You know I love me an Indie author. Almost as much as I love a good Dystopian trilogy. With The Never Dawn Series, I got both.
And I fell completely in love.
Author R.E. Palmer, who is from my favorite place, England (okay, so the U.S. is my really favorite place, but England is my dream trip), has turned out a non-stop, page-turning, drooling-on-yourself-and-wishing-your-eyes-weren’t-so-gritty-from-lack-of-sleep powerhouse that he should be getting paid Suzanne Collins’ advances for.
I totally mean that.
The Never Dawn Series
Here’s the low-down:
Noah lives in an underground society, looking forward to his 18th birthday (when he’ll get cake and also find out what happens at the mysterious Meeting Place). He works hard every day at the factory, putting together components for a machine that he doesn’t even understand, all to please Mother. Mother leads the society of ARK and promises that one day soon, it will be safe for them all to move to the surface again. But they have to be patient. Earth has been involved in a devastating war, the air is poisoned and nothing will grow there. And the enemy might still be about. In fact, the enemy has spent decades trying to infiltrate ARK and poison the minds of Mother’s children. Anyone could be a spy. So everyone is on alert, ready to turn against his neighbor at the slightest provocation. Mother rewards her loyal workers, but will not tolerate doubt about her mission.
Noah is equally in awe of Mother and excited by the idea that his generation might be the one to go to the surface. Though his only real human contact is with his team, he’s also secretly crushing on a girl from another team, Rebekah. He sees her when Mother holds assemblies and celebrations in The Square, but they have never spoken. Noah obeys the rules and admires Rebekah from afar, spending his energy on coming up with faster ways to make his components to help his people reach the surface. Until new workers come up from the nursery, and a boy named Seth is placed under Noah to learn his job. Seth is a curious kid–he asks questions Noah can’t answer. And questions are dangerous.
Mother does not like to be questioned.
Those questions begin a journey for Noah that he could never have predicted. He finally gets to talk to Rebekah, finds out what happens at the Meeting Place, and discovers so much about Mother that his life and the way he thinks change for good.
That’s about all I can tell you without giving anything away. Don’t throw things at me.
I can tell you that I gasped so often while reading this trilogy (in 4 days), that my family was constantly going, “What’s wrong?” I even yelled, “OH MY GOD!” several times as new revelations were exposed. Every time I thought I knew where the story was going, Palmer gave it a twist. Every. Single. Time.
Now, I’m going to warn you–there are places in each book that would benefit from editing. And that usually drives me nuts. But they were minor things–type-os, missing words, or misspelled words (and you know how that irks me). THEY DIDN’T PHASE ME. The story was so well written, so intriguing and fast-paced, that I didn’t even stumble over them. Usually when I see a misspelled word or a grammar mistake, I stare at it for several seconds, fix it in my head, read it again, imagining it fixed, move on, then go back to it and fix it in my head again–I swear, I spend more than 30 seconds agonizing over the mistake.
Not so with these books. They were almost irrelevant, because I always Had To Know What Happened Next.
I think that speaks more for the brilliance of these books than anything. Palmer has an acute understanding of story and pace, and a keen eye for character development. He’s created a world I didn’t want to leave and will return to again and again. Even knowing how it all comes out.
Well, but I get to imagine how it all comes out. Because the ending? Epic. I love it when an author leaves a little something to my imagination. And Palmer did. So before I move on to another book, I’m going to take a day to imagine what Noah’s up to now.
And that rocks.
These books are available for Kindle, so go grab them. And grab all 3 because you won’t be able to stop reading until the end of the third. I’m not making that up.