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Nightfall (A Dark Age Dawning Novel) Paperback – June 7, 2011
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“Dark, intense, and downright scary, this book is pretty full of awesome. The world they have created just might give you nightmares, but I also bet you won’t be able to put this book down.”—Smexy Books
“Chills and thrills mark the pages of Nightfall…it grabs you from page one.”—Fresh Fiction
From the Back Cover
Their passion will transform them.
Growing up with an unstable, often absent father who preached about the end of the world, Jenna never thought, in her wildest nightmares, that his predictions would come true. Or that he would have a plan in place to save her-one that includes the strong, stoic man who kidnaps and takes her to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest.
The mysterious ex-Marine named Mason owes a life-debt to Jenna's father. Skilled and steadfast, he's ready for the Change, but Jenna proves tough to convince. Until the power grid collapses and the mutant dogs attack-vicious things that reek of nature gone wrong.
When five strangers appear, desperate to escape the bloodthirsty packs, Jenna defies her protector and rescues them. As technology fails and the old world falls away, Jenna changes too, forever altered by supernatural forces. To fight for their future, she and Mason must learn to trust their instinctive passion-a flame that will see them through the bitter winter, the endless nights, and the violence of a new Dark Age.
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What is really cool about Ellen Connor: She is actually the writing team Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty. Both are amazing writers, and this series is one of my favorites! For more paranormal/dystopian books by these authors check out: Time Travel by Carrie Lofty and Enclave by Ann Aguirre.
**Review originally on HEA as a TBT post**
The author name Ellen Connor consists of a writing team of two people (Ann Aguirre/Ava Gray and Carrie Lofty). They were inspired by the bad-ass female sci-fi characters in The Terminator and Alien movies. The name Connor is from the character Sarah Connor in The Terminator. Ellen is from Ellen Ripley in Alien. This book has a feeling like the Terminator movie: the apocalyptic state on earth with dangerous creatures (demon dogs) trying to kill all humans. This story is a small group of humans trying to survive. Anything with computer technology no longer works including most cars. The only method of communication is the old fashioned analog radio - but the established radio stations are not broadcasting. The reader gets the feeling that there are no humans left in the cities - and any who survived are doing so like the group we are reading about.
Years ago Jenna's father Mitch was predicting this apocalyptic disaster. Mason was a troubled teen who was taken in and helped by Mitch. Mitch trained Mason to prepare for it. Before he died Mitch asked Mason to promise to take care of his daughter Jenna when it happened. Now the event has happened. There's no time to explain so Mason kidnaps Jenna, tying her up and taking her to his cabin in the forest. Having seen the demon dogs she now understands. Mason has enough food for the two of them to stay in the cabin for the winter. Then a group of five people arrive at the cabin asking for help. Mason is reluctant but Jenna lets them in and insists they stay. They discover a scientist Chris at a research station several miles away. He is broadcasting on an old radio saying he has plenty of food. The group decides to travel to Chris. Mason gives everyone guns and ammo to shoot the demon dogs along the way.
There is magic involved. When someone is bit by a demon dog, they react in different ways. Some become demon dogs, some die, others become shape shifters. One of the group is a little girl Penny who has magic abilities.
This was ok as an escape, slightly above average. It felt like an action movie - lots of action and suspense. The plot is simple - good guys fighting bad guys. There were some sex scenes - I liked the first one best - sex after adrenaline stress. The others were pretty good. I liked the happy ending - it was fulfilling. There's an interesting collection of characters. I enjoyed Tru the most because he changed the most. He had been a self-mutilating (cutting) Goth kid. But put him in this dangerous world of kill or be killed and he became an excellent shooter, strong, reliable, and heroic. I liked seeing his change.
To give something 4 stars I want to feel "I really like it" at the end which was not my feeling. But it was still good.
Story length: 327 pages. Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words. Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: 5. Estimated number of sex scene pages: 12. Setting: mid 21st century Oregon and the Rocky Mountains. Copyright: 2011. Genre: apocalyptic paranormal romantic suspense.
However even though I liked the first book I didn't like it enough to continue to pay $9.99 for the eBook to read the other two in the series. I just didn't leave me that interested to know what else happens. I don't really care that much.
