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Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn Series #1)

Darkness Before Dawn - J.A. London I enjoyed this one...the only reason I rated a 4 instead of a 5 is that this book ends on a major cliffhanger and that's a big no no for me. Luckily there is a lead in to the next book at the end but anyone who knows me knows that cliffhangers drive me crazy.The character development is good and I really like Dawn. She is a smart and strong heroine - although at times she does some dumb things, she is 17 and it fits with her character. She has had a number of things happen in her life that got her to where she is today - a delegate who has a major role in the treaty between the humans of Denver and the vampire clan, the Valentine's. The other characters in the story all add depth and are great in moving the story forward. Michael and Tegan are clearly important to Dawn and Rachel and Jeff also play very important roles in her life. The "bad guys" are definitely bad and I liked seeing the first meeting Dawn had with Valentine.The story itself is an interesting take on the normal vampire story. I could never do a full recap justice but as an overview, the world is changed. Currently they are in a period where vampires and humans don't necessarily get along but they live together. After a 30 year war, they now live under the VampHu Agreement. Dawn works for the Agency and is now responsible for negotiating and working with Murdoch Valentine to keep the peace. Unfortunately, the vampires are the ones with all of the power and it's definitely a balancing act she has to perform in her meetings. Along the way, Dawn meets Victor and comes to realize who he is. I won't give it away but it comes out fairly early in the story. Another character who is introduced is Sin. Again, I won't give anything away but I will say my thoughts were confirmed, he was exactly who I thought he would be as soon as some background was given. I was surprised that he had a role in what happened to Dawn's brother...so there was that surprise. I do wish we had more information on the back story. The book opens with Dawn's parents and there is a hint of a secret and it is threaded through the rest of the book but I still have no idea what it is about (outside of the fact that it has to do with Dawn). I am hoping to learn more about this secret.Overall, this story has some romance, angst, mystery, fighting....I really enjoyed it as it mixes the paranormal with the dystopian and both are genres I love. I am definitely looking forward to book 2 and looking forward to see what happens with Victor and Dawn. Considering how things were left with book 1, you can bet I will be reading it as soon as I can get a copy of it.