Review: Darkness Before Dawn

Author: J.A. London
Series: Darkness Before Dawn #1
Pages: 342
Format: ARC
Source: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 2/5

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....

When I first started this book I loved it.  It had huge potential, was fast-paced, and kick-butt.  And then it…wasn’t.

This book had everything going for it: plot, idea, setting, everything.  And then, it kind of ruined it.  The writing was never amazing, but I was willing to overlook that if the other aspects of the book lived up to their full potential.  They didn’t.  The idea was amazing.  I loved the setting, a dystopian world where vampires don’t kill you in exchange for a monthly blood supply.  Ingenious.  And the story line was really good too, and then…okay, so I’ve done a lot of thinking about this and have finally come to the conclusion that the romance ruined it.  Dawn looked like she was going to be the completely kick-ass character that I love…and then she falls in love and gets all helpless.  I hate it when the authors do that.  And there was one event that really made me angry: Tegan meeting Sin.  Literally, they met and then five minutes later they were holding hands.  It’s like the authors said “Okay, I don’t feel like putting a lot of effort into this part of the book so they’ll just meet one minute than be making out the next.”  It freaking pissed me off.  I hate it when authors do that, and the only conclusion I can come to is that they were too lazy to develop the romance.  And, what should have been the best part of the book, the ending, fell completely flat.  There wasn’t any real build towards it, and it was over like *snaps fingers* that.  No, just no.  The ending was hugely disappointing.

In the beginning, I loved Dawn.  She could take care of herself, knew how to fight, and could use a stake (the things they use to kill vampires).  And then…she met Victor.  After that, I hated her.  First off, when she first meets him, she really likes him because she thinks he’s human.  Then, when she finds out he’s a vampire (don’t worry, that isn’t a spoiler) she hates him.  Do you see what I’m trying to say?  He’s obviously a good guy because he just saved her from five bloodthirsty vamps, but since he’s one himself, she hates him, but if she didn’t know he was one, she’d love him.  That.  Is.  Horrible.  And then, after she finally gets past her prejudice and starts liking him, she’s so freaking sappy, I really wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake some sense into her.  She was weak, useless, and could only stand around helplessly while Victor fought to the death for her.  No, just no.
I will admit that from the second he was introduced, I loved Victor, despite the fact that he’s a vamp.  In fact, that made me like him more because he was doing what was right, which is getting rid of the bad vamps.  He was cute, sexy, and totally kick-butt.  I honestly don’t know why he put up with Dawn the fifty pages she hated him.  She was so freaking mean to the poor guy and he was just trying to help her.

I had such high hopes for this book, and at first it lived up to what I expected, and then mean heroines turning weak and totally cute guys putting up with her crap, not to mention the climax, or lack there of, and because of that this book fell flat for me.
What did you guys think?


  1. I've seen nothing but raving reviews for this one, but I'm glad I came across a negative one.
    It's always good to hear about the different opinions of readers.
    I strongly dislike weak heroines, so I honestly don't think I'll like Dawn.
    Anyways, thanks for the honest review :)

  2. My teen daughter just finished reading (and really enjoyed!) an eBook called Hear by Jacqueline Abelson. Great plot, interesting characters and a real message of self– empowerment. Here’s the link:


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