Author: J.A. London
Publish Date: May 29, 2012
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Dystopian
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.
Dawn lives in a world where darkness rules, and blood is the new currency. In an age where humans are subservient to vampires, human cities are set hundreds of miles apart from one another and are enclosed within large walls – not necessarily meant to protect the humans, but to keep them enclosed. At just 17 years old, Dawn is appointed a Delegate and must negotiate with the oldest vampire, Valentine, when he wants the human’s blood supply to vampires doubled. It’s an arduous task at the best of times, and now, in the worst of times, it is almost impossible. But Dawn’s life is more difficult than most. She’s also a teenager, navigating the realms of first loves, friendships and schooling, and an unwelcome visitor might just turn out to be the most welcome one after all.
In a world of YA paranormal novels where vampires seem to prevail, Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London takes a stab at the market, hoping to shake things up a bit and breathe new life into a rather time-tested tale. With an air of mystery, a host of characters layered with duplicitous intentions and a plot that undulates in a series of highs and lows, the novel spins the reader into a bleak web. The novel was rich and evocative in prose, providing intricate details to completely captivate the reader from start to finish, giving you the full range of emotions and encouraging you to lose yourself entirely.
I have to admit that I’m entirely conflicted on Darkness Before Dawn. There were some wonderful strengths to this novel. Combining a brilliant dystopian world with futuristic vampires that rule over humans was a great concept and completely, darkly alluring. The world was so vividly described that it was easy to forget that I didn’t actually live in the world, which was a definite strength, lending to incredibly powerful scene-setting. In terms of characters, Valentine was an atrocious and fascinating villain. His character was so very dark that every scene he played a part in was tinged in darkness and blood, as well. I was, I’ll admit, a bit peeved to see yet another villain named Valentine though, especially when the Mortal Instruments series sort of coined it in pop culture. I also had some issues with Dawn’s character. I did enjoy her strength. I thought it was wonderful to finally have an empowered young heroine that didn’t leave all to chance, fate and the men in her life. However, navigating the love triangle was tedious, her relationship with Victor felt too instantaneous and reminiscent of other vampire novels for me to become truly absorbed. Most of all, however, I felt that adding normalcy of high school drama to such a dark and twisted plot actually took away from the story. Was it still entertaining? Of course…I just think that Darkness Before Dawn could have been better.
Overall, I’ll admit that Darkness Before Dawn was a rather quick and easy read, and it was definitely engaging. I don’t think it was my favourite, but you know me and vampires; that’s always tricky. I give it a 3 out of 5, and I recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy paranormal and dystopian stories.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.