7 March 2015

The Fire Sermon Review

The Fire Sermon #1
by Francesca Haig

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What they say: When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. We were perfect. They would have been disbelieving: nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega.


They were born together and they will die together.

One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death.

The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts.

The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they're free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts.

Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose.

The potential to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they're not careful both will die in the struggle for power. 

ISBN: 9781476767185Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books

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I received a copy from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: The Fire Sermon is the first book in a fab new YA dystopian series. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world full of doubles where everybody has a twin. I have to admit before I read The Fire Sermon I was starting to get a bit bored of the same tired old tropes and repeated variations of Katniss or Tris, but Francesca Haig takes a very different approach  with her book. This was both refreshing and fun to read.

I don't want to ruin any of this fab story for you so I'm going to keep this review as spoiler free as possible. One big aspect (not a spoiler as it's in the blurb) is the twin element. In Cass's world everybody has a twin. These twins are intrinsically linked where they feel each others pain and when one dies, so does the other (think Luxen and mutated humans from JLA's Lux series). You would usually expect these twins to be extremely close, powerful and friendly, but in Cass's world one twin is always subservient to the other, the Alphas and Omegas.

I really liked Cass and never found her annoying or irritating. She's strong and determined but she's also extremely loyal and willing to look past the obvious. The main focus is on the action (no spoilers) but there is also an element of romance. I've seen people debate whether the book is YA or for older readers. Although there are mentions of more naughty things we don't ever get details and I definitely wouldn't describe The Fire Sermon as adult or even New Adult (at the most it's a sort of YA/NA clean crossover) - I'd be happy for my teenage cousins to read the story. 

I really liked Kip - he's not always the strongest or fiercest hero but I appreciated his dedication to the cause and willingness to support Cass. He grows into his character and finds his inner strength.  

I appreciated how Haig covered the equality and prejudices between the Alphas and Omegas. How society in general doesn't always cope well with different or imperfection. There are some great twists and turns - A couple I did guess but one in particular I REALLY didn't see coming. I may have shed a tear or two (okay a lot) at a certain moment and am really excited to read the followup.

4 - 4.5 Stars in my Sky!


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