Thank you to Gallery Books (Simon and Schuster)
for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review
The buzz around this book has been gradually rising to epic proportions, I have heard it has been already snapped up by a Hollywood studio and this is before it has even been released, billed as a cross between The Hunger Games and The Road it has very large boots to fill, will it live up to the very well oiled PR machine's hype!!
Francesca Haig has come up with something new in a world already chock full of YA Dystopian novels, I love a dystopia but they are generally all following the same well trodden path of girl struggles in post apoc/post disaster world, kicks ass, meets boy, battle the system, falls in love along the way and I don't mean that in a bad way, Many of the books I read and love have this plot but it is time for something a little bit new and different.
Set about four hundred years in our future after nuclear was has totally ravaged the planet and it's population the world has returned to it's almost medieval roots. Society has changed considerably following the Apocalypse with humans constantly giving birth twins. Each twin is different, one is perfect and the other is different this could be through the loss of a limb or an eye but Cass and Zach appear to be the same and as they grow up this leads to a world of pain for them.
The pain is caused by this, the world is now split in to two classes the Alpha's who of course are stronger, perfect, the rulers and the Omega's, branded (literally) for being different and ostracised from their Alpha siblings, Cass and Zach grow up trying to figure out which one of them is the lowly Omega and as it becomes apparent that Cass is the Omega due to her skills with psychic foresight her brother who was once her friend starts to turn on her.
Now the one major thing I haven't mentioned is this, when one twin dies the other will fall down dead too, so as the story progresses and we meet the twins as older teens, Cass living as an Omega and her brother now a powerful man living as an Alpha, Zach has enemies who would happily see him dead and of course to do this they don't need to get to him they can just kill his sister so what does he do? He locks her up against her will and she suffers at the hands of a nasty interrogator who delves in to her brain to see what things she is seeing in the future.
Cass is locked up for four years before the opportunity arises to escape but on her escape she discovers a horrible secret locked away with her prison walls and with that secret a young trouble man who has also been held against his will, together they escape and head towards a place Cass has dreamed of, The Island, a safe haven from Alpha oppression,can they make it and will it be all they asked for?
The Fire Sermon is a really good read and hopefully the start of a series! I really love it when authors take the time to really let it go and create "new" worlds for our characters to live in, this post apoc society is dark and foreboding at the best of times which is perfect for this story.
A 4 stars out of 5 read.