Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Certain Dark Things by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia

Oh man, oh man, oh man! Readers, I absolutely adore those reading days when everything comes into perfect alignment. When a topic you've been dying to read about just happens to be the topic of your next planned read and the writing is amazing and the story is the kind you don't want to put down no matter what else might be going on. That's what happened with Sylvia Moreno-Garcia's Certain Dark Things.

There are no vampires in Mexico City. There haven't been for quite some time. And yet, when Domingo meets Atl, he discovers this isn't quite true. 

Atl has been orphaned thanks to an all out war with a rival vampire family. And she's come to Mexico City in search of something - alone. When she crosses paths with young Domingo, she plans only to pay him for a night of blood. But Domingo has other ideas. 

Meanwhile, Nick Godoy has followed Atl to Mexico City, intent on killing her. But Nick is a loose canon, impossible to control and guaranteed to draw attention to the presence of vampires in the city. Which is exactly what he does and exactly how Ana Aguirre ends up on the hunt. And she's not the only one. 

Sylvia Moreno-Garcia has kind of flipped the vampire genre on its head here, combining Aztec and other lore to create a world with ten different kinds of vampires. And in this world, the vampires have become drug lords - warring against one another and human gangs as well.

Humans control Mexico City and so when they catch wind that the vampires have arrived, it's in their best interests to nip it in the bud as soon as possible. But Ana Aguirre, who came to Mexico City to get away from vamps, isn't sure she wants to align herself with gangs of any kind. This in spite of the fact that even though she's a. a cop and b. a cop with experience hunting vampires, she definitely isn't getting the support she needs from her department.

And then there's Atl and Domingo. Atl is twenty-three, a baby in vampire years. Her family are descended from some of the very first vampires in the world and can live for centuries. She's also a second daughter, which means she was allowed to run around spoiled. But now she's alone. All alone. And in a moment of weakness, she decides to take Domingo on as her companion - her Renfield. Which is cool with Domingo! An orphan himself, kicked out of his home when he was just thirteen, Domingo longs for a friend and is immediately smitten by Atl. Their bond only makes him that much more determined to do whatever he can to help her in her mission.

Drug wars, vampires, Mexico City and a smidge of history besides, and all set in the very near future, Certain Dark Things is a fabulous read. Fabulous! And highly original! And definitely one I'm recommending to EVERYONE!

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