Friday, June 22, 2012
Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London
Author: J.A. London
Publisher: HarperTeen; Original edition (May 29, 2012)
Length: 368 pages
Description from Goodreads:
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.
This book has been on my to read list since I first heard about it. Then I read the author blurb at the end of the book and discovered that the mother in the J.A. duo was none other than Rachel Hawthorne! This made me even more excited. The book takes place in the future after humans have discovered the existence of vampires and the two species waged a thirty year war. The humans lost. Dawn has a lot of pressure riding on her shoulders and she is a heroine that handles it pretty well. She is someone who tries to protect her people and is able to see the bigger picture. Dawn grows up some during the book, not much, but a little. I was OK with this. It seemed more "realistic". That can't be said for the rest of the characters in the story. Other than Victor there wasn't one that I liked. They were all shallow and dumb. Sure, they might feel a little claustrophobic in the city, but they acted childish. Dawn was always the one "in danger", but with friends like hers it was no wonder. Among these friends was the boyfriend. Throughout the book I couldn't find one redeeming quality in him. Sure, he was all about protecting her and that was good. However, it was more about him than it was her. Victor was a good guy if a little corny (if you read the book you'll understand).
The world created in Darkness Before Dawn was interesting. It was a form of modern day vampiric feudalism. The war destroyed most everything and the vampires are pretty much in control. I really liked the world that the London duo created. It has so much potential and I hope it is used more in the sequel Blood-Kissed Sky. Then there is the cover. Let's face it the cover is beautiful. A beautiful girl stands on what looks like a breezy coast line while the dreary clouds roll in and seagulls flock overhead. The problem is the book takes place in Denver, Colorado. I will choose to believe she's at a huge lake. Secondly, the cover looks eerily similar to a certain series about fallen angels. Lastly, there is the title. It might just be me, but the backwards R drives me a little crazy. It may seem like I picked apart the book and completely hated it . This isn't true. I actually liked it and can't wait to read the next one. I just expected more from Rachel Hawthorne. This book gets a 3 1/2 STAR rating.