Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London | Review

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Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London | ReviewDarkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn #1) by J.A. London
Series: Darkness Before Dawn Trilogy #1
Published by HarperTeen on May 29, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Vampires
Pages: 342
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

At seventeen, Dawn Montgomery knows that monsters really do come out at night—after all, they are her job. It’s just after the thirty-years war between vampires and humans, and as an ambassador between the two sides (a role she inherited when her parents were killed), Dawn quickly learns that balancing schoolwork, teen life, and the requests of Lord Valentine, the most frightening vampire in the region, isn’t easy.

And it only gets more complicated when she forms a tentative friendship with Victor, the mysterious stranger who rescued her from a hoard of vampires…only to discover that not only is Victor a vampire, but that he is Lord Valentine’s son.

Soon Dawn is struggling to remember that with everything on the line, she can’t afford to fall for the enemy…

(Last Updated On: May 31, 2022)

Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London is one of the most unique dystopian vampire reads I’ve ever had the chance of reading. Learn all about it throughout this review!

Darkness Before Dawn Book Cover

Obviously, this review would not be complete without mentioning the cover. I personally like the cover… especially the font used for the title!

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Synopsis of Darkness Before Dawn

In this novel, Dawn is our protagonist. In her world, towns are ruled by vampires. They have one vampire overlord in Denver… Lord Valentine.

A delegate is chosen in each town to talk to the Lord every month. They talk about what is best for the people, recent vampire attacks on citizens, if vampires are getting enough blood, etc.

Dawn’s parents were the delegates before they were brutally murdered. It was quite brutal-they never found the bodies, only found blood.

Lord Valentine chooses Dawn as the next delegate. She must go through training and become the youngest known delegate in history.

The night before she visits Lord Valentine for the first time, she goes out to party with her friend Tegan. This party is near the wall that helps to keep vampires out. It isn’t quite safe to be near the wall, but she decides that she needs a night out.

While at the party, Tegan is almost stolen by a vampire. After this fiasco, Dawn gets Tegan, and they head out on the night train. While on the night train, Dawn notices that everyone on the train is a vampire. She is worried that she won’t be able to survive until she finds that someone else is saving her… Victor.

After the terrific escape, Victor helps them get home. Dawn couldn’t be thankful enough. Once she gets dropped off at her house, she realizes that she never told Victor where she lived.

The next night, at her meeting with Valentine, she finds something she never expected. Victor is Lord Valentine’s son.

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The characters’ goal was to find out who was killing the vampires. Vampires were found dead with bite marks on their necks, which is suspicious considering that they closely resemble vampire bite marks. Vampires can’t drink other vampires’ blood… or can they?

I found that most of my questions were answered and that this would make a great stand-alone novel. But I do have to say that I’m excited to read the sequel since there is a Darkness Before Dawn series. I feel that it did have the classic vampire story ending!

Darkness Before Dawn Characters

Characters: I felt like Dawn didn’t really want to do what others told her. She wanted to do what she felt was right. She always spoke her mind, which I greatly appreciated. Dawn talked to Lord Valentine like he was anyone else. She didn’t give him special treatment.

I feel like Dawn grew throughout the novel as well. She started out as a girl who hated vampires since she was brought up in a world where everyone hates them. She ended up as a girl who fell in love with a vampire and noticed that maybe they weren’t all monsters.

She hated vampires ever since her brother was murdered right in front of her at the age of 9. She hid in the closet since her brother told her to. She never saw him again.

Victor’s goal was to take his father’s throne pretty much. His father, Lord Valentine, was acting as if everything was perfectly normal. He didn’t believe that there was such thing as vampires drinking other vampires’ blood. He said that it was impossible to survive like that. Victor believed that it was happening.

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He knew that if vampires drank other vampires’ blood, they would survive, but they would be crazy. He also knew that human blood would never be good enough for them after a drop of vampire blood is drunk.

Lord Valentine was an okay villain. For some reason, I felt like he wasn’t all that evil. Yes, he didn’t believe that vampires were drinking from other vampires, but other than that, I didn’t find that much was wrong with him.

I feel like he was bad in the past, but he isn’t as bad now. He banished his other son and his mother in the past, saying that something was wrong with them.

Final Thoughts

I believe that this was a great vampire adventure/mystery/romance novel. I’d definitely recommend it. The novel was full of mystery and questions that were fully answered at the end.

Have you read Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

If you’re interested in giving this book a read for yourself, click here to purchase your own copy.

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad to hear that. I hope you enjoy it. I absolutely loved it! It was kind of like a dystopian with vampires, if that makes any sense. 🙂

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