Welcome to Mexico City… An Oasis In A Sea Of Vampires…
Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is busy eking out a living when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life.
Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, must feast on the young to survive and Domingo looks especially tasty. Smart, beautiful, and dangerous, Atl needs to escape to South America, far from the rival narco-vampire clan pursuing her. Domingo is smitten.
Her plan doesn’t include developing any real attachment to Domingo. Hell, the only living creature she loves is her trusty Doberman. Little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his effervescent charm.
And then there’s Ana, a cop who suddenly finds herself following a trail of corpses and winds up smack in the middle of vampire gang rivalries.
Vampires, humans, cops, and gangsters collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive?
Worldbuilding: The Mexico setting was very interesting, in this sort of parallel world where vamps are a given and keeping them away is a point of pride for Mexico. There are the expected elements of drug traffic and cartels, ofc, but also a wealth of diverse paranormal (and cultural) elements – almost too many, it felt at times.
Characters: While the stories of the main characters were different and made each more or less relate-able and easy to empathize with, I can’t say I had a favorite. While I was curious about each, I was not emotionally invested in either, touching as their past may be. Each character went through a different set of hardships, making their stories interesting and dramatic, without a doubt. I just didn’t really respond to them – more on the presumable why later.
Plot: The stories entwined in a nice way, blending a bit of romance with mystery and plenty of intrigue. But the tempo felt somewhat slow to me, the excitement of all combined elements diluted somehow.
Writing: Third person, past tense, multi-POV narrative. The style felt a bit classic-y, perhaps with a literary flair in that it was more character-focused than action-focused. It’s not a bad thing, but for me the overall effect was emotional disconnect from the characters. I mostly respond the first person narratives, and I definitely respond to characters’ sense of humor manifesting as much as possible – this was not the overall tone of this novel, it was more on the serious/dramatic side.
Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – impulsive buy material for my vampy cravings.
I recommend Certain Dark Things to lovers of vampy stories with a classic flavor and diverse paranormal elements, exotic-y settings and character-focused stories.
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