Tuesday, April 7, 2015

*Book Review* The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig (Post-Apocalyptic)

Series: The Fire Sermon # 1
Published by: Gallery Books
Released: March 10, 2015
Source: Edelweiss/Publisher
Format: E-Book, 384 pages
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopia

*Book Blurb*

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.

The Fire Sermon is the first book in Francesca Haig's The Fire Sermon trilogy. It is a post-apocalyptic world that takes place 400 years into the future. It is a world where people talk about "The Blast" and "The Long Winter" that changed life on earth completely. It is a place where every baby born, is born with a twin. One is an Alpha, and the other is an Omega. Alpha's are perfect in every way and are given every chance they'll ever need to succeed in life and hopefully join the Council which determines how people will live. Their Omega counterparts are born without limbs & have deformities, are forced into small communities, and given little opportunity to learn to read or write by their Alpha brothers and sisters. Their communities are often raided by Alpha's looking to take whatever valuables the Omega's may have.

Cassandra and Zach were both born without any faults or missing limbs, but Cass was born with a secret. For 13 years, she hides the fact that she's a powerful seer who can see the future. Betrayed by Zach, branded on her forehead as an Omega, Cass is forced into a small community where 6 years later, Zach kidnaps her and forces her into solitary confinement and away from those who might want to kill him by killing her. The only thing keeping the Alpha's from fully eliminating their brethren Omega's, is the fact that if one dies, they both die. If one suffers an illness, the other will also. There is also an interesting dynamics between Zach's ascension to the Council, and Cass's desire to join the Omega Resistance which has been searching for a place called Elsewhere.

I do have a whole lot to say about this story, and will refrain from being too sarcastic. First, there is the question of why the so called blast ended up causing deformities and later twins. Obviously, one can deduce that the nuclear fallout and subsequent long winter screwed with human DNA. But, why one boy, and one girl? Why does one die when the other dies? I think I'm not the only one to ask this question, but perhaps it needs to be explained. Perhaps it's a form of nuclear detente that once existed between Russia and the US. Therefore, Alpha's, even though they despise Omega's, can't fully eliminate them once and for-all.

Second, Cass escapes after 4 years in captivity and being continually questioned by The Confessor and ends up helping a mysterious man escape from his watery encased prison. It takes a very long time before Haig reveals the identity of the person Cass names "Kip" or why he was being held in the first place. I guess I'm okay with this to a point. It leaves a major mystery to be solved right till the final moments of the story. But, it also leaves room for explanation as to what the Confessor and Zach are truly up to. This isn't a story that is covered in days. It is a long journey that is similair to that of a high fantasy novel.

Let's talk about relationships. So, obviously Cass and Kip spend a whole lot of time together. They're constantly running from Alpha's and the Confessor looking for Cass. Needless to say, they eventually form a bond but it isn't love at first sight, but it does grow the more time they spend together. In fact, I dare say that Piper, another Omega character who is introduced, makes more sense than Kip does when all is said and done. There is also the relationship between Zach and Cass. Even though Zach is driven by power, one has to ask themselves if he really does have feelings for Cass. Hopefully, the sequel will explore this even more

In writing this review, I discovered that apparently The Fire Sermon has been optioned for a possible future movie by Dreamworks. I do think that if done correctly, and not covering up certain aspects of this story, it could actually work. But, let's not cross that bridge until the first reviews and cast has been selected. Lastly, folks PLEASE??? Stop calling every single Dystopian book that is released from here until eternity the next Hunger Games. It just doesn't make it true.

**I received this book for free from (Gallery Books) via (Edelweiss ) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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