Review: Nightfall

Ellen Connor
Urban Fantasy
327 pages
Dark Age Dawning #1
Chapter 1
Berkley Sensation

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.

My favorite part of Nightfall is the apocalyptic world in which it takes place.  It's set in the near future and the world is completely messed up. Electrical and nuclear technology has failed. But the really cool twist is that it didn't fail everywhere at once. It began in Europe, and slowly started spreading west.  As it spread so did the mob mentality. People began fighting tooth and nail for survival, and turned so violent that humans began to change... literally.  The reason why this became my favorite part of the book is because the reader gets to experience the terror of realization along with the characters in the book.  Most often in a post-apocalyptic stories we, the audience, come along after everything has broken down, after D-day. That isn't the case here. In fact, the west coast (where our story takes place) is still in denial, and they think that the Dark Age wont touch them. Live media is no more, and the people spreading the "message" make is seem as though the effected regions where underprepared or something. So when shit hits the fan for our characters it takes them by surprise, and it blesses the audience with unexpected suspense and actually created a constant undertone of danger for the entire story.  

Unfortunately, the world was one of the only parts of this book that really did it for me. Now, I can only imagine how difficult it must be for two writers' voices and ideas to become one, and sadly I could almost feel the struggle in the beginning.  For me, it resulted in a lot of disconnect in the love interest, and some in the general character development.  There were times when I felt like I was missing some vital dialog or emotions.  It made me feel a little lost overall at times. That's especially so when it came to the love-story aspect of the book.  I would find myself not understanding why either of them were feeling the things they were describing. It felt like there were a few in-between emotions that were left out. Like I couldn't make the connection between emotion A and emotion D, because I didn't see, or get, or feel emotions B and C.  

The secondary characters got chapters with the POV hat, which normally fuels my interest, but for some reason seemed to mess up the story flow for me here.  It just didn't work in my opinion for this story.  

Ultimately, the terror created by the zombie-like monsters, and the failling world is what fueled me to finish the book, and what makes this series worthy of another chance {Midnight, Book 2, releases Sept 6th}. 

Bottom Line: Even with slow character development, and a love story I couldn't get behind, the writing duo, Ellen Connor have created a unique world of human eating monsters, and total destruction that I will visit again. 

3 stars


  1. Hmm, thanks for the honest review here. I still think I need to get this one though. :) Thank you!

  2. I liked your review a lot. I agree with you too. A great world but I didn't feel the relationship either.

  3. Isn't Ann Aguirre one half of Ellen Conner? Awesome cover!

  4. Melissa: Abosultely you should read and decide for yourself :)

    Julie: :)

    Kristin: Yes, Ann and Carrie Lofty.