Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

Darkness Before Dawn
(Darkness Before Dawn #1)
J.A. London
May 29, 2012

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....

Eh. Sorry to say I didn't really love Darkness Before Dawn. I thought as I was reading it that the reason I wasn't into it might be because I recently read, and adored, The Immortal Rules which is extremely similar. Its hard not to make comparisons between the two dystopian vampire books, and in the end The Immortal Rules wins hands down.

But my lack of enjoyment wasn't just because of the comparison. I just didn't like the story. I had very high expectations and am disappointed that this one fell so flat for me. I thought the writing was kind of bland and the dialogue was bumpy and, frankly, the story was kind of boring. I realize this is going to be a trilogy so I'm hopeful that this one suffered from first book syndrome in having to set up the story for the next two books. I thought Dawn was kind of ho-hum as the heroine, her friends were very typical for a YA book, and the plot points were fairly predictable. I even played a little game where I tried to guess what was going to happen on the next page. Guess what? I was right every time!

I'm not in the habit of book bashing, so I will get to some positives in a bit. First, let me list some reasons why I might not have enjoyed this one:

1. Just read The Immortal Rules and preferred Kagawa's version of a dystopian, vampire-ruled world to the one in Darkness Before Dawn (we still have cell phones and cable, but the vamps don't let us use airplanes...?).

2. I've read a string of shockingly good YA lately and now my standards are higher for YA than they used to be because I know how good they can be.

3. I was extremely excited for this book because the cover was beautiful and the blurb sounded interesting, so I went into it with high expectations.

4. I recently read The Mortal Instruments, in which the head bad guy is also named Valentine. Since this is one of the most freaking popular series on the planet right now it perturbed me a little that this author couldn't have thought up a more original name for the head bad guy in this story.

Now, as promised, some things I did like about the book. The vampires are not sparkly and friendly. Even though I love me some sexy vamps when I'm reading a paranormal romance, when it comes to YA the notion of friendly vamps that don't have to drink human blood has been overdone and I like this new direction we seem to be heading. I also liked that the Old Family vampires preferred the more conservative traditions of the past, and when Dawn goes to visit Valentine in the castle she has to get all dressed up in Victorian clothes and use old world style manners.

Sorry I don't have a more pleasant review to write for this one. It just underwhelmed me completely.



  1. What a shame. I myself had some high expectations for this one as well, now I'm not so sure I'll rush to read it as soon as it becomes available.

  2. Aww. I'm so dissappointed for you. I also had high hopes for this book but now I will wait before I jump headlong into starting this. The cover is lush.

  3. I wasn't sure about this book. I'll put it lower on my wishlist now.


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