If you like dystopian and post apocalyptic books, The Fire Sermon is one you should consider adding to your To Be Read list. The premise sounds ridiculous, but this is a pretty smart read, and I’m definitely looking for the second book when it comes out in February 2016. I paid $13.99 for the ebook, which is beyond reprehensible (curse you, sample read, for pulling me in so thoroughly), but I found an affordable copy of a hardback used on Amazon for the classroom library because it is one I definitely want to share with other readers.
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well written, thoughtful, and gripping. For the most part, it is action packed, with only a lull near the beginning, but it was an necessary lull, so stick it out. Cass is a strong female protagonist whose only liability is her world view, which is actually her strongest asset. There is a romantic element to this story, but I will say it wasn’t blatant in its sensuality, so it isn’t full of hot moments but plays more of the companionship angle. I actually liked the concept of the twins. Though I thought it was going to be a ridiculous when I read the blurb, it worked really well. The ending might have a few readers crying foul, but I thought it made sense. My only complaint is the price. $13.99 for an ebook is ridiculous (yeah, I’m gonna bring that up again), and even though I feel I got my money’s worth, I almost didn’t read it on principle alone. I’m glad I overcame my impulse and read it anyway.
This book is available in our classroom library.