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Before the Dawn (Dark Angel, #1)
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Before the Dawn (Dark Angel #1)

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  623 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Never-before-told tales of action and adventure
revealing the early days of Dark Angel!
"Los Angeles, 2019. Large sections of Tinseltown are in Richter-scale ruins in the aftermath of the Pulse and a devastating earthquake. Surviving among a ragtag pack of street kids, agile as a cat, and an expert thief, Max steals from the rich and gives to Moody, her mentor in crime and
Paperback, 271 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Del Rey Books (first published January 1st 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,529)
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Apr 06, 2010 Lauren rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, tv-movie-book
Like most avid fans of the Dark Angel series, I was devastated when the series was cut short on the most shocking of cliff-hangers with so many questions left unanswered. I hoped against hope that they would at very least make a movie to tie off loose ends, buy alas, my prayers went unanswered.
Then, I discovered that someone had written three tie-in books. I HAD to have them. I ordered them from my favourite online bookstore ( and got stuck in.
I didn't really know what to ex
Michelle Morrell
Okay, yes, I'm copping to actually reading a Dark Angel book. Whatevs, we all have our trashy reads! And this one was actually pretty well written, with humor and pathos and all the things I want in an easy read. And no stupid, convenient, "she's a girl and therefore must have a romantic interest" relationships shoehorned in. Just a (genetically modified) kick ass heroine trying to do the right thing.

And bonus extra points for a stylistic dystopian vision of Seattle, land that I love.

Read during
May 15, 2011 Zana rated it did not like it
Shelves: own, fiction
This is a prequel to the TV series (which I tore through at a prodigious rate and then threw things at the TV at the finale because I wanted to know *what happened next* -- hence ordering these books) and suffers from all the failings of most prequels. For one thing, our main characters meet for the first time in the first episode or the the series, so a book about the two of them when they have not yet met but somehow share a storyline doesn't work so well. Also, the decision to cover all point ...more
Jun 04, 2012 Garrett rated it it was ok
It has been several years sense I've seen the TV series known as Dark Angel. I began scouring the internet looking for the series, instead discovered a written series that has a prequel to the show.
The book while not bad, is not great either. It fills some questions that fans of the TV series may or may not ask, the book itself was written, in my opinion, a mediocre manner. At times I found myself confused as there seemed to be a sudden time lapse, or lack of information in a certain paragraph.
Ryo Yanagisawa
Feb 23, 2011 Ryo Yanagisawa rated it liked it
This fictional novel starts from a flashback. Max, 9 years old girl protagonist, escapes with her mates from what they call Manticore where the government secretly institutes in order to train and raise the soldiers. Then the story goes on to 10 years later when Max adapts into the ordinary society but yet she tries to find her mates who has successfully been escaped.

What I like the most about this novel is how the author creates very unique setting. The story takes place after the terrorist at
May 05, 2015 Marie rated it it was ok
Shelves: mine, read-in-2015
I recently re-watched the Dark Angel TV-show and in the process discovered that there were books as well. I'm a bit wary of Max Allan Collins because he pissed me off once with a Criminal Minds novel where he got the characters spectacularly wrong.
He did a better job with Max but only barely. I liked the plot, that's a plus, but still the writing style rubbed me the wrong way - again. I have the other two books on my shelf but I'm ignoring them for now. Maybe one day I'll find the courage to gi
Sep 09, 2015 Eva rated it it was ok
It's kind of simple, but works very well as an introduction to the Dark Angel universe. There are some questions about why events in the book are never mentioned in the show, but apparently that'll pop up in the books that close of the tv-show, so if that's true I think this is an okay way to round off the tv-show.
Jan 04, 2015 Doreen rated it it was ok
one would have thought the dark angel series would be much more thrilling and action packed. instead, this prequel is slow-paced and at times the narration bored me to tears. i do hope the next book is much more exciting. otherwise i may just have to speed read to the part about logan cale……
Aug 19, 2008 Snuf rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dark Angel fans.
It's apparent that the author was well versed in the world of Dark Angel. He manages to capture the personalities, mannerisms and style of speak that the actors brought to their characters on the TV show.

The story covers in more detail, Max's escape from Manticore along with a brief description of her child hood that the TV series only alluded to. The story really picks up Max once she's a young woman living in L.A. as a member of the street gang, The Chinese Clan and follows her move to from L.
Edward Gold
Sep 18, 2009 Edward Gold rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ivy Courtney
May 31, 2014 Ivy Courtney rated it really liked it
Interesting look at what happens to the children before the TV show starts. Fills the gaps in nicely from the time the children leave to when the TV plot starts.
Apr 09, 2016 Mj rated it liked it
Well done in the style of the show. Gives the backstory to Max and her Seattle stay. Worth a read even if you don't know the series.
Dec 14, 2015 Zaz rated it it was ok
It was so damn good when little Max, just after her escape, met a 'normal' child and tried to understand how the world works. Sadly, the rest of the book couldn't reach this pleasant feel, even a little, as the stories are more or less boring and the writing is less than compelling.
The author added several explanations about the world and changed some characters' background. It's a little weird, but why not.

