Darkness Before Dawn
Author: J. A. London
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
(May 29, 2012)
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….
This is one of those books that captures the readers interest with the first few chapters then starts to drop off halfway through the book. I seriously wanted to love this book because of others claiming it was great. While there were good things about this book that I absolutely loved, the bad things that I didn’t like were also present and made the book fall lower in my ratings.
First thing I want to discuss is the cover. I know it is beautiful, but it is so similar to the Fallen series that it confused me at first. If I hadn’t known that this was a different author, I would have assumed that it was spin off from that series with the author taking on a different pen name. Since we shouldn’t really judge a book by its cover, I am not going to use this flaw in my overall opinion. I just wanted to get it out there in writing so others are aware of it.
Like I said before, this book starts out with great potential. We are reading about the future of our country after vampires are revealed to the public human race. There was a great war that lasted thirty or so years with the Vampires and Humans finally coming to a truce of sorts. After Dawn’s parents are killed, she is forced into the life of becoming the next Delegate. She is the neutral party forced to intervene and communicate between the Vampires and the Humans. She knows this comes with great responsibility but she also has her own thoughts on everything. After meeting the Head Vampires son named Victor, she is starting to question the belief that all vampires are monsters. She starts to realize that not all of them are bad and that the good ones are trying to make things right so that Humans and Vampires can live together without fear.
Now this is where I started having problems. Victor started out to be a great character. Then the author sort of has him fade into the shadows of the book for awhile. I kept waiting for more of him and he didn’t. I understand that the characters each have to make an appearance and only so many characters can have page time. Since Victor is a main and pivotal character in the book, I just felt that he should have been around for more than only part of the story. I also didn’t like all the ups and downs that the author used personality wise for Michael. First he is protective of Dawn, then he is pushy. First he is loving and devoted, then he is angry and flirting with another girl. That brings me to that other girl of Lila. She was introduced as the daughter of the man who is against Dawn being the Delegate. She also wants Michael for herself. It never explains what happens to her or why we were even given this information as a reader.
The showdown near the end was rushed and weak. I will point out that there are actually two showdowns, but both happen within a few chapters of each other. The second one is also one the reader can figure out early on and can figure out the why of it as well. It just feel jumbled up at the end. The closing scenes were left with lots of questions as well. Climaxes are one thing, but leaving too many questions unanswered leaves the reader with the feeling of disappointment. I expected some things to be cleared up but so many were left without closure.
Will I read the next book in the series? Probably. I need to have this book answered and reading the next one is the only way that will happen.