Review: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Certain Dark ThingsCertain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars**

Certain Dark Things was originally published in October 2016, but is now being rereleased, by Tor Nightfire, with this splendid new cover!!

With vampire fiction making a bit of a resurgance and Silvia Moreno-Garcia, justly, gaining in popularity, I believe it was a smart decision. I knew the second I saw this cover that I would read it.

This noir-style story takes place in an alternate version of Mexico City, where vampires are real and everyone knows it. Please note, we’re talking dangerous, brutal vampires versus the sparkling romantic ones.

We love to see it.

Domingo is a street-kid who collects garbage to make ends meet. When he spies Atl, the most beautiful girl he has ever seen, he is immediately drawn to her.

As much as she tries to resist, Atl eventually succumbs to Domingo’s charm. Atl is on the run. She has many dangerous people looking for her and Domingo insists on helping; even though he is clueless to the ins-and-outs of the vampire world. He’d do anything to stay with Atl though.

There’s a gritty texture to this entire story. It’s violent and dangerous. I really enjoyed the overall idea and the setting; particularly, how humans and vampires live side-by-side.

For me, I feel like I needed it to be built out more to become fully invested however. It felt quite surface-level, which is fine. It’s a good story. A solid world creation, but for me, I would need a little more substance before I could say that I really enjoyed it.

With this being said, it is a quick, fun read, quite atmopsheric and I think a lot of Readers will have fun with it. I do think it is a very solid example of Moreno-Garcia’s style. I’m a fan!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor Nightfire, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I really appreciate it!

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Review: Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Velvet Was the NightVelvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

In 1970s, Mexico City, Maite works as a legal secretary by day, and reads romantic comics by night; dreaming of a different life for herself.

Elvis is an enforcer in a group called the Hawks, whose main objective is to suppress political activists within the city. His life is surrounded by violence. He’s also hoping for more; maybe to be more like the King himself, Elvis Presley.

Elvis and Maite are about to have their lives intertwined, all because of a girl named, Leonora.

Leonora is a beauty, a free-spirit, a student, an artist. She lives across the hall from Maite. Although the two have never really socialized, Leonora comes to Maite one day for a favor and then disappears.

Intrigued by the young woman’s disappearance, Maite begins looking into Leonora’s life. The mystery infuses Maite’s life with an excitment she’s never really had before.

Elvis is looking for Leonora as well, but for completely different reasons. His employer is desperate to find Leonora in order to gain access to something he believes she is in possession of.

During the course of his hunt, Elvis begins to notice the quiet, mousey woman living in Leonora’s building. There’s something about her that he is drawn to.

As the narrative evolves the two strangers begin to orbit closer and closer together, but will they collide?

Velvet Was the Night wasn’t what I expected, although that’s my own fault. This is true noir, take that seriously. It’s a slow burn, with relatively low-stakes.

The tone is lush, the narrative richly-atmospheric. Initially, I wasn’t sold. It starts slow. I was wondering where it was going, when it was going to pick up and while I was wondering that, Moreno-Garcia was subtly sucking me in.

The next thing I knew, I was being transported to Mexico City. I was fully immersed within this story, with the characters, with their inner musings. I couldn’t put it down.

It was a unique reading experience for me. I don’t read a lot of books like this and while I really enjoyed it, it still won’t be a genre I will seek out.

I feel like the magic of this for me was in Moreno-Garcia’s writing; it was the way it unfolded, the beauty behind the slow drama of it all. It’s a special book, although admittedly, not for everyone.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Del Rey, for providing me with a copy to read and review. While not necessarily in my comfort zone, I did really enjoy my time reading this one and will continue to pick up anything Silvia Moreno-Garcia writes!!

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