...one of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's great achievements in Certain Dark Things is her representation of Mexico City as a real place...a lived-in place, a place for her characters to know and navigate completely outside an Anglo gaze ... All the characters in this book are as sharply realized as the city in which they live and fight, but I found myself feeling profoundly protective of Domingo ... Smart, tender and insightful, I enjoyed this tremendously, and hope to see Moreno-Garcia write more stories in this world.
...a refreshing take on the tropes of the genre: the female protagonist is supported by a tender, fairly innocent, dedicated man, and the romantic tension is complicated significantly by their being from different species. Furthermore, it isn’t anglocentric in its approach to mythology and the supernatural ... The ethnic differences in these vampires and how different countries across the globe have handled their public existence allows Moreno-Garcia to infuse a subtle but thorough political awareness in the world of the novel ... It’s a fun and fast read, but it doesn’t give the reader much to work with in terms of tension. There’s a single arc, it follows a predictable and straightforward path.
Domingo and Atl’s story — despite being forged amid a gang war — frankly feels prosaic in comparison with this vibrant world. Moreno-Garcia’s terse prose compounds the problem; it beautifully illustrates Domingo’s deceptive simplicity, but otherwise feels distractingly choppy. There’s more than enough richness elsewhere in the story, however, so one hopes that return visits to this urban fantasy world are in the offing.