Certain Dark Things Hardcover – 25 October 2016
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- ISBN-10 : 1250099080
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250099082
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- Dimensions : 14.55 x 2.79 x 21.31 cm
- Publisher : Thomas Dunne Books (25 October 2016)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 512,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Praise for Certain Dark Things
"[S]uspenseful, character-driven, and powerfully emotional.... Certain Dark Things does for vampires what Stephen Graham Jones did for werewolves in his novel Mongrels earlier this year: beautifully and powerfully reinvigorates one of the seminal horror fiction monsters in some truly unexpected and sublime ways....
Filled with powerful themes of trust, corruption, vengeance, and bloodlust, this novel is by turns sensual and grim, introspective and disturbing, suspenseful and moving, and all told in the sleek and lyrical prose for which Moreno-Garcia is deservedly acclaimed." --New York Journal of Books
"All the characters in this book are as sharply realized as the city in which they live and fight.... I love to see compelling new takes on vampires, and Certain Dark Things succeeds beautifully.... Smart, tender and insightful." --NPR.org
"The Mexican setting is a huge part of the allure of this new novel from Moreno-Garcia (Signal to Noise), as are the fascinating varieties of vampires she sets forth." --Library Journal (starred review)
"Moreno-Garcia is an author to watch." --Publishers Weekly
"[A] gangster vampire story that transcends the genre." --PopSugar
"Darkly ironic world building is the real treat of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Certain Dark Things." --New York Times Book Review
"A finely stitched Halloween costume, deriving most of its horror and pleasure from the very human bones beneath it." --Paste Magazine
"If you enjoy these darker vampire stories, I'd definitely recommend picking this up." --That Wild Soul
"If you haven't read any of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's work yet then I don't quite know what you're doing with your life, she's a fantastically fresh voice in the world of speculative fiction and Certain Dark Things is proof of her creativity." --The Moor Maiden
"I'm a fan of (all different kinds) of vampires stories, but it was refreshing to read a suitably dark novel with excellent world-building. Moreno-Garcia weaves together Aztec mythology into her vampire lore, and situates the clans in the drug world of Mexico. There's a cast of sympathetic and layered characters, and the writing is equally effortless even when describing gory action scenes and contemplative moments considering moral dilemmas." --Molly Wetta, Book Riot
"It's the first time I've read a vampire novel that's made me feel like I'm reading something new, something fresh, and I love how in parts it's gritty and nasty and dark." --Curioser and Curioser
"Certain Dark Things is a delicious, elegant, gritty vampire noir. Moreno-Garcia has created a world that pulses with life and terror and honesty." --Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper and of the Bone Street Rumba series
"With its vibrant prose and stellar world building, Certain Dark Things is one of the best books I've read in years." --V. E. Schwab, author of the New York Times bestselling Shades of Magic series
"Silvia Moreno-Garcia carves out the heart of Mexico City, and then eats it, in this riveting noir-punk reinvention of vampire lore. Certain Dark Things is exquisitely vicious and brutally beautiful." --Ann Aguirre, New York Times Bestselling Author
"If The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo met (and devoured) Interview with the Vampire to the twined rhythms of Octavio Paz, Bram Stoker, and Ozomatli, you might come close to the layers and textures of Certain Dark Things. Set in a beautifully and heartbreakingly rendered Mexico caught up in Narco-Vampire wars, Silvia Moreno-Garcia's novel lets us fall in love with many perspectives before she breaks our hearts and puts us back together again. I cannot wait for the movie." --Fran Wilde, Andre Norton Award-winning author of Updraft
"Not since Anne Rice's seminal Interview with the Vampire has the vampire story been so radically reimagined. Silvia Moreno-Garcia reinvents it for the 21st century in this high-concept, explosive tale of narco-vampires in Mexico City--and just when you thought it was safe to step out of the coffin. Certain Dark Things is dark, inimitable, and so very, very cool. Unmissable." --Lavie Tidhar, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Osama
"Silvia Moreno-Garcia's gritty novel is steeped in the history of Mexico City and vampire lore and yet manages to deftly re-invent the bloodsucker. The wonderfully complex Atl and her 21st Century Renfield, Domingo, are revelations. Certain Dark Things packs a wallop." --Paul Tremblay, Bram Stoker award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghosts
"With Certain Dark Things, Silvia Moreno-Garcia demonstrates that there is always more to be done with familiar figures such as the vampire, and that in the hands of a talented writer, the creatures can rise to new (un)life." --Locus
Praise for Signal to Noise
"One of the outstanding debut fantasy novels this year." --Chicago Tribune
"In a poignant, graceful coda, Moreno-Garcia brings the book full circle, slyly subverting the expectations of a linear narrative and punctuating Meche's story with a hushed, lovely flourish. In many ways, Signal to Noise is a coming-of-age tale, but it's also the tale of what comes after--and what happens when forces beyond our control, magical or otherwise, are better left that way." --NPR
"Refreshing, lively, and unique, Moreno-Garcia's debut novel is a triumph." --RT Book Reviews
"I know it's very early in the year but I can already tell this is one of the Notable Reads of 2015." --Kirkus
"Plenty of books use magic to talk about coming-of-age stories and the secrets that people bury... but few of them are as sad, or as evocative, as Silvia Moreno-Garcia's new novel Signal to Noise." --io9
"This accurate depiction of outcast teenage life cycles effortlessly between eras. Meche, Sebastian, and Daniela are deeply believable characters, and numerous '80s musical references make this unusual story a welcome blast from the past." --Publishers Weekly