Every motivation to finish the book was based on the characters, as I loved them from the
Aug 25, 2014 Jeni rated it liked it
Not the best written book I've ever read, but interesting enough. It was a quick read, which was great.
Patrick Montero
May 09, 2007 Patrick Montero rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dark Angel Fans
Shelves: sci-fi
I know, I know, but trust me after watching the TV series, which I will defend because I think it was really good, I needed to find out what had happened, did Max and Logan ever get together? Did Col. Lydecker REALLY die? What happened after the end of the second season when the series was unceremoniously canceled? Questions, questions, questions. So there is my motive for reading this series. Despite the horrible analogies and simple writing this is a fun book to read if you were plagued by the ...more
Ann Tonks
Apr 06, 2016 Ann Tonks rated it liked it
A well qritten prequel to one of my favourite science fiction TV series.
Feb 18, 2016 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So much fun!! After missing the characters from the cut short series, it was so nice to sit down with them again! The author did a good job keeping continuity. As a prequel to the series, he didn't leave any ends that didn't jive with the coming series.
Jun 09, 2016 Lizz rated it really liked it
nice to have a back story to the series.
Alexandria Darcy
Nov 07, 2012 Alexandria Darcy rated it liked it
As expected, this was not the greatest book ever. But, it is a fun story involving the characters of the Dark Angel world and a few new ones. I think there are some major inconsistencies (didn't she not see any of her siblings until Zack?) but overall it was a fun story. If you really enjoyed Dark Angel, you may as well read this too. On to the 2 books that finish up the series!
Apr 01, 2013 Rachel rated it liked it
It was fine but I wish it could have been great. I don't think a casual reader would have much interest in this and might not finish it for that reason. I've been a fan of the series since it aired on tv so I stuck with it despite the inconsistent writing and logical fallacies. It did add a few things to my knowledge of the overall story so I guess it was worth it.
Jul 03, 2009 Katie rated it really liked it
Pretty good prequel to the tv series. If there are any fans of Dark Angel out there i suggest you read this. While it doesn't solve any mysteries you had while watching the show it is definitely cool to read about what happened before Max meets Logan.

Though her reasons for spending time up on the Space Needle are even sadder, it's still a fun read.
I loved this series!

That said, this book is a prequel to the TV it's written to introduce how Max grew up, met her "family", etc. So....interesting quick read, but sometimes too obviously "tying up loose ends" related to her history on the show. I will keep an eye out for the next one, and will probably go pick up a Dark Angel DVD today!
Jul 27, 2011 Adam rated it really liked it
A very good prequel story that filled in a lot of blanks of the previous events. It was nice to see how Max met most of the characters before the pilot episode, and tied together all of the flashbacks from the series into a nice linear fashion. The foreshadowing of events for the subsequent two books was a good idea to hook you in.
Koen Crolla
Nov 21, 2015 Koen Crolla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Just about what you can expect from a novel associated with a moderately crappy TV series: purple, bland, randomly sexist, and at odds with canon. As a prequel to the show, the two main characters haven't even met each other yet, so they just kind of spin their wheels and don't accomplish anything of note.
Jul 04, 2013 Jake rated it liked it
A very well written prequal to the short lived FOX TV series, Dark Angel. As Before The Dawn reveals Max's life after she escapes from the Manticore facility, and pursues a normal life while at the same time attempting to stay under Manticore's radar. A must read for those who are a fan of the TV series
Anne Lalor
Sep 13, 2010 Anne Lalor rated it really liked it
I bought this trilogy as I enjoyed the TV series and, like so many cancelled series, it did not come to a definite end. I like stories with a beginning, a middle and an end! These are not the best books I have read but at least they filled in some gaps and supplied closure.
Mar 02, 2011 Alan rated it liked it
I didn't like how fast paced it became when it involved relationships between people and events. Max instantly became good friends with the characters from the show and I didn't believe it. In spite of this a good tie in to the show
May 26, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was going to read it but i saw the entire 2 seasons. So ill read just the third because i want to know how did it really end.

I loved Dark Angel from the start. The first seadon was amazing.
Sep 27, 2012 Ashley rated it really liked it
It was a slow paced kind of novel. I liked it regardless, but I know for a fact I probably won't be reading it again any time soon.
Jan 18, 2012 Tim rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-urban-fantasy
The show had a lot of potential to really rock but unfortunately, it was cancelled. Before the Dawn was a nice prequel though.
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Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 2006.

He has also published under the name Patrick Culhane. He and his wife, Barbara Collins, have written several books together. Some of them are published under the name Barbara Allan.

Book Awards
Shamus Awards Best Novel winner (1984) : True Detective
Shamus Awards Best Novel winner (1992) : Stolen Away
Shamus Awards Best Novel nom
More about Max Allan Collins...

Other Books in the Series

Dark Angel (3 books)
  • Skin Game (Dark Angel, #2)
  • After the Dark (Dark Angel, #3)

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