Thursday 26 February 2015

Book Review - The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

Title: The Fire Sermon
Author: Francesca Haig
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: 26th February 2015
Synopsis: When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. The complete set. They would have been disbelieving – nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega. Nobody.
Born as twins. Raised as enemies.
One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death.
The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts.
The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they’re free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts.
Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose.
The potential to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they’re not careful both will die in the struggle for power.

Review: A lot of books work in the frameworks of their genre, here we have a dystopian novel, and there are all the classic trade marks, the event that triggered the end of the world as we know it, the evil powers that be and the resistance that stands up against them, but its then their individuality that make them as good as they are. One of the best things that I liked about this book was its concept, I felt it was fresh and unique and I liked the way it had effect throughout the books. The Alpha/Omega twinship was a great tool to use for so many reasons. It was a game changer, it affected the way we saw things, it affected the way the characters acted and more importantly it threw something else into the mix. Disability, and the ideas of judging someone based on their differences and abilities. It's an important issue to talk about, and this took that issue and presented it in a different way, not explicitly throwing it in your face but making it a prevalent issue, and one that sat close to Cass. Every time she said it's not one it's two people (that might not make any sense to you riiiight now, until you read it) I wanted to shout yes!

This is, I think, one of the main reasons I really liked Cass as a character. She carried that approach that our differences don't make us unequal and her belief that Alphas and Omegas shouldn't live in segregation was a message that resonated well. She was humanistic, and a soft but assured character. You could also feel her personal struggle being a 'Seer' and I wanted to, and still want to, know what will happen with her. I think she has great potential (as she was repeatedly told) and it will be interesting to see where this takes her.

Kip however I wasn't so keen on. I liked him to begin with, but there was something almost irritating about him as the book went, but that might just be me. You don't always jell with every characters and though I appreciate how he stood up for Cass, I think I wanted something different from him, something more.

Its hard to say certain things without spoilers aha, so I'm restricting what I say because I think you all need to experience it as you read it rather than me revealing pieces, and that we can talk about what I though...about...things!

Something I'm hoping we'll get more of an insight into is the Council. The big evil as it were. Zach was mentioned so much throughout the book, but Id love to see more into his world, walk his steps as it were, as I think it could be a great perspective. Piper was a swarve character (even the naming is great), he had that authority, and that level of presence that he stood out strong, in a similar way to Gale in The Hunger Games, and I'm looking forward to his role in events to come.

I feel like at times, though I wanted to keep going and to know what was going to happen, there was a lack of pace to it, so I wasn't flying through it the way I had hoped I would. The book was very visual though, so I could see everything really well in my mind, which gave it good atmosphere, and helped my investment in what was happening, and I like that in a book.

So as much as it lacked in parts, I think it is definitely worth a read, I think its a book people will enjoy, and I am definitely on board to see what happens next!!

I also just want to draw everyone's attention to the FANTASTIC artwork HarperVoyager have been using over on their twitter to promote the book (all credit goes to the amazing team at HarperVoyager and @CaitDavies who created these cool pictures)


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