[Review] Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

Posted on 06/13/2012 in Book Review / 5 Comments

[Review] Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. LondonDarkness Before Dawn by JA London
Published by Harper Teen on 5/29/2012
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 342
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy on 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.


Vampires and Dystopian?  Sign me up!  I had a great time reading Darkness Before Dawn because it combines two of my favorite genres: dystopian and the paranormal.  End of the world + fangs = Winner winner chicken human dinner!

First off, let’s look at the cover.  *drool*  Yeah, I know, it looks a lot like the Fallen series and these kinds of covers are probably overdone now, but seriously, there is something mysterious about it.  I’m not a huge fan of historical novels, so when this magically showed up on my doorstep one day (seriously it did, and it was like my birthday when that happened), I was kind of like…eeeehhhhhh, because that’s what I thought it was – a historical novel.  But then I read the synopsis and I wanted to read it like WOAH! Darkness Before Dawn is the first in an exciting new series by J.A. London about society after a special kind of apocalypse where humans and vampires have warred, and eventually made a (totally one-sided) peace treaty.  Humans live within walled cities, don’t recommend going out at night “just in case,” and assign people to be Delegates to the HuVamp Peace Treaty, to ensure that both sides continue to meet the requirements (read: humans donate blood so they don’t get eaten). Dawn (a right name for this novel) is assigned to be Delegate when both of her parents are brutally murdered on a return trip from Lord Valentine’s manor, after an evening of standard Delegate negotiations.  She’s in mourning, yet she knows her duty to the city is of the utmost importance and handles her duties and life with honor and vigor. The cast of characters is well-fleshed out and strong.  To match Dawn’s strength and seriousness is her BFF, who, I’ll admit, acts a bit brainless and takes a lot of risks, but is also very intelligent.  Her boyfriend, Michael, appears to be a stand-up guy, his goal in life to become a Nightwatchman, one of the few, unsung heroes of the night who are heavily trained to murder vampires that break into the city.  Victor, Dawn’s savior, who seems thoughtful and progressive.  And so many more (that I’m not mentioning due to spoilers). I liked the plot of Darkness Before Dawn a lot!  As I said, it combines two of my favorite genres and J.A. London does it with style.  Vamps are in charge here, not humans; the humans are like caged cattle, supplying their blood with blood drives and the sort.  And that’s Dawn’s job as Delegate: to make sure the vampires have enough to not storm the city. Except they don’t. Which introduces us to a new kind of Thirst. Darkness Before Dawn was also brutal and….dark.  It had some dark themes to go with the light themes of a YA novel.  I don’t want to mention them in this review because, frankly, they’re spoilery.  But I don’t think anyone will be disappointed in them.  I did like how just because something is one way, doesn’t mean it always has to be that way because life throws curve balls and sometimes how you view someone isn’t what they really are.  I know I’m being obtuse, but let’s just call it “progress.”  Dawn, as a character, experiences this through her relationship with others throughout the novel. The twist…I saw it coming.  London largely began hinting at it halfway through the novel, so it wasn’t a surprise to me.  I don’t know if I’m just getting better at ferreting out the plot twists or if I was led in this direction by the author…or if it was just that obvious, but it was still enjoyable. Overall, if you are a Paranormal OR a Dystopian fan, you have to read Darkness Before Dawn.  It’s fangarrific.



As the carriage rolled across the desolate plains, the assassin slid his gaze over to his traveling companions. Husband and wife. Joined by love and dedication that would soon cost them everything.


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Disclaimers: This ebook was provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review. Blurb and photo source courtesy of Goodreads.
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Jennifer is both a book nerd and professional photographer. That means she lives in the fantasy world all the time, whether of her making, or someone else's. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids, and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.

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5 responses to “[Review] Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

  1. Hmm… actually, this book seems up my alley. Love the cover! So, I’m not quite sure on the etiquette, here, but I’ve nominated you (although that implies that you’re competing for it… you’re not, you’re totally a winner) for the Sunshine Award, a dubious honor, to be sure, but I was fairly excited about it. 🙂 http://wp.me/p2bS4K-7R. Cheers!
    Kelly’s latest thoughts >> Sunshine Award – I’m a winner! (ish)

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