Sunday, May 20, 2012

J.A. London's Darkness Before Dawn - Pre-release Review

J.A. London’s Darkness before Dawn is the first novel in a promising new series that features a world where vampires have won the 30 year war against humans and now live by an agreement called the Vamp-Hu Treaty. In accordance with the treaty, humans are required to provide blood to the vampires and in return, the vampires agreed not to attack any of the remaining US cities. Not all humans are agreeable to the treaty which leads to complications. The one positive that came out of the Vamp-Hu treaty is that vampires cannot turn humans against their will.

The story itself takes place in Denver, Colorado where the city is walled in and armed with hunters called Night Watchmen. The Night Watchmen are responsible for killing any rogue vampires that try to make their way into the city.

17 year old Dawn Montgomery is the story’s main protagonist and the official delegate between the humans and vampires. She is required to meet with the most powerful vampire in the world, Lord Valentine, on a regular basis on all matters of concern. Valentine forces her to wear Victorian clothing when meeting with him and he picked her above all others to be the Human representative.

Dawn was chosen for the job after her parents were killed by vampires mysteriously. The reason behind their attack and the secrets that they took to their grave, are hanging like a chad during a presidential election in Florida. There is something about Dawn that is considered special and intriguing but has yet to be revealed.

Michael Colt is Dawn’s best friend, love interest, as well as training to become one of the elite Night Watchmen. He and Dawn do everything together and it's hoped that they would be together forever. Later, Dawn meets vampire Victor Valentine who saves her and her best friend Tegan Romano from a vampire attack. This leads to more complications since Dawn sincerely respects Michael and what he stands for. I normally complain LOUDLY about love triangles but in this case, it was actually done in a way that left me open to Dawn being with either character.

Because this is the first book in the series, there are plenty of comparisons to Julie Kagawa’s The Immortal Rules which I actually read AFTER this book. If you want to compare the characters, we can do that.

Both Allison and Dawn are strong willed. They are both willing to do whatever it takes in order to survive in a hostile environment where vampires rule the roost. They both lost their parents under circumstances that created a hardship for both characters. One difference is that Dawn actually has a guardian, Rachel Goodwin, to look after her needs. Allison helps herself. They both have series of events that pushes them in a certain direction and their choices are not the best at times.

What is best left unsaid is that this book ends with tragedy and a cliffhanger that will hopefully be remedied in the next book called Blood Kissed Sky. The book on one hand is also predictable when it comes to the villain. When this person is introduced, warning bells should have been ringing loudly. Instead, a certain character falls head over heels for him and ends up in an unknown predicament.

I was actually surprised when this book came in the mail. I’m not sure who sent it to me from HarperCollins or who to thank personally. But, I am appreciative and hope that they will continue to share these ARC’s with me in the future.

Author: JA London
Title: Darkness Before Dawn
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: May 29, 2012

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