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Darkness Before Dawn Paperback – May 29, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“This new twist on the vampire genre is action–packed and full of plot turns. The main characters are compelling, and the love triangle…adds to the suspense and intrigue. A satisfying read with a cliff–hanger ending that leaves readers thirsty for more.” (School Library Journal)

“J.A. London takes the reader into a vampire world different from most.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

About the Author

J. A. London is the mother-son writing team of Rachel Hawthorne and her son, Alex London. Rachel has written many novels for teens, including the popular Dark Guardian series. Alex, a recent graduate with a degree in Historical Studies, enjoys combining history and fiction to create unique worlds. The Darkness Before Dawn series is their first joint project.


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Product Details

  • Series: Darkness Before Dawn (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Original edition (May 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006202065X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062020659
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #807,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I confess, Darkness Before Dawn did not start well for me. The contrived premise of a vampire dystopia, a love triangle between a 'perfect' human body-friend and a dangerous vampire lover, and even the cover art of this book, all smelt of a calculated effort to cash in on the YA market.

Coupled with the challenge of suspending my disbelief that high-school still existed in this deadly world, and that a teenager was chosen to be an important delegate between humans and vampires (upholding the VampHu treaty, seriously couldn't London have come up with a slightly more inventive title?) for the first half of Darkness Before Dawn, I thought the novel was a goner.

But things started to change. The authors reveal a real talent for scary writing. The first appearance of 'Hoodie' was actually a little spine-tingling. The tangled contrived plots, mentioned above, that originally left me wondering what the actual story was about, started to weave together to a high-stakes (no pun intended) tension ridden storyline.

An OK love triangles are very 2000 and nothing, but effort is made to not make this a simple affair and while I wouldn't class the love story as award winning, it will at least keep the reader guessing.

A short word on prose - London doesn't like to mess around. If you're looking for drawn out emotionally charged scenes, this is not the book for you. When a character reveals an emotion in this book, they get a paragraph, or 2 tops.

In a market saturated with dark teenagers swooning over vampires with major age gaps, I'm not sure I would say Darkness Before Dawn stands out amongst the rest. However if you are looking for something new within the genre, I recommend trying this one out.
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Format: Paperback
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.

Sexual Content:
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Format: Paperback
I rate this book 4.5 stars :) I thought it was amazing! The cover, the characters, and the premise did not disappoint.

I've seen some reviews where the reviewer is judging the book based on the premise of the story. Comparing it to other books. I say, give a book a chance before you go into it. Go in to reading it with an open mind, because this book did not disappoint me whatsoever! I loved it :)

Vampires have won the war and are now ruling the world. How awesome is that! Something different. The whole thing with the thirty year war between the humans and vamps was intriguing. I loved when the book started talking about that point because, come on, vamps and humans fighting is a disaster waiting to happen.

I really like Dawn and Victor's character. Dawn was a strong female lead and I really like that. She didn't cower in a corner waiting to be protected. I would be scared out my mind to face Lord Valentine, the vampire ruler of her city. Dawn, only 17 and the delegate of the city is a big thing and I really liked that whose aspect of the book. And when Dawn meets Victor, Lord Valentine's son, it made the book all the more interesting.

Victor was amazing! I think I swooned over him! Who wouldn't want a guy like him. Even though he is a vamp. Living in Dawn's world, I think I would have had a more, OMG WTF you're Lord Valentine's son kind of reaction when she found out who he was. She was a little bit more calm than how I would've been. But I really enjoyed the chemistry between the too.

It was a little bit of a love triangle with Victor and Michael. Michael, her current boyfriend, and Victor. I actually didn't mind the love triangle because Dawn wasn't the Oh My Gosh what am I going to do I can't choose kind of girl. So it was A-OKay.
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