Format: E-Galley, 416 pages
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
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.
The Map of Bones, by author Francesca Haig, is the second installment in The Fire Sermon trilogy. The story picks up right where The Fire Sermon left off. Cass, Piper, and Zoe have survived the Island, while Cass managed to survive her encounter with her brother Zach, and The Confessor who tortured her for four long years while in captivity. Cass is distracted throughout the story with
visions of the Blast and what happened to Kip which kind of changes her ability to move forward.
Since the Blast, instead of being born one at a time, babies are born in pairs called Twinning. One is the physically perfect Alpha, while the other is burdened with imperfections, Omega. In Cass's case, she has the ability to see the future. The twins are forever linked. If one dies, the other dies. But, Zach has a plan to solve that problem and thanks to Cass's encounter with Zach and the Confessor, she doesn't like what she sees. She doesn't want to live in a world where Omega's are forever shoved inside a watery grave unable to live the lives they choose.
One of the more interesting aspects of The Map of Bones is Cass's discovery of notes from the world right after The Blast. One could say that Haig leads Cass, Piper, and Zoe right to where they needed to be, but doesn't give them an easy road to get there. They continue to search for the place called Elsewhere which supposedly
cured twinning. Now, they get to discover an entirely new place called ARK where survivors holed up. This is where Cass and Piper discover an even more shocking secret. One that truly needs to be stopped quickly.
I especially wonder about the alliance that has formed between Omega's and those under the Ringmaster thanks to Cass. I am curious as to where this entire series goes from here knowing that the only way to stop Zach, is for Cass to die as well. Not sure if I am ready for another book where a lead character sacrifices herself for the greater good. I am totally OK with all the traveling that Cass, Piper, and Zoe have to deal with.
Let's be realistic folks. This is a world where electricity and gas isn't high on anyone's radar. Putting food on the table and surviving to see the next day and the day after is. Yes, people do have horses, but low long do you think it takes to travel via horse hundreds of miles? This is a dystopian enriched world where things are dangerous. Think Mad Max without the vehicles. There are still dangerous animals and toxic areas that leave your skin grey and food tasting like ash.
I highly recommend that you read The Fire Sermon before jumping into this book. I have read reviews from others who have jumped in and said it was the wrong thing to do. Plus, the ending of this book gives you hope for a solid final installment to the series with a new addition to the cast, and a hopeful future for all Omega's.