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.
Description taken from Goodreads
Noah and his worker colleagues labour hard all day to assemble machines in the factory. Although he’s only 17 at the start of the novel, he’s so stooped and worn that I tended to think of him as being much older. Noah, and all the other characters, have a distinct brainwashed feel to them but even so, I found it a little difficult to understand the unquestioning devotion of the workers in The Ark. This is a debatable point though, as Mother has clearly established a method of control that works almost without exception. I suspect a certain device augments the psychological conditioning to shape behaviour but there isn’t enough information to develop a theory.
The boy meets girl scenario doesn’t present anything new. I thought the interactions between Noah and his team provided more nuance and interest than the individual characters. All other issues I had were elements that were just slightly off: the pacing is a little slow, the characters a little lacking (even though Noah’s development is convincing), and the prose is lacklustre but effective.
The denouement is thrilling, if at first confusing. Palmer delivers one jaw-dropping shock after the next, changing the stakes entirely before closing on a nerve-wracking cliffhanger.