“Rebekah takes my hand and I wish we could stay here until the sun shines its last rays. I feel no hunger, have no fears, only hope for our future.”
Author: R.E. Palmer Published: 2017 Pages: 318
If you’ve read my reviews for the first and second instalments in this series, then you’ll know that I loved the first one, but found the second a little underwhelming. When I started The Gates of Dawn, I really wanted it to be as good as the first. This book starts with our main characters seemingly stranded on an unknown planet, and with few resources to keep them going. They are on The New Dawn, the place they have been imagining their whole lives to be a paradise. Unfortunately, to their dismay, it is a wasteland which is constantly shrouded in nighttime and battered by snowstorms. However, unwilling to give up easily, Noah and Rebekah are determined to find a place where they can begin their lives, grow food and start a new community, away from the terror of Mother. They begin to search for the dawn, knowing they cannot survive without sunlight, and in doing so, realise that Mother was even more cruel and ruthless than they ever knew. But edging closer to discovering the full truth about Earth and why they abandoned it, they become more resolved to destroy Mother and begin a new, better life on The New Dawn.
Well, one thing is for sure, this book had a lot of surprises which I did not see coming. Throughout the first two instalments, we were given snippets of information about Earth, the reasons for their departure, and the other ships which were carrying people to the New Dawn too, so when the full truth was revealed, I felt content that I finally knew. Palmer did a really good job in this book of ending chapters on cliff hangers so you just had to turn the page and find out what had happened. I also enjoyed that there was a new environment to learn about in this book, I think it would have got a little tedious if they were still on the ship again.
With regards to the characters, I would have liked to see more of Namika because I really enjoyed the short interaction the characters had with her. She was a symbol of hope and the determination of all members of the other ships to survive, and it gave Noah and his friends hope to continue in their fight. I also thought it became a little confusing about who was still alive. There seemed to be a lot of cases where a character was seemingly dead, but then popped up later in the novel. In counter to this though, I did like that Palmer wasn’t afraid to kill off some of them; as it’s a dystopia, it would have been hard to believe that they all survived. I also loved Spoons; he was endearing, adorable and I just loved that they had something on their side to make sure they weren’t left to their own resources, because let’s face it, if you’ve been brainwashed your whole life, you’re probably going to be missing a few key pieces of common sense.
The ending was also enjoyable for me, it felt like there was closure and relief, but at the same time Palmer didn’t let you forget the morbid truth which Mother reiterates in the book: life is suffering.
Overall, I really did enjoy this series; dystopians can sometimes be very hit and miss, but Palmer has created an interesting and thrilling world where I was excited to learn all about the characters existence, and also really invested in their survival and success. I don’t think it’s often that you come across such an original idea for a dystopian world, and the added element of space was really the clincher. I’m so glad to have read these wonderful books!
Thank you to the author, R.E. Palmer, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.