J.A. London's Darkness Before Dawn
- Did the plot make sense?
- Kept me interested?
- What about the characters?
- It had a good ending?
- Overall Rating
I had a sense of déjà vu when I read that Lord Valentine was the villain of Darkness Before Dawn. A weird sensation of the silly thought of mixing Valentine the villain of that horrible series that I’m trying to forget, and Lord Voldemort the villain of one of my favorite series. That sensation started me on the journey of reading this story.
First I have mention something before I start talking about the book. It bothers me a little bit that kids these days put too much effort into judging books by their covers. I've seen it a lot lately and with specially with this book regarding how it looks compared to another YA cover. Please! The whole idea of a book is that you judge what’s inside; you know the actual story, prose and characters. Every time I see someone give or take points from a book based on the cover, a kitten dies. It’s not hard to look past the cover.
With another subtle rant about book covers out of the way, I’m finally ready to get into reviewing Darkness Before Dawn.
The story follows Dawn, a teenager recently orphaned that it’s chosen as a delegate between vampires and humans by vampire Lord Valentine. The world in the story is set after a thirty-year war between humans and vampires where vampires won and control the cities in the US (of course, other countries are never important and non-existent and who cares, duh). Dawn is inconsistent to me. Less than two months after her parents’ death she recklessly follows her friend to the other end of the city and risks her safety going into a party where she and her friend are treated as crap. Fun, fun, fun.
When she’s returning home with her impaired friend (that was drugged) three rogue vampires attack her. That’s when Dawn is rescued by Victor. And from this moment I can sense the building of the love triangle because Dawn already has a boyfriend, her best friend Michael. Let me tell you that sometimes the story drags and the characters are annoying. I couldn't find any of them remarkable and I knew almost all the twists in the book, even the last one. Dawn’s best friend Tegan is always up for the most reckless ideas and she is insufferable.
Even after the war the High Schools clichés are the same, the mean popular girl, the new boy that is attractive and every girl is interested. Also sometimes people remarked how strong Dawn is, but honestly it was just fake but I couldn't see why they thought she was brave or strong. Michael the boyfriend is turned in the middle of the book from sweet to annoying and controlling boyfriend. I also felt the research and the explanations were brief, the past is very important to the story and I was left in the middle not sure what to think of it. I've seen it worse but that doesn't mean I consider this a good book.
So: - Love triangle, check. - Useless best friend, check. - Mysterious guy that makes that attracts the female protagonist without explanation, check. - Two dimensional villain, check. - Typical pretty popular girl against is the enemy of the female protagonist (with slight slut shaming), check.
Aware of everything I pointed, I’ll still read the next one. But it’s not on my priority list. Maybe I read this book too soon after finishing the Masque of the Red Death.