Thursday, October 10, 2013

NIGHTFALL by Ellen Connor

Dark Age Dawning #1

Berkley Trade Books, July 2011
Obtained via:  publisher
ISBN: 0515152854 (ISBN13: 9780515152852)
Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

*** 1/2


Ellen Connor’s NIGHTFALL takes place in a post-apocalypse world where the power grid has suddenly failed, flesh eating demon dogs are overtaking mankind and every day is a fight for survival.

Jenna grew up thinking her oft-absent father with his constant doomsday preparations as unstable at best.  Ex-Marine Mason owes a debt to Jenna’s father.  He has trained with him in preparation of doomsday and at its approach he travels across country to find Jenna and protect her with his life if necessary.  Though Jenna thinks him a bit over the top, when the power grid collapses and demon dogs either kill or mutate everyone in their path, she gets on board with Mason real fast and along with a few human stragglers they encounter on the way, they learn to trust in each other to get through the endless nights and the violence of the new Dark Age.

Ellen Connor’s NIGHTFALL is a new take on a post-apocalypse world.  The world building was interesting.  The power grid collapses and no one knows exactly what is happening anywhere.  The few people that appear to have survived must hide from flesh eating demon dogs while simultaneously trying to adapt to their new existence.  The tension was consistently taut throughout the book.  Jenna and Mason had to learn to trust in surprising new paranormal gifts and each other in order to survive.  This led to some tense scenes and misunderstandings that have readers both cheering for and against our two lead characters at differing times.

Mason is a strong hero.  He has spent his life preparing for doomsday and when it finally arrives, he doesn’t waste any time trying to explain to Jenna what is happening, he simply kidnaps her and runs.  Jenna is an equally complex character.  Her father has prepared her to some extent for the eventuality they find themselves in.  But nothing can prepare her for Mason.  Her strength as they face life’s new obstacles together is inspiring.  The strong emotions of their trials are easily felt, especially when Jenna realizes exactly what saving a group of strangers means to them – quickly dwindling supplies. 

The lesser characters were well thought out and each reacted differently to their new surroundings.  The punk kid with a chip on his shoulder that slowly becomes an integral part of their survival team is bound to show up in future books.  

Fans of post-apocalyptic romances are really going to enjoy Ellen Connor’s NIGHTFALL with all it’s emotionally upheaval and frantic fight for survival.  This reader is excited to see where this series takes us.

Reviewed by T. Barringer

"This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book."

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