Title: The Never Dawn (Book 1)
Author: R.E. Palmer
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Published: August 5th 2016 by FrontRunner Publications
“All his young life, Noah has longed to see the sky he’s only heard about in stories. For over one hundred years, Noah’s people have toiled deep beneath the Earth preparing for The New Dawn – the historic day when they will emerge to reclaim the land stolen by a ruthless enemy.
But when Rebekah, the girl of his forbidden desire, discovers a secret their leader has been so desperate to keep, Noah suspects something is wrong. Together, they escape and begin the long climb to the surface. But nothing could prepare them for what awaits outside.“
*I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thanks so much to R.E. Palmer. This did not influence my opinion in any way!*
When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was intrigued right from the start! I thought the whole idea and concept of the story was really cool and I felt like it was going to be a very interesting story. And I definitely wasn’t let down!
The Never Dawn is a dystopian YA novel set underground where the main character Noah lives with an entire community. Every day they work towards The New Dawn – the day when they get to go back to the surface of the Earth and see the sky again. The community is ruled by Mother. Everyone follows what she says. Things have to be in strict order and there is no place for personal desires or individuality.
The main character Noah is an 18-year-old boy who always had the best interests for the community and blindly followed everything that was asked of him. He never fell out of line and worked efficiently and did everything to please Mother. He was a very well-developed character with a lot of depth and you really got to know him throughout the story.
His development from a blind follower of rules and order to and independent and critical thinker was very believable. The change of attitude wasn’t abrupt and Noah was never a rebel who questioned the system right from the start (like you might see in other dystopian stories) – it was always little things that influenced him and he was slowly uncovering the secrets that encouraged him to change and re-think the entire system of their underground society. I really liked how that character development took place because it didn’t feel forced or too sudden!
One of the catalysts of Noah’s re-thinking process was Rebekah. The rules are that you’re barely allowed to interact with anyone in the community except the members of your own group. But Noah has always been watching Rebekah from afar. Personal desires were forbidden but Noah still developed a crush on her.
The development of that fascination with Rebekah was the only thing that didn’t sit quite right with me. All Noah did was watch her during their community meals but they never actually spoke before. There was one scene where Rebekah was serving the food – she handed Noah his plate and he was so nervous that he couldn’t stop sweating and internally freaking out. It felt a little too much in my opinion.
When Rebekah revealed some of the secrets that Mother kept hidden from the whole community to Noah, they started making their plans to sneak out and escape and that was when story got very exciting.
About halfway through the book, the whole thing really picked up and I found myself easily immersed in the story. I was so intriguing to see how Noah and Rebekah carried out their escape and how they revealed the truth and uncovered the secrets of the underground system.
I am not going to reveal the ending but it was something I would have never expected! The last quarter of the book takes you through some twists and turns of the system and what they revealed at the end was a big plot twist! There are a few open questions that haven’t been answered and it definitely leaves you wanting more!
Overall, this was a very quick and enjoyable read and I can totally recommend it to fans of dystopian settings/stories like The 100, Divergent and The Maze Runner!
(4 out of 5 stars)
Are you a fan of dystopias? Which dystopian books are your favourites? Let’s chat in the comments!