Sunday, August 12, 2012

Review: Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London
Pages: 342
Publisher: Harper Collins, 2012
Series: Darkness Before Dawn #1
Source: library
BUY: Amazon -- BN -- Book Depository

Goodreads Description:
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 Review: 

What I liked about this book was the political tension between Vampires and Humans. I thought the idea of humans voluntarily donating blood to vampires to keep them at bay was a very interesting concept, and it made for an appealing setting for the story. While I would still classify this book as a Paranormal Romance, the plot was driven mainly by the turmoil of vampires and humans attempting to coexist (somewhat). This book was a quick read for me. I never wanted to put it down because the authors were very clever at putting cliffhangers right at the end of each chapter. I was never bored in my reading.

What I didn’t like about this book was that its characters were quite predictable and flat. Dawn is supposed to be so strong. At least, she is according to a four-century-old vampire, and if he says she’s strong then he must be right. Right? Well, I wasn’t entirely convinced. When we first meet Dawn, the new (and youngest ever) delegate between Denver and Lord Valentine, all I could think of was how her hatred for vampires made her incapable of being a good delegate. Considering her history with vampires, I didn’t blame her. I just wouldn’t have called her ‘strong’. I thought Michael and Tegan, Dawn’s boyfriend and best friend respectively, were all right. Michael’s ego was SO annoying, but it made him a pretty believable character. And Tegan, she was just your typical flirt. There wasn’t really anything appealing about her. Honestly, her only real role in the story was to act as catalyst for the plot’s tension between Dawn and Victor, Lord Valentine's son.

Also, the writing was only average. I have some pet peeves when it comes to writing and the author’s complete disregard for articles and pronouns at the beginning of sentences drove me CRAZY!!! I know I’m being really picky on this, and I wouldn’t be bothered if it was a rare thing, but I just can’t stand people writing or talking like that. Why would someone say “Keeps the area from invading the city.”(pg 45)when they could say “HE keeps the area from invading the city.” Of course that quote is a bit out of context, readers would know the text is referring to Lord Valentine, it just annoyed me. Okay, you probably think I’m crazy now, so I’ll just leave it at that.

There was one more thing that was just “off” about this book.  In the prologue the question is asked, “Does your daughter [Dawn] know about her true heritage?” I thought this would be the part of the books conclusion, but it wasn’t. The issue never comes up again in the novel, and I still can’t help but wonder. Why would the authors choose to put that in the prologue and then not even address it in the story? I wonder if I missed something? Also, the story never explains why Lord Valentine chose Dawn as delegate at all. She was much younger than any of his other chosen delegates. I guess there were just a few plot elements that did not add up for me.

It might sound like I didn’t like this book, but it was a good read. I would recommend it to anyone who likes paranormal romance or even dystopian novels. I definitely plan on reading the sequel as well. The plot, setting, and well-placed cliffhangers made this book pretty unforgettable. I give this book a four out of five foxes.

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