Purchased on Amazon.co.uk
As the majority of post-apoc, dystopian novels I read are based in America, I always love picking up a new book and discovering that it is set in Britain, in the case of The Dawn, London. I just like it when I am familiar with the setting, I can already see the skyline or what is left of it!
Set in our near future, nukes have been dropped on London by an unknown enemy, killing hundreds of thousands, levelling infrastructure, ending life as we know it.
Some have survived, they are not the lucky ones.
Told mostly from the POV of Zack Christian, a resident of Delta Tower. He lives in what is now called New Omega, the phoenix that has risen from the ashes of London.
New Omega is a group of high rise buildings (which you may recognise from their descriptions) that have survived the blasts - now quick note here, buildings surviving a nuke? How is that possible, well it is explained in the books so I am not going to spoil it for you here!
Anyway as I was saying, there a several towers, Zack lives in the aforementioned Delta, there is a Beta tower, a Gamma tower and so on but the government lives in Omega tower along with the creme de la creme of society.
Delta is far down the pecking order, they all have jobs in the tower and are responsible for the water supply to New Omega. The Delta residents live in awful cramped conditions, some take drugs to take away their horrible lives, everybody has lost someone.
They do have a chance to leave the tower, a lottery is held to find a resident to move to Omega tower, each resident of New Omega has a tattoo on their wrist and stands a chance to move up the ladder and become an Omega resident.
Zack wants to escape his life, a chance encounter with a girl in the basement levels of his tower gets him thinking, she has no Delta tattoo, she is marked with the Omega tattoo. How did she get to Delta and does this mean he can get out?
I don't really want to give too much away but The Dawn charts Zack's journey from Delta to Omega, yes he wins the lottery but that is the only spoiler I am giving you! He discovers that life is not any better in the ivory tower of Omega and that rules need to be followed, ones that he is not keen on following.
You also discover more about how New Omega came to be and how the "war" started in the first place.
This book reminded me of two different books, the first being 1984, with the rules and the monitoring of everyone but the book it reminded me of the most was Wool, except instead of being underground they are above ground. I mean that as a huge compliment too.
It is a long book, well it is an omnibus, but each section is excellent with wonderfully thought out descriptions of how London is now, there are also some handy flashbacks to tell you how things came to be in the first place.
It can be very dark but it is a great read and like Wool, I feel I still want to here more about the world that they are in, to find out about the people in the other towers, to find out what happened in the early days. The Dawn like Wool could spawn its own fanfiction! You can read more about the the towers and the purpose they serve at Michelle's website here http://www.michellemuckley.com/