If you are a fan of post apocalyptic YA, you should give Francesca Haig’s The Fire Sermon series a try. If you are hesitant because of the twin thing, just know that it is a lot less bizarre and a lot more believable than the premise makes it sound. The second book, The Map of Bones, was one of my most anticipated reads this year. I won’t lie – it started way too slow for my liking, but, oh, when it picked up, it really picked up.
Book Two in the critically acclaimed The Fire Sermon trilogy—The Hunger Games meets Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in this richly imagined post-apocalyptic series by award-winning poet Francesca Haig.
Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that has 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 was expecting a fast paced and action packed follow up. I was a little annoyed when I didn’t initially get what I wanted. The first half of this book is slow going. Political maneuvering and the emotional fallout that Cass faces in dealing with the death of her friend and lover take up a good part of the book. It wasn’t until I had almost given up that the story began to pick up steam. The second half definitely delivered the action that I was looking for, and I have to say I didn’t see where this plot was headed until it was hitting me square in the shocked (happy) face. I think this would have been a more engaging book if the author had taken less time to develop the characters and the political climate, but I think that the series would have ultimately suffered for it. If you liked The Fire Sermon, I think you owe it to yourself to pick up the sequel. I encourage you to persevere through the first half, because it is definitely worth it. Myself, I’m beginning the impatient watch for book three. Language and situations are appropriate for high school readers, but adult readers of YA will enjoy the series just as much.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.