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ARC Review: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Certain Dark Things

5 Stars

Book Info

Released: September 7th 2021
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Tor Nightfire
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
 

“Move over, Bram Stoker. Silvia Moreno-Garcia is offering up some fresh blood with her take on vampires”

~ Under the Covers

Recommended Read!

*This is a re-release with new cover and new publisher. Book originally published in 2016.

Move over, Bram Stoker. Silvia Moreno-Garcia is offering up some fresh blood with her take on vampires in the resurrection of Certain Dark Things.

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a dark and enchanting story that makes you question all the vampires you’ve seen in stories before. The story takes place in Mexico City, where the knowledge of the existence of vampires has made it far from anything we would recognize now. Domingo, a teenage street kid, scrapes by and keeps himself alive by collecting random junk and later selling it. On one of his trips around town, he encounters a beautiful young vampire named Atl and her dog Cualli. Atl befriends him and enlists his assistance to help her escape the city as she is on the run from both human gangs and the nefarious Necros (a particular subgroup of vampires that can control humans and whose blood is poisonous to other vampires).

The world-building in Certain Dark Things is amazing. Moreno-Garcia went with the perspective that there is no wrong legend around the world, each one just describes a different type of vampire. Drawing this inspiration from around the world made it feel fresh compared to stories based only on the stereotypical European vampires. Despite there being multiple quiet moments, I never felt bored with the pacing or lost interest. I also enjoyed how the author emphasized that these vampires are not some breed of super sexy evolved humans (like some books are apt to do). Some of them are undoubtedly attractive, but it’s just camouflage to disguise the true animal predator underneath. Let me be clear: none of the vampires in Certain Dark Things were ever human, and they have no desire to be human. To them, humans are servants at best and most of the time nothing more than food.

If you’ve ever felt burnt out reading cookie-cutter stories about vampires, then Certain Dark Things is the book to get you out of that slump. This is definitely a story where I think it would be beneficial to have tthe audiobook on hand, if only to know the correct pronunciation of certain names and words (Nahuatl, Huitzilopochtli, tonalli, and Tlahuipochtin are just a couple of the words I was unfamiliar with in this book). Although this is listed as a stand-alone right now, I’d love to see Moreno-Garcia do another book in this universe to explore some of the other vampire subspecies that weren’t featured as heavily.

A couple of trigger warnings to keep in mind for this book: there is blood (as one might expect from a vampire novel), violence, death, and mentions of murder.



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About Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination. Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of a number of critically acclaimed novels, including Gods of Jade and Shadow (Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, Ignyte Award), Mexican Gothic (Locus Award, Pacific Northwest Book Award, Goodreads Award), and others.

She has edited several anthologies, including She Walks in Shadows (World Fantasy Award winner, published in the USA as Cthulhu’s Daughters). Silvia is the publisher of Innsmouth Free Press. She co-edited the horror magazine The Dark with Sean Wallace from 2017 to 2020. She’s a columnist for The Washington Post.

She has an MA in Science and Technology Studies from the University of British Columbia. Her thesis can be read online and is titled “Magna Mater: Women and Eugenic Thought in the Work of H.P. Lovecraft.” She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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ARC Review: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-GarciaARC Review: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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Amy R

Thanks for the review.