Saturday, July 7, 2012


Darkness Before Dawn
J.A. London

Rating: B+
Synopsis from
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. 

My thoughts on the book:
Darkness Before Dawn is an enjoyable read that didn't want to put down. I liked this book much better than the Immortal Rules. I compare those two books because they're the only two dystopian vampire books I know about. While it's not the most original novel out there, Darkness Before Dawn has complex characters and an intriguing plot. It's a book that vampire and dystopian fans will like.

The main reason for my preferring this book to Immortal Rules is that I like Dawn. The poor girl has been through hell, but she still fights every day to make the world a better place for the people in her town. She's strong without being bratty, and she's complex without being angsty. She also tries to do the right thing, and not just what's right for her. She tries to do right by everyone, and I respect that about her. I enjoyed seeing things from her perspective, and I trusted her as a narrator. She seemed to be fairly self-aware and honest. 

I also adored Victor, of course. Give me a guy with black hair and blue eyes, and I'm sold on the book. Seriously, though, he's an extremely complicated character, but he still comes across as realistic. I would have liked to learn more about him, and I look forward to being able to do that in future installments. He seemed to be torn about his feelings for Dawn, but he wasn't all emo and creepy about it like some vampires I know, *coughEdwardcough*. I think deep down, he's a good guy and a perfect match for Dawn. I'm totally team Victor in this series. 

The supporting characters were hit or miss. I absolutely hated Michael, but he was pretty much a typical teenage guy. I liked Tegan and Rachel quite a bit. I would like to know more about Jeff and Clive, and I, of course, hated Lila. The most fascinating people in this novel were the vampires. They all seemed much more complicated than the humans (other than Dawn). I would like to see more complication with the humans in future novels instead of having all of them but Dawn seem innocent and ignorant. 

The world London created was fascinating, but nothing original. The blood donations idea is already done in Morganville Vampires, but London added a twist to it. The vampires live outside the city, and donating is not required by law. Therefore, there is always a blood shortage. Vampires attacking other vampires has been done as well (VA and Bloodlines), but the way London executed it is a bit different. The world of vampires living outside the city and humans living within, only to be separated by a wall was also done by Kagawa in Immortal Rules, but the way the vampires behave and the treaty between the humans and the ruling vampire families puts a spin on that idea. I know it sounds like nothing in this book is original, but I'm a firm believer that no idea is original anymore. Also, give two people the exact same ideas, and they'll write two completely different books. That's what happened here. London may have been inspired by other novels, but Darkness Before Dawn is a completely different story than any of these other books. 

The plot is intriguing, and a lot is going on. The big reveal was a bit shocking. I didn't see it coming. Also, there was enough suspense and mystery to keep me reading. The pacing is pretty spot-on, and I didn't get bored once. The ending wraps things up nicely while still leaving quite a few things up in the air for the sequel. But since some things were answered, I'm pacified... for now. 

Overall, I'd recommend this novel to anyone who loves paranormal or dystopian novels. The plot is fast-paced and captivating, the characters are well-developed, and the pacing is perfect. I, personally, can't wait for the next installment. 

Want to order Darkness Before Dawn?


  1. I'd been put off this book by all the bad reviews, but reading this, it makes it sound awesome :)

    I definatley have to read it!

    1. You know, I was afraid of it too because of the reviews. I was not expecting much, so I was pleasantly surprised when the book turned out to be pretty good and held my interest. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  2. You're right! This book does sound a bit like The Immortal Rules. I wasn't planning on reading this book because I've read a few mixed reviews, but I think I might give it chance now.

    I really want to compare the two books now, and see which Vampire Dystopian I prefer!

    Thanks for the review.

  3. Great review! Your comparisons were really thorough and they put completely put this read into perspective for me. I can't wait to read it.

  4. Awesome review! Ooooh, an unexpected shock! We need more of those these days! <3 This sounds like a pretty entertaining read, though I'm not sure if I can handle more twists on an over-used idea :/ and who can resist a hottie with black hair and blue eyes ;) That's a striking combo, and I agree with your taste XD

    Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

  5. I am aware of this author, however I hadn't heard of this book. Your reviews are very in-depth without being too revealing or spoiling anything for me. I think I'm going to have to get this book and check it out. I'm at that point where I'm waiting for most of my favorite authors to release their next book in my favorite series and it's going to be a while. The black hair blue eyes combo is hard to resist. For instance, Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) in the Vampire Diaries, which is a good tv series and a good book series, though the books are so outrageously different from the TV series that it gets a bit confusing.


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