Jun 14, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: Nightfall by Ellen Connor (Dark Age Dawning #1)

Sci-Fi Paranormal Romance
June 7 2011
Trade Paperback
327 pages
Berkley Trade
Received from publisher

Yummy Man – John Mason
Kick Ass Chicks – Jenna Barclay

From Goodreads
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.


I know, I know.  You are probably all looking at my rating and thinking “What the hell is wrong with that Julie?!”  *sigh* I have come to the conclusion that Nightfall by Ellen Connor is going to be ‘that book’ to me.  That one book that everyone adores but that I just couldn’t find that love for it.  I think the writing was superb and the world was interesting, but…  Well, let’s just start at the beginning.

Nightfall by Ellen Connor is book one in the new Dark Age Dawning trilogy.  It’s a series about what happens during and after the apocalypse of sorts.  I always find it interesting to see different people’s take on what could happen during the end of the world, and I found Ellen’s take to be very interesting and completely unique.  The end of the world doesn’t happen everywhere and all at once.  It started over in Europe and is spreading in pockets.  At the beginning of the book, only a part of the U.S. is affected by it.  They are in the dark.  No technology of any sorts works and demon dog things eat and attack everything.  And once you are bitten, you turn into one of these beings.  If you are strong, you survive as one.  If you are not, you die.  A really graphic and horrific death.

Jenna lives in an unaffected part of the States.  In fact, those who live there don’t completely believe that the trouble is all that bad because the government is really good at fluffing it.  Her father always warned her and others of the upcoming danger, but he was seen as a bit of a kook.  Mason made a promise to Jenna’s dad that he would keep her safe once things turned for the worst in her part of the country.  So when he sees the signs that the “end of the world” is coming to where Jenna is, he sort of kidnaps her and takes her to a cabin that he set up to keep them both safe and alive.

I thought that was all fine and dandy.  Two people, one man and one woman, secluded in a cabin for goodness knows how long.  Throw in a huge stressful situation and their need to protect each other and you have the makings for a great romance story.  But…suddenly other people show up, crash the party…and never leave.

I enjoyed the pacing of this book.  It was filled with action scenes followed by ‘catch your breath’ scenes and over again.  And the action was fun to read.  Suspenseful – and downright creepy – but fun to read.  And whoever originally came up with the idea of those demon dog things…I’m not sure if I should be in awe of their imagination or worried about their mental health.  😉  Those are some sinister freakish nightmare worthy things.  *shudder*

The part about this book that I had trouble with were the characters themselves.  I didn’t feel much for any of them really.  Jenna was just fine.  Mason was just fine.  Together they were…sort of meh.  I didn’t have strong feelings about them nor did I connect with their supposed feelings for each other.  There was barely a ‘dance’ between them.  And even when they are thinking ‘inappropriate thoughts’ about one another, they think about it as though it’s just because they are a man and a woman facing such a dire situation.  I just didn’t really believe their romance.  And I can’t say I was drawn to any of the other characters either.  Well, I was a little curious about Penny and Tru (who will be the hero and heroine of the third book), but even then, not as much as I was hoping I would be.  And unfortunately for me, I need that connection to the characters and to their feelings for one another for a romantic story to truly work for me.

So here’s what I say:  If you are looking for an explosive romance story, you may be a tinge disappointed.  But if you are looking for an action-filled tale with crazy creepy elements and a strong survivor story, definitely check this one out.  The story is interesting and the voice of the writers is great.  It just wasn’t quite my cup of tea.

2.5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“She nodded and backtracked to the stairs leading to the bunker – the bunker with the broken door.  They seriously needed to do something about that.  She wanted more metal between her and those things, a secure fallback position.

Damn, she was starting to think like Mason.”


“’What’s so funny?’


‘What, it’s funny that I love you so much my heart feels broken with it?’  She half sat up and pushed a fist between her breasts.  ‘Because that’s what it was like.  I was mourning you, waiting for you to turn into a damn monster or to keel over dead.  So you tell me what’s so fucking funny.’

He grinned.  ‘You missed me.’


Books in the Dark Age Dawning series –
Midnight (September 6th 2011)
Daybreak (December 6th 2011)

  1. I am glad that I am not the only one who has these books that just don’t “do it” for me like they do everyone else. I always wonder what the heck I am missing about the book?!? LOL! I think that some books just don’t touch us esp. depending on our mood, but this is still a great review. I probably will pick this one up at some point… smiles!

  2. Great review Julie and I’m glad you were honest. It can sometimes be stressful for me to not enjoy a book as much as the rest of the world but I think you did the book justice with your review while also explaining why you didn’t connect with it. This one will stay off my TBR list for now.

  3. Great review 🙂 And we can’t all like the same books and you stated you case why this one did not rock your world..I guess like me and Dragon bound

  4. Christi – If you like dystopian sci-fi kind of books, I’d try it. 🙂

    Deanna – I had trouble writing this one! I don’t want people to think it was a terrible book. It’s just that I didn’t click with it. 🙁

    blodeuedd – Yes! This is my Dragon Bound for you. lol

  5. Ohhh – I’ve come across that before where I like the main characters…but not together. Sorry it didn’t work for you.

  6. How you summed it up makes me think I would actually like this. I was interested in this series more for the concept than the romances anyway. lol Thanks so much for your honest review!

  7. Patti – It’s working for everyone else though. lol

    Rhianna – That’s why I wrote what I did. Because if everyone else is liking it too, that must mean that it just wasn’t my kind of book. If you aren’t huge on romance or super characters, then for sure give it a try. You’ll probably love it!

  8. Awww so sorry this was disappointing hon =/

    I love Ann Aguirre and had high hopes for this =(

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