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Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London
Expected Publication Date: May 29th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 342 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed from Bookalicious Pam
Purchase: Amazon
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.
While it seems like Vampire-Dystopian is on a rise right now, I think it takes a special writer to be able to capture the thrill of such a genre. Darkness Before Dawn is definitely a fast-paced and fun read, but it doesn't live up to the hype of Immortal Rules or even The Hunt. Both books, I thoroughly loved, but this one fell short. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, I didn't find anything special or unique about the characters or story-line. I didn't particularly like any of the characters other than Dawn and Victor, and I wasn't amazed by anything specific. I really wanted to love this book, but I think it was definitely a case where the gorgeous cover outshone the average plot line.

Dawn is definitely a fierce chick. She's tough, living in a world run by vamps, but she's also smart and knows how to take care of herself. She's quick to make decisions, even if they aren't the best ones, and she's the kind of girl who follows her heart and goes after what she wants, despite the consequences. Victor reminded me of a younger combination between all of the swoony True Blood men. He's protective, powerful, smart, practical, genuine, and I could go on forever. Michael, Dawn's boyfriend, just got on my nerves the whole time. He was so protective it was nauseating, crossing the line into possessive on more than one occasion. He also came across as really insecure, throwing his muscle around just to prove a point which is BARF when it comes to guys for me. Dawn's bff Tegan is also a bit of a nuisance - she's incredibly shallow and stupid. I kind of just wanted to slap her most of the time...

The plot line, while fun and fast-paced, is incredibly predictable. At the introduction of almost every character or situation I was able to correctly guess how that was going to turn out. Nothing surprised me, which was definitely a blow to how much I enjoyed the book overall. I can understand coming across a few things that are a tad predictable, but being able to accurately guess what was going to happen at every turn just made the story unoriginal and a bit boring at times. I think the biggest benefit is that I was able to read it quite quickly, almost in one sitting, and the time flew by while I was reading. It's definitely an interesting take on vampires, but I just wish it would have brought more UMPH to the table.

Overall, Darkness Before Dawn, is a fast-paced, entertaining read, but it fell short in bringing me an exciting story-line. I would definitely recommend it if you have a free afternoon and are looking for something easy and quick to read, but don't expect the excitement of True Blood or the unpredictability of Morganville. I'd recommend this book to anyone who's a fan of vampires with a twist, especially when a love triangle is thrown in.


  1. Awesome review, you and I had pretty much the same thoughts on it! Did I enjoy reading it? Yes. Will I remember it in a year? Probably not.

    1. I agree, it was a quick read, but nothing memorable!

  2. Thanks for the review! This is the first I have seen of this book. I agree that the Vampire-Dystopian is popular right now, but it does seem to take an awesome author to really create the right story in that genre. Sorry you didn't enjoy this book more.

    Thanks for the review!



    1. I wouldn't say don't read it, but it's just not as awesome as I wanted it to be!!

  3. Ughhh Love triangle. And predictable. It does sound like an interesting book though, and I love tough female MC's. I will still read it eventually, but it's not at the top of my want to read list anymore.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. The cover of this book looks just like the covers for the Fallen I think its the same girl and everything.

    Covers to Fallen

    Maybe I'm just crazy, but I think its the same girl lol.

    Personally I've started avoiding most paranormal for the time being. It seems like that's all anyone is writing and I'm ready for something different!


    The Fiction Diaries

    1. Omigosh you're right. It could be the same model you never know. A lot of books have similar or sometimes same covers.

      ~Shane @Itchingforbooks

  6. There has definitely been a rise on the vampire and dystopian mix and though this intrigues me, I haven't read a single one yet! But I have seen a lot of reviews like yours, that the plot was predictable. :/ Maybe I'll put this one on hold for a bit and read The Immortal Rules first. Thanks for your honest review! :)

  7. Great review! After The Immortal Rules, I'm not sure a vampire-dystopian book is going to surprise me, but I'm going to read it anyway. Who knows, right? I might be wrong :D

  8. I read this review yesterday on Goodreads and I was like Boooo this sounds SO good. But one thing that really annoys me is when it's overly predictable so I'm def. gonna lower my expectations of this one. And now, I really want to read the Morganville vampire series!!

  9. LOL I think that reading any vampire book after Julie's would have to fall short in comparison! x) This was one of my most anticipated books of they year (and one of my fave covers too!) so I'm a little sad that it's not as good as expected! There are so many vampire books out there now that it's a little harder to find originality.

    Thanks so much for your awesome honest review, Anna-banana! Now at least I know not to go in with sky-high expectations, and I think I'll enjoy this one! :) <3

  10. Hmm... so pretty much, this is one I should wait for my library to get or something. It is always sad when I am deceived by a magnificent cover. This book DOEs seem to be something I'm interested in reading, though I don't think I'm going to actually beg anyone to buy it for me now. (And by anyone, I mean a parent/guardian. They're the book-buyers for me for now.)

    Great review, Anna! Have a great Monday! (Well, try to. Mondays are . . . well, Mondays.) ;)


    1. Is it just me that isn't quite taken with the cover? But maybe you might enjoy it more than Anna, you never know.

      ~Shane @Itchingforbooks

  11. Not one to rush out for then...but I'll read it if I come across it! Thanks for the great review!

  12. my expectations have totally been reduced now. You're the second review that mentions how predictable the plot us.. I really don't like that, HOWEVER if the plot is still fast paced, and interesting, its all good. Thanks for the honest review, will definitely get into reading it with lower expectations so i won't be disappointed!

    - juhina


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