Friday, October 28, 2016

My take on: Certain Dark Things

Nine times out of ten I like my books based in reality. The few times I've stepped outside of the box, I've been disappointed. But I wasn't disappointed this time. I loved Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

Vampires have infiltrated the normally safe confines of Mexico City. The cops want them out. The gangs want them out. And it's not going to be easy.

Street kid Domingo knows his way around the city. The resourceful teenager knows how to survive with next to nothing. He spends his days on the streets collecting garbage and his night in the bowels of the subway. Soon he finds himself befriending a mysterious woman, Atl. She gives him an offer he can't refuse. Let her drink some of his blood and Atl will make it worth his while financially.

Atl is a vampire, descending from a long run of Aztec blood suckers. She comes from a prominent line of vampires. But now, all of her family is gone and Atl is on the run from their killers, a rival line of vampires. Atl needs help. She's afraid and reluctant to rely on Domingo. Drinking his blood satisfies her hunger and gives her strength, but it doesn't solve her larger problem. Nick Godoy, a ruthless and bloodthirsty vampire, is after Atl. He wants to torture her and kill her for starting a war with his family. So far, Atl has been one step ahead but she needs Domingo's help if she's going to get out of Mexico City safely.

Conflicted police officer Ana is after both Atl and Nick. Being a cop is often a fruitless endeavor for Ana. Her bosses don't listen to her. Solving crimes is a priority to Ana but not to others. A lucrative offer to pursue Atl and Nick is too hard to resist. The money could lead to a better life for Ana and her daughter, but at what costs? What about her integrity? What about her safety?

With so many people after Atl and Domingo, how will they survive? How that plays out makes for a very suspenseful and compulsive read. At first, Atl is an enigma. She can friendly. But she can also be a ruthless badass. What are her motives? Does she want to kill Domingo? Or does she really want his help? There are really sweet moments between them. Domingo is very naive, but Atl is able to overlook that. To Atl, Domingo is more than a companion, he's a friend. To Domingo, Atl is a friend who happens to be a vampire.

Too often I can be a bit of a book snob. If a book wasn't based in reality, it wasn't worth my time. But this book was worth my time and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rating: Superb

Note: I received an e-galley from the publisher (Thomas Dunne Books) in exchange for an honest review.

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