I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig
Series: The Fire Sermon #1
on March 10th 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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The Hunger Games meets Cormac McCarthy's The Road in this richly imagined first novel in a new postapocalyptic trilogy by award-winning poet Francesca Haig.
Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair one is an Alpha - physically perfect in every way - and the other an Omega burdened with deformity, small or large.
With the Council ruling an apartheid-like society, Omegas are branded and ostracized while the Alphas have gathered the world's sparse resources for themselves. Though proclaiming their superiority, for all their effort Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: Whenever one twin dies, so does the other. Cass is a rare Omega, one burdened with psychic foresight. While her twin, Zach, gains power on the Alpha Council, she dares to dream the most dangerous dream of all: equality. For daring to envision a world in which Alphas and Omegas live side by side as equals, both the Council and the Resistance have her in their sights.
Let’s talk first impressions. The cover I’ve seen isn’t quite the one portrayed above. It’s just an Omega symbol. No title. No author name. It made such a surprising impact on me. And just as the cover isn’t standard, neither is the book. The synopsis had me hooked before I even began, but once I started reading, I knew this would be a new favorite. It really is Dystopian at its best. I would be tempted to give this five stars based on premise alone. Luckily, the writing is also fabulous. I almost resented having a job and family that took time away from reading. Long gone are the days of reading all night, but The Fire Sermon deserves that kind of attention.
I debated what kind of disclaimer I should give this book, as far as content. Thinking back, I believe that it would be appropriate for most teens. There are no swears, sex is only vaguely inferred. The only thing is the violence. As with any war, the very nature of it is mature. And that’s essentially what is building up in this dystopian world. It’s a war between the Alphas and the Omegas. People can only be oppressed for so long, before they fight back.
The variety of characters is refreshing. You have your strong female lead, which I always tend to lean towards. Cass isn’t physically able to fight back, but she is able to withstand pressure. She can always find the best in someone, even when they are clearly in the wrong. Kip, who seemed so mild mannered in the beginning, becomes so fiercely protective of Cass, that I couldn’t help but fall in love with him. Then, of course, we have the villains! Even though they aren’t always front and center, their overwhelming presence can always be felt.
Unfortunately, right from the beginning, I had an idea in my head. It plagued me throughout the entire book, and I felt as if this idea was ruining the book for me. I thought to myself, If I’m wrong about this, I’ll have to reread the book from a whole new perspective. I won’t say what it was, because I don’t do spoilers, but let’s just say that I won’t have to reread it. I’m pretty proud of myself for figuring this one out. 😉
And now? Well, I can’t possibly stop there! The final chapters were so dramatic and filled with emotions that I really will be feeling this for days. I’m so excited for the sequel, but I’m also a little terrified about what will come next. Please don’t break me!