Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

I can’t put my finger on why I’m intruiged by this book so much.  I loved the idea of the book from the beginning and although it ended how I figured it would, I enjoyed reading it unfold.  I even got surprised with a few things at the end!

title: Darkness Before Dawn

Author: J.A. London

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary (by 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.

First Sentences:

Standing on my balcony, I watch the sun paint its descent across the sky.  Soon the monsters will come out to play.  They like the night.  They feed on it.

Sometimes they feed on us.

From here, I can see the twenty-foot-high concrete wall that surrounds Denver.  It was built shortly after the thirty-year war that pitted humans against vampires came to an end.  It keeps out most of the monsters.  Most of them.

My Take:

I read this all in one day.  I found myself fascinated with the idea behind the story and wanted to know how it would progress.  I totally saw some things coming and then there were a few things that made my jaw drop and point my finger at the book going “Wha….I… Wha…..How?  Why did the author think of that???”

Dawn lives in a world where vampires came out to everyone.  Instead of being afraid, we treated them like celebrities and wanted to know what they thought of us.  Before we know it, we’re in the middle of a war and end up with colonies situated through out the United States with walls built around them with a vampire overlord.  There is “peace treaty” that keeps the vampires out of the city with the exception that human citizens are willing to volunteer to give blood to ensure the vampires can sustain life.

Dawn’s family is not the norm.  Her parents were the delegates, the negotiators, on behalf of the city and one night they are murdered by rogue vampires.  Lord Valentine soon requests Dawn to be the new delegate and not everyone is excited about it.  She’s only 17 and the whole city of Denver would rely on her to keep the peace.

When Dawn and Tegran (Dawn’s best friend) come back from a party…they find themselves trapped on the trolley with 4 vampires.  The situation looks grim, but someone saves them.  Victor.  He’s kind, he’s handsome, he’s a gentleman, and soon she finds out that he’s not human.  A friendship blossoms even under the stress of her new job and the horrible things the kids at school have said or done.

When things get a little messy and confusing between Dawn and her boyfriend Michael, she goes to Victor for comfort and finds that the lines aren’t so black and white.  There are many many shades of grey.  Speaking of Shades of Grey…I might have a review for that next week!  🙂

As Dawn tries to keep Lord Valentine placated, her friends kept in the dark for their safety, and keep her the relationship going with Michael, Dawn realizes that what she’s known all her life may not be entirely true.  Dawn finds she needs courage to face obstacles head on and figure out who she really wants to be and who she wants to be with.

When vampires are found murdered in the city and Dawn finds that someone is following her, things seem to go from bad to worse.  The murder of the vampires brings up questions about what creature would do such a thing; the hooded figure following her makes her wonder why someone would spy on her.  The mystery, the relationships, and the negotiations is just a sample of what this 17 year old has to handle.

I really enjoyed the book.  It leaves you with a good sized cliff hanger though.  It’s not major enough to go “OMG!”, but it’s big enough to go … “ugh! When’s the next book?”  December…this year.  Don’t worry too much!

Myst~

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