Mundie Moms

Friday, June 1, 2012

Book Review: Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

Published by: Harper Teen 
Released on: May 29th, 2012
Source: ARC from publisher at TLA
4.5 stars: I Really Enjoyed It!

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- quoted from Goodreads

I've gotten to a point lately where I'm starting to feel a bit turned off from vampire books, because there's a lot of them out there, and I feel like many of them have started to blend together, because of their similarities. There was something intriguing about this book's synopsis along with it's captivating cover (which I LOVE) that made me want to pick it up and read it. I was surprised when I sat down to read Darkness Before Dawn how addicting of a read it was! This debut turned out be one of those fast paced, enjoyable reads that completely hooked me and had me reading it in one sitting. I'm thoroughly impressed that this book is written by a mother/son team and I have to give them huge props for creating a unique vampire dystopian that stands out from the vast majority of vampire books I've recently read.  

I loved this dark, blood lust, dystopian world that Darkness Before Dawn has in it. The story picks up after the 30 year war between humans and vampires has ended. Though this story is set in Denver, this world felt like an entirely different place. The elements of both dystopia and paranormal are played up perfectly in this book, and really fueled the feel of the book. Add in the little bits of action, the romance and plots twists that were fabulously drawn out and you'll find one well written book. Normally it's the characters that hook me, but in this case it was the well written plot line. There's so much to this story that I really enjoyed, and I don't want to give too much of it away, because it's one of those stories you need to sit down and read for yourself. 

Character wise I really enjoyed the characters as well. Given that this story is after a war with vampires, I liked getting to see how humans and vampires now interacted, well if you can call it that. Being chosen to fulfill her parents's shoes as Denver's delegate to the ruling Vampire, Lord Valentine, main character Dawn Montgomery is one of those characters I loved right off the bat. This girl doesn't have anything to lose, and it shows with her kick butt attitude and bravery. I felt like Dawn wasn't just a believable character, but someone who's various emotions and actions made sense to me through out the book. She's a smart girl too. I loved that she got and understood the politics of her position, which went along way with her in trying to mend the vampire/human relationships/ruling of her city. 

The romance in this story is great, as are the love interests, though Victor is my favorite. I wouldn't necessarily call this a love triangle, but Dawn does have that hot boy friend that everyone in high school swoons over, not to mention they've been best friends since they were little. Than there's the hot vampire Victor who saves Dawn's life and, the two end up crossing paths more than a few times in this book. Poor Dawn... what to do and who to choose.... the hot boy friend who's training to hunt vampire or the hot, powerful vampire who turns her world upside down. Without giving too much away, I will say I liked how the two different relationships where written and how things evolved between them through out the story. 

If you're looking for a fun, fast paced, refreshing paranormal read I highly recommend picking this book up. There's plenty of twists, a bit of romance, and a well written paranormal lore that I totally enjoyed. With all that happens in this story, and how this books ends I can't wait to pick up the next book in this trilogy.


  1. My sentiments exactly. Great review! Check out mine sometime...

    new follower

    1. Thank you! It was so hard not to go into detail about a few things... I wanted to talk about a few things that happened, but I couldn't do it with out giving away spoilers. I'm so glad you love it too.

  2. I totally agree, I enjoyed this story, it was a fun, fast-paced read, but it wasn't anything special. I think Vampire-Dystopian is on the rise, but it has to be done well in order to grab me. Immortal Rules was amazing, and The Hunt was done really well, but this one just felt like a less-good copy cat. Idk, I liked it, but it wasn't amazing!

    Anna @ Literary Exploration

    1. I've heard that same thing recently about it. I still have to finish Immortal Rules, so I can't judge it based on that book. For me I really enjoyed it. I've been in a reading slump lately and nothing has really gotten my attention. This one did, and it was one of those fun, enjoyable reads for me. I'm glad you liked it.