Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Darkness Before Dawn

Many people tend to roll their eyes and sigh at the mention of YA vampire literature ever since Twilight took over a few years ago. In fact, it’s hard to talk about YA literature without mentioning the T word. However, recently the Hunger Games trilogy seemed to bump Twilight out of the limelight and give people (adults included) some faith in YA literature again.

I have always been a fan of vampire literature since I was a preteen and Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a new, edgy teen show so while I avoid Twilight I still devour what vampire literature I can. When HarperCollins mailed me this book I was, at first, a little weary of what book this would be. Another issue with YA literature is that many can be hit or miss: the books may be good entertainment for young adults and even entertaining for those who’ve entered adulthood and then there are the YA books that are dreadfully written and seem to be only riding on the tailwind of some other YA book’s popularity.

Well, the initial storyline of Darkness Before Dawn does seem to do that. A vampire story that is in a dystopian society, much like The Hunger Games, the book definitely seemed intriguing and I felt it was either going to be really horrible or really enjoyable. Lucky for me, time was not wasted with reading this book. I just began a full time temp job that had me going into Washington, DC and was completely exhausted. Waking up some time before the sun even showed its face and not getting home until seven (well, for part of the week, the other half I wasn’t getting home until ten) and my exhaustion was keeping me from reading.  However, I still squeezed in time here and there, taking long lunches and reading out in the sunshine while I munched on my sandwich and finished the book quickly.

Simply put: the book is entertaining. There is so much going on it, so many possible bad guys, so many twists and turns that every chapter holds something new and exciting. Dawn Montgomery, a seventeen year old who is forced to become the city’s delegate when her parents are killed, is just stepping into her role at the beginning of the book. With a wonderful boyfriend, a best friend, and a pretty cool mentor and guardian, Dawn has an interesting slew of side characters and many more are introduced through out the book, including the local Lord of the vampires son and mysterious other people who come and go through the story.

Many times when I was reading the book I was expecting the one major plot that I was reading to be the main plot. That it would be solved and the book would be over, however, there were many plot points introduced and many solutions to be discovered through out its pages.  Even the moments where Dawn had "down time" or, rather, normal teenage life I still felt that it was moving quickly along and I was eager to find out what was happening. Never did I feel that the book had become slow paced or did I wish it would get a move on. 

As I mentioned, I was weary when I saw it was a book that seemed very dystopian and filled with vampires, but the plot worked wonderfully. Just think of it: vampires are discovered to be real, people obsess and study them, and then the vampires gain enough power to produce a war. I feel that if vampires were real and they did come into the light, so to speak, that we as a society would react just in that way. First, excitement, then curiosity, and if vampires are the blood thirsty creatures myths make them out to be I can only imagine they would take their opportunity to take over. 

Dawn's world is after the war where humans are clustered into only a handful of major cities that are surrounded by tall walls while the vampires are supposed to be locked out. The humans have made a deal with the vampires that they will provide blood donations and receive protection from the area Lord vampire in return. Dawn, as a delegate, gets to deal with that Lord who is really very unlikable. I was so into the book that when I reached the end of it, I was disappointed. They left me hanging and really craving more. Luckily enough, there is a second book that will be published which I most definitely intend on reading. 

This book just came out this week and is certainly a great book for summer reading. Quick, entertaining, and filled with dark scary things that go bump in the night. So why not read it on a bright, sunny, safe beach? 

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