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[Review] The Fire Sermon – Francesca Haig

Book Title:                 The Fire Sermon (The Fire Sermon, #1)
Author:                         Francesca Haig
Number of pages:  384


The Fire Sermon – Francesca Haig (book cover)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.

(re: Goodreads @ The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:

— Haig paints the world with nimble clarity but there are conceptual holes in plotting likely to be revealed in later installments
— Reads like a game of cat-and-mouse but with limited consequence for the protagonist. Solid twists and revelations support the narrative with the right moral questions being asked
— A love triangle is hinted but the romance itself isn’t developed
— Protagonists don’t experience much self-growth. Most of their development comes from assimilating themselves back into the world while coming to understand the environment around them
— Cited as being YA despite the protagonists being 20+ in age. (Only the beginning 20% was backstory—when the protagonist-twins twins were 13)
— Rating: 2.75/5


Initial Thoughts

Oh look, another blurb via “the next Hunger Games!” From the first novel, there isn’t that much that’s similar. A heroine who is “special” but doesn’t realise their specialness—in the grand scheme of plotting—does not result to being Katniss. An almost-not-really love triangle does not result to Gale/Peeta. A government-ish tyranny with plenty of propaganda is silly compared to Panem forcing children to kill each other. The YA formula for dystopian fiction is so watered down that the likes of my stomach rumbling out of hunger is—dare I say—the next Hunger Games too.

Please, blurb writing…

Full disclosure: I received an advanced reader copy of The Fire Sermon through Goodreads First Reads. I extend thanks to Gallery Books via. Simon and Schuster for providing me the opportunity to review this book.

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.

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