"Suffused with the music--English-language and Spanish, pop and punk--that Meche and friends use to make their magic and soundtrack to their lives, this is both a spiky and charmingly sweet romance of making amends and starting again." --SFX Magazine (4 stars)
"Moreno-Garcia has a solid and convincing prose style, robust and subtle in all the right places... a successful debut, and a very interesting book." --Tor.com
"This little indie release deserves all the attention." --Book Riot on Signal to Noise
"It works, all of it, in a story that's decadent, riveting and worth the restless nights and a nightmare or two." --The Globe and Mail
"There's nothing sparkly about Certain Dark Things, though: the novel is a hard-edged, emotionally mature, occasionally heartbreaking example of contemporary fantasy at its finest." --The Vancouver Sun
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I mostly read SFF, so while it isn’t my go-to genre, I’ve read one or three books featuring vampires. This is the one that best depicts their otherness, the differing races, differing customs and what drives them. It clearly lays bare their sense of entitlement and utter lack of humanity, while demonstrating their dangerous ability to mimic those emotions in order to influence the humans around them. I could see all that – and yet I still wanted Atl to prevail. And as for Domingo… sweet, trusting Domingo, who was enchanted by her from the first moment he laid eyes on her. What did I want for him? Well, not to have his throat torn out, obviously. Other than that – I wasn’t sure. He clearly wanted to become part of her life and leave with her when she went on the run. Was that the best thing for him?
I don’t know how Moreno-Garcia manages to worm her characters right into my inscape – I suspect she is a witch, whose books weave an enchantment. But I have yet to read anything of hers where I haven’t passionately cared about her world and the people in it. As for what happens to Atl and Domingo – you’ll have to read the book to find out. Even if you’re sick of reading vampire books, even if you’ve never read a vampire book, pick this one up and give it a go. It is every bit as beautiful and dark as that amazing cover.
And? I really liked it. Like, a lot.
After loving Signal to Noise as much as I did (and still do) one of the things I was most excited about was Moreno-Garcia's take on vampires, and I'm so pleased to say she did exactly what she hoped I would: she took existing tropes, played around with them a little, and created something completely, wonderfully different. She weaves vampirism into Mexican folklore and Aztec history so brilliantly, creating several different subspecies of vampire in the process.
One of these vampires is our heroine, Atl, who fills me with joy. Atl is more of an anti-heroine than a heroine, the kind of protagonist I feel as though I've rarely seen without a penis. Maybe I'm just not reading enough of the right books (which is probably the case, what with there being so much to read) but I don't meet characters like Atl often enough. She's not always likable - in fact she's probably not the kind of person I'd want to have as a friend because I think it'd be a very one-sided friendship - but she's compelling, and throughout Certain Dark Things I was always eager to see more of her and learn more about her.
Our other protagonist, Domingo, was also a lot of fun. Moreno-Garcia has taken something of a stereotypical character - a geeky 'nice guy' who doesn't have much luck with the opposite sex or any other aspect of his life - and made him genuinely nice. Did I find Domingo annoying? At times, yes, but he never felt like a cardboard cut-out, and it was really refreshing to read a book in which the main character is homeless; I don't know about you, but I don't come across homeless protagonists all that often.
I enjoyed the relationship between Domingo and Atl, but it was also ultimately the reason that I gave Certain Dark Things four stars instead of five. I was a little disappointed that there was a romance between the two of them, purely and simply because, to me, there wasn't really any chemistry there beyond Domingo thinking Atl was stunning and Atl thinking Domingo was useful. Perhaps that is all their romance is - not every romance has to be the biggest love story to ever rock the world - but I loved their chemistry as friends, and throughout the first third of the novel I got excited that I might be reading a book about friendship rather than love. In some ways I was, but I adored the chemistry between Meche and Sebastian in Signal to Noise (and I know I shouldn't be comparing the two, because they're completely different novels) so I couldn't quite invest in this relationship as much.
That being said, this book is still bloody wonderful. It's the first time I've read a vampire novel that's made me feel like I'm reading something new, something fresh, and I love how in parts it's gritty and nasty and dark. There's an ensemble cast at work here, from our heroes to our villains to all the people that get caught in the cross-fire, and I think what I loved most about Certain Dark Things is that it's a story about a few hectic days in one city, like someone has taken a snapshot of this new, bloodthirsty Mexico and turned it into a book.
If you haven't read any of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's work yet then I don't quite know what you're doing with your life, she's a fantastically fresh voice in the world of speculative fiction and Certain Dark Things is proof of her creativity. It's being released this October, just in time for Halloween, so pre-order your copy now and meet the vampires you never knew you needed.
I mean, if you still have doubts despite this gorgeous summary, let me assure you: It really is that good: gory, scary, funny, stylish, intense, imaginative and exciting as well as tragic and romantic. The different kinds of vampires introduced in the story are a highlight to begin with.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia's writing is as beautiful as in "Gods of Jade and Shadow"; she's sure to become one of my favourite insta-buy authors.