain Dark things ever since I first heard about the book. Back then it still didn’t have a title, but the mere description of it clinched it for me. I’m not someone who’s ever needed much motivation to pick up a vampire story after all, and after learning that one of the main characters is a descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, I was even more intrigued.

That the book takes place in M
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A refreshing and original take on vampires, filled with vivid characters in a rich setting.

The story is set in Mexico City, where Atl is a vampire on the run from a rival clan, and Domingo is a garbage picker who lives alone on the streets. Unlike other books where the urban setting can seem somewhat arbitrary and interchangeable, Certain Dark Things is imbued with cultural texture that comes to life so that the setting here is almost like another integral character. The sights, smells, and feel
Althea Ann
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
After reading Moreno-Garcia's 'Signal to Noise,' I was on the lookout for anything else from this young author. 'Certain Dark Things' is quite a different offering, but it did not disappoint!

This is a YA vampire novel for those who grew up with the mythos of 'Vampire: The Masquerade' and 'True Blood' (&c).
If you read the previous sentence and said, "Yay, that's for me!" - well, it is. But if you read it and said, "Eh, I don't know about that." - well, don't write it off yet; it still might b
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
I'm not widely read on vampires but I think this is an original book, I particularly liked that there are different breeds of vampires and that the romance is just a subplot (thankfully, because it’s plain boring). The Mexico City setting, the Aztec mythology and the whole narcos-vampire combo also worked well for me, as did the nicely dark tones and the spot-on worldbuilding.

The vampires are organized in rival gangs and have unique skills; they have different societal customs, some embrace mode
Candace Robinson
Loved the dark aspects and the ending!
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A dark and intimate little story of vampires, gangsters and life in Mexico City.

Atl is a Tlāhuihpochtli, a native aztec vampire, one of eight different sub-species of vampire. She has fled to Mexico City which has banned all vampires, but she's being pursued by the Godoy, a Necros vampire clan (European vampires) that her family is in conflict with. In Mexico City Atl meets Domingo, a young street-kid with a fascination for vampires and a painful naivete. What follows is a desperate chase throug
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Domingo is a street kid living in Mexico City in the safe zone from the threat of vampires. One day though Domingo meets a strange girl who offers him money to come with her. Domingo hasn't been above prostitution to survive but question why this lovely girl would want to pay him when he should be begging for her company. Curious Domingo finds himself following Atl to her apartment where she reveals that she is actually a vampire and descendant of Aztec blood drinkers.

Atl has been in hiding in
Book Riot Community
I’m a fan of (all different kinds) of vampires stories, but it was refreshing to read a suitably dark novel with excellent world-building. Moreno-Garcia weaves together Aztec mythology into her vampire lore, and situates the clans in the drug world of Mexico. There’s a cast of sympathetic and layered characters, and the writing is equally effortless even when describing gory action scenes and contemplative moments considering moral dilemmas. This is a new favorite.

–Molly Wetta

from The Best Books
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Oct 23, 2016 rated it did not like it

After the awesome world from Obsidian and Blood which only has three books, I didn't mind a touch of Aztec vampirism at all. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the only thing I liked in this book. Let me rephrase that: the take on vampires in Certain Dark Things is great. Not really original since there are other authors who used different types of vampires, but still good and really well combined with mythology and folklore.

There are five POVs: Atl's (a young vampire girl on the run from a
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was really good, starting with the gorgeous cover with the stylized hummingbird over the woman's face. I loved the author's writing and the different species of vampire (the information at the back of the book was particularly helpful!) The characters were wonderful, with no one being particularly heroic or sympathetic, though I did empathize with street kid and vampire-obsessed Domingo and Atl's Doberman). It was wonderful also seeing a 50-year old detective, Ana Aguirre, and her attempt t ...more
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars******

The nitty-gritty: Dark and deliciously dangerous, with a unique take on vampires that will make jaded readers sit up and take notice.

I have to admit that I honestly thought this was young adult before I started reading, but it surprised me (in more ways than one!) by being most certainly not YA. Certain Dark Things has made my list of all-time favorite vampire novels, and I’m so happy to have finally read a book by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. If you like your vampires dark, nasty and
Eve Messenger
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
(Actually, 4.5 stars.) Let me start by saying that, even though I’m not big into vampires, Certain Dark Things was a thoroughly entertaining read. This YA paranormal thriller is told from alternating viewpoints of Atl, a naïve young female vampire who’s illegally entered the vampire-free zone of near-future Mexico City; Domingo, a homeless Mexican teen; and Ana, a tough Mexico City cop.

The tenuous balance between humans and vampires, as well as clashes between vampire families and drug cartels,
“Bad idea. You and Atl,” Bernardino said. “Your attempt at a romance.”

Domingo raised his head and looked at the vampire, who was standing by the door, holding an oil lamp between his hands. He looked the part of a vampire who had ventured forth from Dracula’s castle.

“I’m sorry?” Domingo replied.

“Don’t bother denying it.”

