Taryn Pierson's Reviews > Certain Dark Things

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2016-release, poc-author

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 Kindle (though he points out that he has “many PDFs”).

Not a fan of half-hour Fox sitcoms or wolf books? That’s okay, you’ve still seen this shtick enough times to be bored by it. People get together, but one of them decides the other is too perfect for them and proceeds to sabotage the relationship for the other’s perceived benefit. Because love may be grand, but nothing feels as good as being a martyr.

Now, I normally don’t have much patience for plots that hinge on White Fanging. I also am not typically enthused to read about vampires (none of us are really over Twilight yet, are we? Will the specter of Twilight ever clear, so that we can enjoy vampire-y stuff without immediately imagining Kristen Stewart’s pasty face and heavy mouth-breathing?). But I am willing to make allllll the exceptions for Certain Dark Things.

These are vampires like you haven’t seen before. Moreno-Garcia has created different races (breeds?) of vampires, originating from all over the world and in varying degrees of creepiness. Atl is a Tlahuihpochtli from the North hiding out in Mexico City after several of her family members were wiped out by rival vampires. On the train, she meets Domingo, a garbage collector and streetwise kid who is drawn to the mysterious woman and her big bioengineered dog. Maybe because she’s feeling vulnerable, Atl asks Domingo back to her place, and so begins one of the strangest yet sweetest partnerships I’ve ever seen in fiction.

Of course, because Atl is a vampire and Domingo is just a kid with a heart of gold, there’s all kinds of ambivalence and tooth-gnashing about whether or not they should be friends, let alone anything more. But Domingo has all these good qualities—he’s protective, strong, smart, resourceful—and he keeps coming in super-handy, because Atl is being hunted by the same vampires who took out her family.

Don’t let the White Fanging or the vampires scare you away—Certain Dark Things is a dark, fun ride.

More book recommendations by me at www.readingwithhippos.com
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Reading Progress

September 25, 2016 – Shelved
September 25, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
September 25, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016-release
September 25, 2016 – Shelved as: poc-author
January 2, 2017 – Started Reading
January 4, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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message 1: by Kelli (new)

Kelli How does one pronounce Tlahuihpochtli? You need to do one of your videos just saying words from the book!


Taryn Pierson I think I'd better defer to the author or someone who speaks the dialect on that one, Kelli! I am curious how it's pronounced too. More research needed!


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy Is the title stolen from a Pablo Neruda poem?


message 4: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Love this review, love the pop culture references, Stewart's pasty face...hahaha! Nope, still not over it.


Taryn Pierson Amy wrote: "Is the title stolen from a Pablo Neruda poem?"

Great question. I'm not sure--I checked, and didn't see an epigraph, which would've been a giveaway. I'm not a big poetry person, so that's the extent of my insight. :)


Taryn Pierson Victoria wrote: "Love this review, love the pop culture references, Stewart's pasty face...hahaha! Nope, still not over it."

Thanks!! ;) Twilight is one phenomenon that I wish we could just erase from our collective memory.


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