Early Review: Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

May 28, 2012 Review 7

*This title will be released on May 29, 2012*

Darkness Before Dawn Title: Darkness Before Dawn
AuthorJA London
Series: Darkness Before Dawn #1
Cover Art: Derek Brewster & Sammy Yuen
Genre: Paranormal/Dystopian YA
Excerpt: No
Source: Publisher | Reviewed by: Abigail

  • Reading level: Ages 14 and up
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Original edition (May 29, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 006202065X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062020659

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Sexual Content:


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.


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….

Darkness Before Dawn is a fresh new story with captivating characters, unexpected plot twists, a fascinating setting, and a compelling voice. Written under the name J. A. London by a talented mother-son team, the trilogy is perfect for fans of True Blood and the House of Night and Morganville Vampires series.



Mother and son writing efforts haven’t been wildly successful in the YA genre (see FORBIDDEN by Syrie and Ryan M. James), but with J. A. London (aka Rachel Hawthorne of the Dark Guardian series and son Alex Nowasky) that trend may be broken.  Mixing vampire romance with a dystopian world, DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN paints an exciting and cohesive tale with a heartfelt love story set against a dangerous fight for human survival.

It’s been years since the 30 year war between human and vampires was waged, and the few remaining human strongholds are beginning to rankle under the so-called peace treaty they signed.  Vampires still slip into the cities to slake their thirst and vampire king is threatening to withdraw his nominal protection if the blood donations don’t increase.  This is the situation Dawn steps into when she inherits the role of delegate from her murdered parents.

While there have been other YA series that imagined vampire run worlds (see similar titles below), DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN adds its own flavor by emphasizing the dystopian nature of its world. Subtle details like cellphones cobbled together from toaster parts, fang checks at clubs, the beyond scarcity of things like soda and butter.  And of course the mammoth wall that wraps around what’s left of the city.  All of that balanced beautifully with the vampire mythology and surprisingly satisfying love triangle.

Fans of dystopian and vampire fiction will be delighted with this dangerous and engrossing world.  I did think Dawn’s grieving process for her parents was shockingly fast, but once I put that out of my head, I couldn’t put DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN down for a second. Be ready for a bit of a cliff-hanger ending, but it’s the good kind.  I’m already dying to see what happens next when BLOOD-KISSED SKY is released in 2013.

Books in Series
Also Reviewed By
Similar Titles
  • N/A
  • The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
  • Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine

7 Responses to “Early Review: Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London”

  1. Ashleigh

    Hm… I've heard from a few friends who already read it that The Immortal Rules was the better vampire dystopia, but maybe I should give Darkness Before Dawn a try after all. At the very least, I'll look for an excerpt.

  2. Abigail

    I enjoyed both. They have a very different feel. I rated them both 4/5, but if I could only pick one sequel to read, I'd have to go with the next Immortal Rules book. But both were really good.

  3. Abigail

    The love triangle is handled well here and really makes sense with the plot. Give it a try, I think you'll be a fan.

  4. Amber Hughes

    Great review! This one is definitely on my TBR. I was in the minority about how I felt about The Immortal Rules. While I did like it, I didn't LOVE it. I'm hoping I like this one more 🙂

  5. Abigail

    I know just what you mean 🙂 Give this one a go. It might be just a little more like what you were hoping for in THE IMMORTAL RULES.