Seconds Before Sunrise

Death Before Daylight
Shannon A. Thompson

Death Before Daylight is the final book of the Timely Death Trilogy by Shannon A. Thompson. I’ve reviewed several of her works previously, and I hope to have to opportunity to continue to do so since I appreciate her writing style and dedication to her fans.  That said, Death Before Daylight was not my favorite work of hers thus far.

The battle between Dark and Light is nearly at an end. Eric and Jess must face one final hurdle to their love, but it could be the death of one or both of them. As we return to Hayworth, Kansas, the prophecy has failed and many on both sides have lost their lives. While many of the Dark report their powers weakening, Eric and Jess – and the new half-breeds – find their own powers growing and even in some cases changing. Darthon has also become stronger, and he is intent on taking over. This third installment brings us to the final showdown, and not everyone will come out alive.

As with the previous book, Seconds Before Sunrise, the new plot starts right away. If you’re reading the books straight through, this probably won’t be an issue. However, if you’ve had much of a delay this may leave you a bit lost for a few chapters. Or the majority of the book. It depends on how much you’ve retained. I think that both books would have been improved with a short prologue to remind the readers of what happened before and reintroduce some characters. There were several times throughout the book where I realized I had forgotten a plot point from one of the previous novels or could not remember why a character was important.

I was also a bit disappointed in the increase in violence and strong language (including an f-bomb) in this final entry into the trilogy. In the past, I’ve found Ms. Thompson to balance these concerns with a very even hand. I’m certainly not saying that characters should never swear or act violently, but for a YA novel that is going to have some audience younger than the main characters, I felt that some of the content was too strong. There is a part of the book in which one of the main characters is beaten repeatedly and I personally felt it was a little too long and a little too graphic for the primary audience.

Negatives aside, Ms. Thompson has crafted an excellent story arc that is well-paced and characters that are dimensional and engaging. She handles alternating points-of-view better than most – I never found myself confused as to whether I was reading Eric or Jess. Her secondary characters are also solidly painted with their back stories revealed more fully as we near the end. I did see a few of the plot twists coming, but I wouldn’t consider that detrimental. I was satisfied with the ending of the trilogy, and sad to say goodbye to Hayworth and it’s residents.

I sincerely hope that this is not the last we see of Ms. Thompson’s work.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.