Adventure (Teen), Dystopia (Teen), YA Fiction

The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig – The Fire Sermon #1

Oftentimes, when I am asked to review an advanced copy of a book that is in a series, I read it as it is without reading the preceding novel. With this series, however, I knew it wouldn’t be possible to skip the first book. I was able to get my lovely boyfriend to buy it for me when we were passing by an Indigo Bookstore and I read the whole book in one sitting! So without further ado, here is my review:

It has been 400 years since the Blast, a nuclear apocalypse that has led to all humans being born in pairs: one twin is a deformed Omega, while the other is a healthy Alpha. Society has shunned the Omegas, sending them to live in rural settlements while the Alphas inherit the Earth. If the Alphas could, they would just kill all Omegas as soon as they have been identified. But they cannot do so for one reason: when one twin dies, so does the other.

Cass is a rare Omega in that she has no physical deformities; her mutation is her psychic foresight. However, even with her gift as a seer, she could not have predicted how powerful – and ruthless – her twin, Zach, would become in the ranks of the ruling Alpha Council. Zach has a plan to destroy the lives of all Omegas forever. And an Omega resistance is brewing, ready to fight back against the Alphas who have dominated them for all of these years. But will Cass’s visions of a united world cause her to be hunted by both Alphas and Omegas?

I quite enjoyed this novel and the unique take it took on the relationship between twins. Everyone always mentions how twins seem to be bonded and connected and “in sync” with each other; it was an intriguing concept to take it to this extreme level. The author did a great job painting the tension and discord between the twins; the Omegas hated their Alpha twins for subjecting them to cruelty and the Alpha twins hated their Omega counterparts for making life difficult. I had never thought of the twin bond as being anything other than positive so having this negative viewpoint was really interesting!

The story had a rapid pace and lots of action so it definitely wasn’t a boring read. I like my dystopian novels to be packed with adventure and this book definitely delivered. The one thing I did not enjoy about this novel was the depiction of Cass as a character. To me, she seemed quite simply-minded in her view of people and the world; for someone who has faced discrimination and torture, she has a VERY open-minded approach to unifying everyone that seems just a bit…. far-fetched. I also found her to be very passive. She didn’t have a fighter personality and just came off as extremely needy. I like my female heroines to be strong and bold (with flaws, of course) but Cass was quite timid and helpless in comparison. Hopefully, this improves in the next novel in the trilogy!

Overall, this book was a decent dystopian teen fiction but it was a tad bit predictable and the main character wasn’t as personable or interesting as I would have liked. I would give this novel a solid 3 out of 5 stars and am eager to see how this story develops in the next novel!

Happy reading!

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