Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Certain Dark Things” as Want to Read:
Certain Dark Things
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Certain Dark Things

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  10,591 ratings  ·  2,452 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a pulse-pounding neo-noir that reimagines vampire lore.

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 drink
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 7th 2021 by Tor Nightfire (first published October 25th 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Certain Dark Things, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Meredith This is only like Twilight in that is about vampires and a relationship forms between a human and vampire. It is not melodramatic, it’s a more mature …moreThis is only like Twilight in that is about vampires and a relationship forms between a human and vampire. It is not melodramatic, it’s a more mature story, and a more refreshing take on the world of vampires. Definitely recommend.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,591 ratings  ·  2,452 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Certain Dark Things
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Jun 05, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Warning: I don't know why people on Goodreads insist on classifying this as YA, but it's an adult novel. One of the five POVs is from a 17 year old (Domingo), but the other POVs are two people in their twenties and two people in their fifties. Plus, it's a violent neo-noir.

For people who only know me for Mexican Gothic, I should warn you all my books tend to straddle different genres and have a very different feel for one another. This is a neo-noir set in an alternate Mexico City. As such, it
Rick Riordan
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs-read

Originally published in October 2016, Certain Dark Things has recently been rereleased by Tor Nightfire with this splendid new cover!!

With vampire fiction making a bit of a resurgance and Silvia Moreno-Garcia, justly, gaining in popularity, I believe it was a smart decision.

I knew the second I saw this cover that I had to get my hands on it. The beautiful woman, the dog, the colors...

This noir-style story takes place in an alternate version of Mexico City, where vampires are real a
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 (of which
I think this is a pass for me.

Domingo is a seventeen year-old who lives on the streets, getting by by being invisible and selling useful garbage. One night on the subway, he encounters Atl, an Nahautl (Aztec) woman who seems to be about his age, and her dog. She's on the run from Rodrigo, who is set on hunting down Atl and her family. It's a forward time, or perhaps a parallel time, when the world knows about vampires, and there are genetically modified dogs and such, so it isn't a surprise to
Chelsea Humphrey
HUZZAH! Certain Dark Things is being resurrected and republished in trade paperback 2021!

Read about it HERE.
Apr 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite things about Silvia Moreno-Garcia is probably something that frustrates a number of readers: when you pick up one of her books you’re never sure what you’re gonna get. This is my fifth book from the author and it’s been interesting to see the range she has when it comes to setting, tone, plot and characters.

The biggest divergence from her other other works I’ve read is that Certain Dark Things is set in modern day, with the rest taking place during different eras in Mexican h
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Books with Brittany
Oct 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Was 3.75 but that ending rounded it up to a 4. You know I like when an author makes that specific choice.
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
CERTAIN DARK THINGS takes vampires, turns them into different types of vampires, then introduces some vampire genealogy, and lastly, plops it all down into Mexico City where vampires aren't even allowed. What fun!

As far as the story itself goes, I give it 3.5/5 stars. It was good enough for me to want more. The different types of vampires and vampire families has been done before, and done better. However, there were some things I really liked about this novel-well, two main things. The dog and
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
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Personal rating: 3.5
Full review to come on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/hollyheartsbooks
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2016/12/08/...

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  ·  review of another edition
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
Amy Imogene Reads
A vampire novel that plays with your expectations and brings new light into the niche? Nice.

Characters: ★★★★
Pacing: ★★★
World: ★★★★★
Enjoyment: ★★★★

In an alternate version of Mexico City, vampires exist. Well, they're outlawed from Mexico City itself, but they're a known species in Mexico and throughout the world. With several different subspecies of vampire originating from all across the globe, things come to a head in Certain Dark Things when the Mexican native group of vampires, the original
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.5 Stars
This was an interesting, diverse take on the vampires. Admittedly, vampire fiction is not my favourite subgenre of horror, but this one worked better than most. I really enjoyed the worldbuilding which pulled inspiration from Aztec mythology.

