Monday, March 9, 2015

Review & Audiobook Sample: The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig
Publisher- Gallery Books
Released- March 10th 2015
Purchase-Amazon / B & N / TBD

The Hunger Games meets Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in this richly imagined first novel in a new post-apocalyptic trilogy by award-winning poet Francesca Haig.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.
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.
My Thoughts:
The Fire Sermon, is a harsh and cruel reality set in an apocalyptic world ruined by nuclear devastation. While the radiation has lifted, it still made it's poisonous affect on it's people, for every person is born with a twin. One girl and one boy, the Alpha; perfect and strong and the Omega; weak and mutated physically or mentally. Branded and shut out of the community, to be an Omega is a brutal life, but the Alpha's need them alive, for what happens to one twin, the other will feel, in sickness, pain and even death.
Well now, this turned out to be quite the fascinating and impressive read. Francesca Haig, does a tremendous job of compelling the reader to this unique world and it's haunting characters. Cassandra and Zach are twins that weren't separated till the age of thirteen since there was no visible signs of who held the deformity. As it turned out, Cassandra is a rare seer who could predict the future and her brother tricked the truth out of her so he could finally begin his life as an Alpha. My heart really went out to Cassandra. She only wanted to stay with her family, home and twin but was shut out from the community for being an Omega. From there she was sent to one of the Omega settlements for the next six years only to be captured and contained in a cell at the Keeping Room, where she spent the next four years before escaping with another Omega named Kip. On the run and being hunted by Zach and his Alpha soldiers, Cass and Kip are in search of the island, which is an Omega safe haven, the same island that the Alpha's want to find and destroy all hope for their mutated twins.

My sympathy and respect for Cass throughout the story never seemed to waver. She's a strong, resourceful character that's a true fighter and survivor. Even after all she's been through at the hands of her Alpha brother, she still clings to hope that he could change himself and the world they live in. It's a thin line between love and hate. It may be naive on Cass's part but I admire her sharp mind and hopeful heart.
Kip is also a great character, he has a great sense of humor and is good natured. He may not be the most trusting but I think him being so cautious is understandable given his tortuous time in the Keeping Room and the fact that he only has one arm and no memory of his life, not even his twin. I liked the connection he and Cass had and even the very subtle but sweet romance. I was shocked when we learned the revelation concerning his memory lost and who his twin was and was completely surprised and saddened by the measures he took with that news.
At this point of the story, I'm not sure how to feel about Zach. I wish we got to understand him on a more deeper level (that is if he has one). We only get to see the side where his ambition and lust for power and to be recognized as a distinguished Alpha dominates all, even to go so far as to put his twin in a cell for his her own safety and treat her like a necessary nuisance. He's selfish and cruel and I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. I was waiting and wanting to see even a glimpse of regret or remorse that wasn't tainted with self-preservation. But at last, there is nothing there besides an Alpha twin who is willing to do anything to achieve his ultimate goals. Still, like Cass, I have hope. I think there could be something more, maybe something that we've been missing and am curious to see if it'll be explored in future books.

Bottom line, I really enjoyed this book. It has a great mix of politics, fantasy and survival. I loved the characters, they played their roles well, the good and the bad. I loved the concept of Alpha and Omega and the disturbing world building. The writing is strong and the pace and flow of the story stayed at a constant stream of action and intrigue. Despite these characters being in their twenty's, this still very much reads like a young adult book. I also heard this was optioned for film and I'm looking forward to seeing this portrayed on the big screen as well as continuing this promising new world. A great escape!

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Audiobooks are quickly becoming a huge thing around WinterHaven lately.  Thanks to the wonderful people at Audible Studios we have a sound clip from The Fire Sermon audiobook to share with you!   Enjoy!!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This book sounds both super weird and super awesome :D! Haha, nice review :)