I think this is a pass for me.
Domingo is a seventeen year-old who lives on the streets, getting by by being invisible and selling useful garbage. One night on the subway, he encounters Atl, an Nahautl (Aztec) woman who seems to be about his age, and her dog. She’s on the run from Rodrigo, who is set on hunting down Atl and her family. It’s a forward time, or perhaps a parallel time, when the world knows about vampires, and there are genetically modified dogs and such, so it isn’t a surprise to Domingo when he discovers Atl is a member of an obscure group of beings that are more like birds of prey than night-vampires.
I read for quite a bit into the story, hoping for some of the fun and folklore of Gods of Jade and Shadow, but this feels like a very early blueprint. Dark Things takes itself quite seriously, without much humor to lessen all the feels. Domingo, who had been drifting, suddenly finds a purpose and becomes quite serious. Atl is fighting for her life; she’s quite serious. Rodrigo and his henchmen are serious. It’s all very plotty and angsty, and it’s mostly about Domingo falling hard for Atl and Atl having multiple thoughts about what she’s doing, and the people trying to harm her having harmful thoughts. See? Angsty.
Narrative takes viewpoints from all three. I did enjoy what we had of Atl’s viewpoint, because it was more of a glimpse into pre-Spanish conquistador folklore. Later the narrative includes that of Nick, the violent vampire hunting Atl and member of Rodrigo’s team that actually hates him (angsty again).
I think if you enjoy paranormal vampire stories, and how these things come about, and drama of vampire politics and the like, it’s not a bad book. It isn’t as snappy as Gods of Jade and Shadow in action or dialogue, but it isn’t bad. I started skimming because while I cared what happened to Atl and Domingo, I fast lost interest in the mechanations of what was going on with the various conflicts. I read ahead to the ending, and for the animal-friends, (view spoiler–dog violence) Just really not my thing. But hey! Another one off the TBR list. Yay, me!