I found out about this book from Victoria Schwab, as she’s constantly recommending novels she’s read and talking about the books she’s excited to pick up. Certain Dark Things was one of those books that she spoke about a lot, so I was super excited to finally get my hands on this book! I gave it a 4-star rating on Goodreads, which if you pay attention to my blogging and reviews at all, you know that I’m very heavy with my 5-star ratings. So for me to have given 4-stars for this book, took a lot.
Let me be honest for a second, it was so good. I was blown away by this book and I’m honestly distraught that more people don’t know about it. Hopefully, I can help change that. But there were a few things that bothered me personally that influenced my 4-star decision.
Certain Dark Things is a vampire story… yes, you heard me correctly, a VAMPIRE STORY. On top of that, it takes place in MEXICO CITY. MEXICAN VAMPIRES, you guys! I was so excited by the diversity in this novel. It’s a very uncommon thing to find poc in fantasy/fiction novels – especially mention of specific races and accurate portrayals. It was really, really cool to get to learn more about the Mexican culture while reading a supernatural novel.
The main characters, Atl and Domingo, were absolutely great! Atl, a vampire descendant from the Aztecs, is on the run from the Necros – another clan and race of vampires that control part of the narco world in South America – who killed members of her family. It’s while on the run that she meets Domingo, a street kid with a really kind and open heart who collects garbage to make ends meet.
There was a great mix of moments in this novel. I laughed a lot, I found myself on the edge of my seat often, and I definitely found myself attached to Atl and Domingo by the end of the book.
It was the end of the book that bothered me, though. I won’t spoil anything, but there was so much information and cool world building in the book, that it could have easily made an incredible series. But it didn’t. Certain Dark Things is a standalone novel and in my opinion, it shouldn’t be. There was a lot of work put into the worldbuilding and it felt like such a waste to not expand on it more in other ways. The real reason why I chose to give Certain Dark Things 4/5 stars though, was Atl’s decision at the end. It didn’t feel like it matched up with the character she had been established as throughout the rest of the book, and it irritated me a lot.
That being said, the culture and setting in this novel were phenomenal. The story telling was great. The characters were as well-rounded as they could be for a standalone novel, and they were fun and believable. I loved this book so much, I just wanted more from it.
- Written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- Published by Thomas Dunne Books in October 2016
- 323 Pages
- Start Date: May 19, 2017
- Finish Date: May 26, 2017
- Plot – 5
- Characters – 5
- Writing Style – 5
- Entertainment Value – 5
- Cover – 5