Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: Darkness Before Dawn

Title: Darkness Before Dawn
Author: J.A. London
Published: May 29th 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers
Source: ARC received by the publisher for review

Summary: "This electrifying new trilogy blends the best of paranormal and dystopian storytelling in a world where the war is over. And the vampires won.

Humans huddle in their walled cities, supplying blood in exchange for safety. But not even that is guaranteed. Dawn has lost her entire family and now reluctantly serves as the delegate to Lord Valentine, the most powerful vampire for miles. It isn’t until she meets Victor, Valentine’s son, that she realizes not all vampires are monsters....

Darkness Before Dawn is a fresh new story with captivating characters, unexpected plot twists, a fascinating setting, and a compelling voice. Written under the name J. A. London by a talented mother-son team, the trilogy is perfect for fans of True Blood and the House of Night and Morganville Vampires series."

First line: "As the carriage rolled across the desolate plains, the assassin slid his gaze over to his traveling companions."


It took me roughly 200 pages to get into this book. There were little events and bits of action that kept me reading, but I felt like the beginning of the book fell a little flat. So much time was spent with the human characters (Dawn, Tegan, and even Michael) discussing how afraid they were and/or Dawn and Victor bickering. After a while, this grew a bit tiresome. I'm one of those people that expect more action when it comes to vampire books, so sadly yes, this portion of the book did disappoint me a bit.

Now, the last 150 or so pages were brilliant. I devoured them. The best way I can describe it is reading DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN is kind of like climbing a mountain. It's rigoruous and at times you want to quit, but something motivates you to keep going. Once you get to the top, you start seeing this whole experience differently, and it's a total rush to get to the end. At least, that's how it felt to me.

As the romance between Dawn and Victor grew, so did the story. I will say I do feel like the love was a bit one sided. It took a while for Dawn to fall for Victor but once she did, she fell hard. From the beginning, you can you tell that Dawn's feelings for Michael were leaning more towards the friends side rather than love. Not with Victor. The only thing is, I felt like Victor's feelings were not as strong as Dawn's. His words felt a little hollow, but maybe that's because vampires are not suppose to show any weakness? Who knows.

I will admit, there were times when I thought "Huh, Twilight much?", especially with the way the book ended, however, I still really appreciated the direction the authors took with this book. Vampires are something to be feared, and you can clearly see that in DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN. Of course, there are the good vampires (Victor! Faith!), but in the end, the majority of them are still blood sucking monsters that would do anything to take a bite of your neck.

Quick Quirky Quote Quipster Time!

"His gaze drops to my mouth. I'm barely breathing. Just waiting."

Ooooooh, keep going...

"Passion rises up, and there's a hunger between us that I don't understand."


"He touches my cheek and I wish we could stay here all day."

Awww, how very Edwardy of him. :-)

I didn't know this was going to be a series till I got to the end, but I guess I should have figured. YA + Vampires usually = series. Though this is not my favorite book, I did enjoy it. I'll definitely look out for the sequel which, from what I hear, comes out later this year? That was fast!



  1. Great review, Lena. I've been curious about this one myself, and even though it doesn't sound like the most exciting or unique story, I think I'll give it a chance. In some series, the first book is usually not as good as the second, so maybe that will be the case with this one.

    At any rate, thanks for sharing your thoughts! :-)

    -Katie @ BlookGirl

  2. Awesome review! For a few weeks after seeing this cover, I actually didn't know it was about vampires! It kind of intrigues me more, but I'm kind of getting sick of all the vampire stuff, to be honest!

  3. not for me /i'm all vamped

    gr8 review

  4. Oh vampire books. I needed to stop and take a breather from them, but this one sounds pretty interesting.


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