Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Book Review: Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn Trilogy #1)

Release Date: May 29, 2012
Authors: J. A. London
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 342 pages

Only sunlight can save us.

We built the wall to keep them out, to keep us safe. But it also makes us prisoners, trapped in what's left of our ravaged city, fearing nightfall.

After the death of my parents, it's up to me—as the newest delegate for humanity—to bargain with our vampire overlord. I thought I was ready. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the monsters. Then again, nothing could have prepared me for Lord Valentine . . . or his son. Maybe not all vampires are killers. Maybe it's safe to let one in.

Only one thing is certain: Even the wall is not enough. A war is coming and we cannot hide forever.



Characters: The main protagonist, Dawn, is no stranger to tragedy. Three months prior to the start of the book, her parents were viciously killed and burned by vampire assassins and when she was young her brother was brutally murdered by vampires while she hid in a closet to young to do anything about it. Because of this, she has an intense hatred of vampires, but she is stuck serving as a delegate between the human and vampire races. Her growth into realizing that not all vampires are bloodthirsty monsters comes from meeting the son of one of the most powerful vampires currently in existence. Through this connection, she starts to grow and observe her world as not only black and white but also of the shades in between.

Romance: The romance in this book really defines the term, "There's a fine line between love and hate." Even though the main character, Dawn starts out with a boyfriend she is drawn to another boy, who turns out to be a vampire. The love in this book would seem slow burning to a third party viewer, but since the book is told from the first person, we can see Dawn avoid confronting her mixed feelings. However, how long can she deny her feelings?

Vampires: I usually try and stay away from vampire novels unless they are the Vampire Academy or Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead, but I saw this and decided to give it a try. The vampires portrayed in this book are not the kind that are the idolized versions that teenage girls have, which is why I appreciate this book so much. Its ferocious and bloodthirsty vampires are a redeeming to the world of vampire novels. Even though one of the love interests is a vampire, it isn't because of the fact that he's a vampire that Dawn is attracted to him.

Predictability: Many of the larger plot twists and shocking moments were easily predictable. However, smaller details about these larger twists and turns were not as easily seen ahead of time. I was definitely surprised with how certain moments turned out or what certain details were. This book is still greatly enjoyable even though things are easily predicted because you can still be shocked when you figure out these twists. I was disappointed that one of the mysteries that was addressed in the prologue never came to light at any time in the book, which makes the wait for the next installment in this trilogy all the more agonizing.

Ending: The ending of this book was utterly brilliant. I am extremely excited and cannot wait for the next installment. I am dying to see how these characters will develop given their new circumstances. This book certainly delivered with a cliffhanger that is both agonizing and satisfying. Especially with a first book, it can be hard to leave a reader with a huge cliffhanger but these authors really know how to balance the ending out.


This book is captivating and unique as it mixes both the paranormal and dystopian genres. If you liked this book, be sure to check out the next installment coming out December 26, 2012, it will be called Blood-Kissed Sky.


  1. I love the cover on this one. It looks like a pretty good read. And with your rating, I think I shall move it on up!

  2. I'm not much of a vampire fan but this one looks great. The cover is really catch. Adding it to my TBR.