After Darkness – A Review

JoAdult Books, Books

After Darkness book cover

I’m so pleased to share the first of an exciting new dystopian duology by J.F. Johns, After Darkness.

Read on for my review, an exclusive excerpt, book details, and a chance to win a print copy of Eternal Darkness, the first book in her exciting dystopian series of the same name!

After Darkness (Book One)

Publication Date: April 14th, 2020

Genre: YA Dystopian

From the back cover:

Year 2160

RULE #.1

Humans AND Cyborgs are prohibited from communicating in any shape or form with each other.

RULE #.2

Curfew is from 12 p.m until 7.30 a.m

Applicable to ALL citizens, humans AND cyborgs.

RULE #.3

All propaganda against the government, written or verbal is a crime.

RULE #.4

All the above laws if broken are punishable by death.


Are you ready?

What did I think?

This is a super Young Adult science fiction novel, sure to engage a range of readers. The story imagines a future life of Cyborgs and humans living side by side, following curfews and strict totalitarian rules in seven different districts. After Darkness is the fourth novel in this series by J. F. Johns but can be read well as a standalone (I have not read the previous novels). Brief reference is made to the timeline of events that shifted life from the modern world as we know it, to this imagined, futuristic one.

The protagonist, Terra Underwood, finds her way through adversity and danger whilst always staying true to her values of self belief. She forms strong relationships with other characters, who are used to support the story of Terra attempting to find out more about the history of the districts. They neither take over the narrative, nor do they seem like unnecessary voices. They are gently built up through the chapters and gradually as an audience we find out more about them and their world in step with Terra.

This book may not fall into a genre that regularly frequents my bedside table, but I really enjoyed it. It is light in tone which makes it perfect for its young adult audience, while still dealing with some difficult storylines. Trigger warnings include murder and suicide.

In all, I would recommend this novel to anyone who has an interest in easy to read science fiction. In fact, I’m sure that the whole series would be worth dipping into!


Excerpt of After Darkness:

‘My name is Terra Underwood, by the way.’

‘Didn’t ask.’

‘I know, thought you should know anyway.’

She heard him sigh.

‘I’m Kalem.’ A few seconds passed and then, ‘Kalem Akuma.’

‘Akuma? Seriously?’

‘It means demon.’

She couldn’t help but think it was rather fitting.

‘Well, Underwood means ‘wood that is under.’ What exactly it’s under we’ll never know.’

‘Is that meant to be a joke?’

‘Everything I say is meant as a joke.’

She could almost hear him smile, and that brought her own lips to twist upwards. She closed her eyes, feeling suddenly at ease and comfortable.

‘Good night, wood that is under.’

Terra’s smile deepened.

‘Good night, demon.’

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About the Author:

J.F.Johns author

J.F.Johns is 27 years old and was born and raised in Spain. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at ARU in Cambridge, UK.

She won the Indie Book Awards 2017 for best book written by an author under the age of 25, and was a finalist for best book cover with her novel Eternal Darkness.

She’s an animal lover, and spends her free time playing with her adopted dog and rescued cat, drinking too much coffee and posting book photos on her Instagram.

She believes in the art of dramatic sighing and eye rolling. She works as a ninja, but has been told several times that she’s not very good at her job.

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Giveaway: Paperback copy of Eternal Darkness by J.F. Johns

“The world is divided between humans and cyborgs.

Scarlet Lock is neither.

She is a soldier created to kill on command. But her memory has been erased and when she awakens in a government facility she soon discovers that this new world is a dangerous place, full of government secrets and cruel experiments performed in the name of progress.

With the help of a group of cyborgs, Scarlet will fight to uncover the truth and transform the future of the new world she now lives in.

Eternal Darkness is full of suspense, action and romance and will make readers question what it means to be human.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note that this giveaway is run by R&R Book Tours, not by Cup of Toast. For more details, please see the giveaway Ts & Cs or contact R&R Book Tours directly. Thank you.

Good luck!

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N.B. Thank you to J. F. Johns for a copy of After Darkness which was gifted in exchange for my honest review, and to Shannon of R&R Book Tours for organising this tour. All thoughts are my own, as set out in my disclosure page.

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