C.G. Drews's Reviews > Certain Dark Things

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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really liked it
bookshelves: adult, 4-star, read-2017, paranormal

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 City and it's very dark and violent and there's stabbage
• stabbage is how the kids say "stabbing x fabulous" by the way
• or not the kids???? just me???
• it features Mafia-esque vampire gangs
• murder
• a cute deadly dog
• most of the cast is POC
• fierce epic complex female characters
• bloooooooooood

I'm just so endlessly impressed with all the vampire folklore too! These aren't your vampires that sparkle and can't walk in direct sunlight and are basically Dracula. NO, CHILD. There are several different types here, from ones that suck your energy, or eat you flesh and all, and ones that turn into birds too (!!) And just the complexity of their backstories and culture was absolutely fascinating. This is how vampires are done, folks. I actually had never tried adult paranormal before, but I'm beginning to think maaaaaybe it knows something YA paranormal does not? Like: how to stab all the things + add diverse culture + tell a layered story.


It's narrated by a fair few people, but the main events are: Atl and Domingo. Atl is a vampire (early 20s) who's on the run after her whole family has been murdered by a rival vampire clan. She's the bird kind which was awesome and she ends up picking up this homeless street kid, Domingo, (he's about 17) to feed on him...but YA KNOW. Things happen and she maybe develops A Single Feeling ™ and then proceeds to ignore it the whole time. So cute. I ship it. I loved Domingo because he was so sweet! He was naive and stupid also. But well. He is a teenage boy. And he totally idolised Atl into his own personal manic pixie dream girl (manic vampirxie dream girl????) but she was having NONE OF IT. I loved the character development! I also want to smack their heads together because dammit, Atl, you have feelings. HAVE YOUR FEELINGS.

(To be fair she was on the run for her life and I like her priorities which are: kill bad people, drink nice Domingo's blood, and pet her dog. #impressed)

Also throw in an epic woman cop who just wants a better life and a psycho young vampire out for revenge on Atl...and you have a pretty amazing plot. EVERYONE IS MORALLY GREY. I am so here for that.

Although sometimes I think I want to say the word "Tlahuelpocmimi" out loud? Then I tell myself to go sit down.

I also loved the rich diversity of the setting. And just the fact that it seemed so real, but with that thick smearing of magical realism that just lit up the page. It was dark and bloody and people got shot and had their heads ripped off...but it wasn't exactly gruesome on page, I didn't think?? However I've read Game of Thrones. SO.

My sole complaint: THE FRIKKIN' ENDING. It honestly did not make sense to me and I may whine and fall on my face on the carpet and continue whining for the foreseeable future. It's a very open ending, but I was just MAD. (view spoiler)

ALL IN ALL: if you're looking for a book that does vampire myths and legends justice? HERE IS IT. It's bloody and exciting, not super fast paced, but absolutely addictive. The writing had me soooo bad, I basically didn't put the book down. And I adored the sweetness of Domingo + the sharp bloodiness of Atl. Plus culture! Diversity! Complex backstories! And BLOOD SPLATTERS. Omg this is such a Cait book it's ridiculous.
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Reading Progress

March 21, 2017 – Shelved
March 21, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
April 23, 2017 – Started Reading
April 23, 2017 –
page 108
32.14% "I may or may not be reading this purely because VE Schwab recommended it on twitter.
April 23, 2017 –
page 157
46.73% "Domingo: omg a vampire!!!!
Atl: stop
Domingo: do you eat babies!!!
Domingo: do you turn into mist!!!
Domingo: do you wear a cape!!!
Atl: someone please kill me"
April 24, 2017 – Shelved as: adult
April 24, 2017 – Shelved as: 4-star
April 24, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
April 24, 2017 – Shelved as: paranormal
April 24, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by Sam (new) - added it

Sam Whitehouse Sounds interesting.

message 2: by Tandie (new) - added it

Tandie Perks up ears ^ ^. It's been a while since I've read a good vampire novel.

Jess Yay! I love Silvia Moreno-Garcia! Please read her debut, Signal to Noise, too. :) It's one of my favourite books, I adore it.

message 4: by haley (new) - added it

haley oh my god this sounds fantastic. adding to my TBR list right away. great review, Cait!

message 5: by As Hot As Jack Frost (last edited Apr 24, 2017 04:31PM) (new) - added it

As Hot As Jack Frost Awesome review! Want to read this even more now. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure I've ever read a good vampire book...

C.G. Drews @Sam: It is!

@Tandie: The only other vampire novel I liked is Holly Black's haha.

@Jess: I actually have Signal To Noise on my TBR but I didn't realise it was the same author! AHH!! I will!

C.G. Drews @Haley: Aww thank you so much!

@Jack Frost: Haha, I know right?!? Good vampire novels are truly the endangered species. XD

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

THE COVER OMG it's so pretty!
It looks interesting, this book reminds me of From dusk till dawn the TV show I don't know why xDD

As Hot As Jack Frost Cait (Paper Fury) wrote: "@Haley: Aww thank you so much!

@Jack Frost: Haha, I know right?!? Good vampire novels are truly the endangered species. XD"

You could almost say they're like mythical creatures XD

Katie/Doing Dewey Totally with you on this one! I loved this throughout but was a bit let down by the ending.

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