Top international reviews
Nightfall tells the story of a world gone wrong. Nobody knows why or how but technology has started failing. It started in the East some say it started in Ukraine, computers, mobile phones, cars anything with a computer chip just stopped working, then the demon dogs started attacking. People in the West remained unaware of the strange new world which was emerging as Governments and the media denied everything and kept the truth from everyone. Unable to identify a cause people started talking about Magic. Some years earlier Mitch Barclay had foretold this Magic and obtained the promise from John Mason that when the time came he had to save and protect his daughter Jenna. And that is where the story starts with Mason kidnapping Jenna for her safety before the Dark Age dawns.
I thought this was an incredible book. The book cover has a Paranormal Romance label but I wouldn't class it as that,yes there is some romance but it is dark and gritty so I would class it to as post-apocalyptic Urban Fantasy. It is not a happy, easy book to read but I devoured it all the same. It is a book that makes you think about humanity such as what you would do in Jenna and Mason's situation. Would you open the door to strangers in search of help and shelter or would you keep the door closed knowing you didn't have enough rations to keep everyone alive through winter?
Nightfall paints a very bleak and broken world, we are thrown into it along with Jenna who doesn't know what is happening in the East or that it is now on her doorstep. We are then taken on the ride with Jenna as we discover what the future know holds even though we don't know why. Mason knows a bit more than Jenna as he spent some time with Mitch her father and he has been training all of his life for this moment, to fulfil his promise to Mitch to protect Jenna.
I liked Jenna and Mason and whilst we do have a romance of sorts between them it is not mushy at all, which was something that did concern me under the PNR tag. There are other great characters too and we will learn more about them as they appear in their own stories in book 2 Midnight and book 3 Daybreak, which I have already ordered. I found this book to be quite harsh and brutal and it is dark and gritty but I really loved it all the same. It was a little frustrating at first not knowing what was going on in the world but it was also clever too as it makes us understand and feel for the characters more as they find their way forward in a new life. I found it difficult to put the book down and when I did put it down it was all I thought about. A brilliant book and I am going to give it 5 stars, I can't wait to read the next two books.
Her whole childhood Jenna’s dad was in and out of her life, preferring to live in the woods preparing for the dark age, that he predicted would happen. Jenna was always the one left picking up the pieces for her mother when her father left again, putting back together her mothers heart, until she could not take it any more. With both her parents now gone Jenna is left in shock when her father’s predictions begin to come true. When she is kidnapped by a man who who claims to be fulfilling a promise to her long dead father, Jenna’s world is torn apart. Even though she never believed anything her father preached, what he did do successfully was instil survival skills in Jenna, and it does not take her long to get a grasp of the situation, as well as Mason. She knows she can trust him, there is something about him that makes her instantly and inherently safe, and they fall into an easy comfortable rhythm. When a bunch of strangers turn up looking for safety and Jenna lets them in, this one act begins a series of events that threatens to destroy the safety they have established.
I love the relationship between Jenna and Mason, the give and take and push and pull is realistic and genuine when deciphering a new relationship. On top of trying to learn about each other, and understand their attraction and connection, they are both on guard constantly with their lives and the lives of others at risk. Jenna is stubborn and passionate and Mason’s pragmatic and regimented attitude rubs her the wrong way. Mason believes he is just doing what he is meant to do to keep everyone alive. If there is no order and no control then people die, and he promised he would protect Jenna on her father’s death bed. Mason has not cared for anyone in his life, and the lines blur between the obligation to protect Jenna and the desire to protect Jenna becasue she fills the missing pieces of his soul.
The struggle to survive in a new world full of magic, the paranormal, demon dogs, skin walkers and evil creatures is epic. This book does not hot back its punches, it is gory and shocking, people die, people betray, people are required to question their own humanity in this gritty, gory action fest. If you think this is your common romance come apocalypse novel you will be sorely mistaken. Sure there is romance, but this plays second fiddle to journey of humanity. Do yourself a favour, read this book. Now I must stop this review, so I can start the next in this trilogy. Also bonus, all 3 books are all ready released!!