July Dystopia Month – Book Tour Review: Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc., #1) by Leslie Lee Sanders – Rating 3 of 5

Title: Before The Darkness
Author: Leslie Lee Sanders
Series: Refuge Inc.
Source: Provided by Author for an honest review
Price: $6.95
Where to buy: Amazon

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Description: After an asteroid strikes Earth, a series of violent earthquakes destroy secluded Phoenix and leave survivor Elliot struggling to stay focused in the bleak aftermath. And then he meets fellow survivor Adam. Together, the two search for reliable shelter and other survivors while distant murky clouds fast approach. Their hunt for shelter leads them down an alternate path when they find spray painted symbols directing them to a mysterious place: Refuge Inc. As ominous clouds slowly shut off all light to their devastated world, they are forced to come to terms with their pasts and their growing attraction for each other.
Neither thought their pasts and personal crises would affect their ability to endure the horrors they’re forced to live through. Neither thought they would be drawn so close to one another in the aftermath of an unimaginable catastrophe. By working together, can they continue to survive? Or will the mystery of Refuge Inc. cause diverse expectations and lead them to decisions that further threaten their lives?
Warning: Contains explicit male-male sexual practices, graphic language, some violence and descriptions of death.

Review: This is the first book I read by Leslie Lee Sanders. I was very interested in reading it when I saw the genre was dystopia and since I dedicated this month to all Dystopia I said why not add this one to the list of my reads.  Before The Darkness is nice story that develops after an asteroid strikes Earth and leaves very few survivors or at least that’s what is expected. The story develops fast as the characters embarque in an adventure to find more survivors and help.

There is very little information about the catastrophe all it is known is that Phoenix has been totally destroyed and that there may be no survivors with the exception of Elliot & Adam. These two characters are quite different but they both share their familiar tragedies. Elliot is gay, he has always felt alienated by his family, unwanted and unloved.

Adam fighting his own demons and is on a total denial that he is gay. As much as he battles the fact he always comes back to feel that same attraction he felt during his high school years when he experimented with other men, he is also coming to accept that his previous relationship was based on a lie.  After the asteroid hit and destruction took over his world, he met Elliot and together they go into an adventure to find Refuge Inc.

As much as I wanted to like these characters relationship I just couldn’t. Their relationship felt a bit forced and though I understood Adam’s concerns, feelings and even his hesitation I couldn’t grasp the idea of a relationship developing under such circumstances. Elliot, I like him but I don’t understand his hostility and lack of understanding. As a gay man he knows from experience how difficult and critical it is for a man to accept his sexuality or for others do to so as well.

Elliot’s whining and complaining about Adam not accepting who he is was not only annoying but quite disappointing. Elliot aggravated me, he was a bit weak not just of heart but weak as a man. His lack of understanding about Adam’s feelings were not only selfish but needy. I enjoy the book, not so much the character’s relationship, yet I am looking forward to reading book 2.

Leslie Lee Sanders is an author you want to keep your eyes on. Refuge Inc. is a very promising series, it has the necessary ingredients to become a hit. If you enjoy sexy men, great adventure and sexual awakening then this is the book for you.

3 ♥ ♥


Reader, book reviewer & blogger, love books and most genre: contemporary romance, fantasy, paranormal, mystery & thrillers, new adult & historical romance. When not working, I like spending my time reading, watching tv with my husband and socializing with my friends.

All Comments

  • Great review and i love dystopian novels. I am happy to be home from vacation..and will attempt to go back and read all the awesome reviews i missed!

    kimbacaffeinate 07/18/2012 6:57 pm Reply
  • Thank you for taking the time to read and review Before the Darkness, and for hosting the book today. It is much appreciated! 🙂

    Leslie Lee Sanders 07/16/2012 11:12 am Reply

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