The Never Dawn by R.E. Palmer
Published by FrontRunner Publications on August 5, 2016
Series: The Never Dawn, #1
Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, young adult
Format & Length: e-book, 352
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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.
A unique take on the young adult dystopian, The Never Dawn took me by surprise, not only in how it stood out from other books I’ve read in this genre but also how it captured my attention from the start and held it all the way through.
“I had touched the sky. Not the real sky; that, of course, would be soft. The one under my fingertips had felt hard and scratched my skin.”
The Never Dawn is full of interesting layers. The world building was fascinating, revealing itself piece by piece until the climax at the end where it all came together. Biblical themes are woven throughout, starting with all the character names to the concept of an ark that saved humanity and the godlike figure of Mother, adding an extra layer of depth. Many of the characters were somewhat stereotypical but the main character, Noah, was particularly well constructed. His innocence and the monotony of his existence served as a nice background to contrast with the secrets he began to learn about the truth about life as he knew it. Although this wasn’t exactly a fast paced story, the meat of what was going on grabbed my interest so fully that I didn’t want to put it down.
Ending on quite a cliffhanger, I am very curious to read the next book in this trilogy to see what happens next. Fans of young adult dystopia or post-apocalyptic novels might be interested in this original story.