Domingo shrugged, unwilling to commit any words. Bernardino set his lantern upon a table and smiled at Domingo, though the smile was hollow and held no mirth. It was a copy of a
Chasia Lloyd
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing

This is a super kickass story with rivaling Mexican vampire clans infused with Aztec mythology and noir. It is gritty, fun, and exciting.

Certain Dark Things is a multi-POV paranormal, each character vastly different from the other. We start off with Domingo, a homeless youth who has a huge fascination with vampires from the lore he's collected from comics
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I think this had the unfortunate luck of coming directly after another 3 star read for me. Halfway through I just didn't have the patience for it anymore. It isn't particularly bad, but I just didn't enjoy most of it.

The setting was fabulous and very well done. It's set in Mexico City, exploring the darker, dirtier corners of the city: the subway tunnels, warehouses where dog fights take place, poor apartment complexes, heck she even takes us to a landfill. The feeling and tone were perfect.

I ju
Allison Hurd
A cool urban fantasy featuring a vampire from Aztec lore, hints and glimpses of a whole world of vampiric abilities, a trusting street kid, and a cop who just wants to stay out of the way of bloodsuckers.

CONTENT WARNING: (no actual spoilers, just a list) (view spoiler)

Things to love:

-The mythology. Vampires are everywhere, but I doubt you've seen them like thi
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Author's Note: This review originally appeared on New York Journal of Books.

Set in modern Mexico City, the world that Silvia Moreno-Garcia taps into is very much contemporary, with one exception: since the 1970s, vampires are very much known to be lurking in the shadows among humankind. They’re outcast and even outlawed in many countries, including Mexico—but like any force of nature, they have their ways of getting around.

Although Moreno-Garcia utilizes uses many traditional elements of vampire
Taryn Pierson
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’d been familiar with the concept forever, but I didn’t have a name for it until an early episode of New Girl when Schmidt decided to dump CeCe for her own good by being mean to her until she gave up on him. Fortunately for their relationship (for a while, anyway), CeCe knew Schmidt was a fan of Jack London’s novel White Fang and immediately caught on to what he was doing.

“Are you White Fanging me?” she asked. Schmidt tried to play innocent, but everyone knew White Fang was the only book on his
Oct 12, 2016 added it
Shelves: read-in-2016
This was damn good. A gritty, delightful, twisty vampire urban fantasy set in Mexico City.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2,5 elevated to three because the last 5 chapters were finally interesting.
Moreno-García had an amazing idea: vampires descending from the Aztecs and many subspecies of them. She could have done so much with it! I think that premise would have worked in a gothic vampire novel so much better. Unfortunately, we need to read about boy and this girl, and some vampires baddies. Zzzzzzz.....she needs to escape, zzzzzzz, he has puppy eyes, zzzzz.... I drifted off many times while listening to the audio
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wavered between a 3.5 and 4 for this one so I decided just to round up a little bit because I love the world building and the way the characters are portrayed.
Review originally posted on Lacy Literacy:
“Love is a strange thing to us. We do not revel in it. We only know hunger.”

Despite being a huge fan of vampires, I don’t read many books with vampires that aren’t strictly paranormal romance. Before reading Certain Dark Things, the only other non-paranormal romance vampire book I had ever read was Dracula. Because of that, I was little worried with how things would fair with Certain Dark Things because I still wasn’t sure just how much I really like v
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
10 Reasons Why You Should Read Certain Dark Things

1. Vampires, but NOT your Buffy, Twilight, True Blood, or whatever vampires.
2. Vampires, but culturally interesting, well-thought, various species of vampires.
3. Domingo! A charming, affable, if not a little naive, protagonist
4. Atl! A charismatic, not affable but still likeable, protagonist whose sidekick is a Doberman
5. Gang politics—human gangs, vampire gangs, the usual.
6. Prose that keeps you captivated, even through the goriest moments (an
Lynn Williams
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
Certain Dark Things is a book about vampires and, put simply, I loved it. I’ve read a lot of vampire books and to be honest, over the years, I guess that these immortals have become a bit jaded in some respects. Vampires have been romantacised so much that we’ve almost forgotten that they’re predators – not gorgeous,emotionally tortured and beautiful creatures that are in search of love. Certain Dark Things once again brings to us the vampires of
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vampires descended from Aztecs. One of the interesting things about this was the different sub-species of vampire, including a glossary at the back.

I enjoyed the juxtaposition of good/bad characters and evaluating the criteria for such an observation.

The story? Boy meets girl, Mexican gangs clash, vampires flex their shoulders, life goes on.... ;)
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Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination. Silvia Moreno-Garcia's debut novel, Signal to Noise, about music, magic and Mexico City, won a Copper Cylinder Award and was nominated for the British Fantasy, Locus, Aurora and Sunburst awards. Her second novel, Certain Dark Things, is a noir with Mexicans vampires. She co-edited the anthology She Walks in Shadows (winner of the World Fantasy Award) and ...more

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