As for the story itself, I felt the plot was pretty thin. The story was very character focused, yet I did not become overly attached to the main characters. The book has some moments of grisly vampire horror, but it's not particularly scary. Instead
Althea Ann
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 be fo
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
Charlie Anders
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Moreno-Garcia's writing since Signal to Noise, but somehow I missed this vampire novel when it came out. And I'm so glad I jumped on it at last, because it's become one of my favorite books by her, and one of my all-time fav horror books. Moreno-Garcia creates a rich and complex vampire lore — with ten different taxonomies of vampires — and this gives her room to explore the meaning of vampires in a whole new way. Vampires as predators, as romantic icons, as part of an ecosyst ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jenny (Reading Envy)
When I went looking for a book that can count for Latinx Heritage Month and future Spooktober recommendations I was not disappointed! A walled off Mexico City... Several species of vampires, one which traces back to the days of the Aztecs... This was an enjoyable read.
ᴥ Irena ᴥ

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
destiny ♡ howling libraries
I will absolutely finish this book someday, but today is not that day.
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

Vampires were my thing back in the day, way before Twilight. I'm talking early '90s during the Christopher Pike era and then shortly after with Anita Blake. It was rare to find paranormal books like this back then unless you wanted to read Anne Rice, which I didn't. So, this was a welcome nostalgia trip as I've mostly been reading comics and manga and not so many novels. I had forgotten how much fun vampire books can be, especially when they're fresh like this one was.

I don't mind when an au
I remember a few years back when every blog I follow seemed to be talking about Certain Dark Things and all the reviews were tempting so I put it on my to-buy list and then I got distracted and I never read it. Ugh. I hate and I love that there are always so many tempting books coming at me. Anyhow, it’s been re-released by Tor Nightfire so if you’re like me and missed it the first time around now is the time to grab it for yourself (and maybe even read it, ha!)

I started this out by reading the
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 02, 2022 rated it liked it
3.5 stars - this is a melancholic, noir urban fantasy love story with lots and lots of blood and gore.

I loved the Aztec hummingbird vampires, as well as all the other different kinds of vampires in this world. The ending was also excellent, but I think the novel should have been streamlined/edited more. There were too many boring filler descriptions of downtime, as well as long q&a sessions about vampire trivia - I would have preferred learning about the world vicariously instead of being told
Update 10/24: I’m finished! I listened to the audiobook and I think that may have impacted my reading. It’s not bad—I loved the narrator and the way she voiced each character—but I always tend to read audiobooks a little differently than I do physical books. There was a lot to love about this book and I’m feeling guilty for not giving it 5 stars. I think I’m going to think about it a bit and come back with a full review later.

In the meantime, know that I really loved this book and would absolut
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • What Moves the Dead
  • All These Subtle Deceits
  • Nothing But Blackened Teeth
  • The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (Wayfarers, #4)
  • The Hacienda
  • Nettle & Bone
  • The Last Legacy
  • The Spy Who Raised Me
  • The Queer Principles of Kit Webb (London Highwaymen #1)
  • The Death of Jane Lawrence
  • Never Have I Ever
  • Stalking Shadows
  • Spellbound
  • The Doctor's Demons
  • A Spindle Splintered (Fractured Fables, #1)
  • The Haunting of Leigh Harker
  • Curse of the Specter Queen (Samantha Knox, #1)
  • A Bright Young Thing
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of several novels, including Velvet Was the Night, Mexican Gothic, Gods of Jade and Shadow and Untamed Shore. She has also edited a number of anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows (a.k.a. Cthulhu's Daughters). Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination. ...more

Articles featuring this book

Time is ticking! If you’re currently participating in the 2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge, autumn is a good season to check your progress and...
242 likes · 48 comments
“There is a point when a man may swim back to shore, but he was past it. There was nothing left but to be swallowed by the enormity of the sea.” 11 likes
“There is a phrase, atl tlachinolli, ‘the water that scorches the earth.’ My name means ‘water’ but it is also war.” 4 likes
More quotes…