Review: Fire Sermon

Author: Francesca Haig

Genre:Fantasy, dystopian, post-apocalyptic

This book is set in a post-apocalyptic world where all humans are born as one of a pair of twins of different sexes. One of the twins is called the Alpha, and he or she is considered superior to the other, who is called the Omega. The Omega typically has a physical deformity, and is ostracized by the Alpha, in fact, the omegas live separately from the alphas, who fear they would be contaminated by the former. However, the one thing that  made the oppression of omegas difficult is the fact that if one of the twins dies, the other dies as well.

The protagonist, Cassandra is an atypical omega who is free of physical deformities. Instead, she happens to be a seer, i.e she has psychic foresight. For years, she had hidden her omega status from her their family who had to keep second-guessing who the omega was among her and her twin, Zach. However, one day, she is discovered, and sent to live with the omegas in one of the omega villages isolated from the alpha mainstream. However, things change, when her power hungry twin ascends to a position of high authority, and he decides to take drastic measures to avoid ‘omega contamination’ in the alpha society. Cassandra learns a dangerous secret, that prompts her to escape with Kip, another omega, and find out about a rumored omega resistance. She envisions a society where alphas and omegas are treated as equals, however, she finds out that not everyone shares her goals.

This book has all the elements of most dystopian novels- an oppressive society, a strong protagonist, a secret resistance…..however, it stands out for it’s beautiful writing. The portrayal of the injustice of the society is done beautifully, and I  loved the protagonist. I loved the way she is portrayed as strong and sensitive at the same time, the way her relationship with her power-hungry brother is portrayed and her views on the whole alpha-omega divide. I even liked the sort of love triangle in the story, even though it’s a trope I’ve grown really tired of. I liked it, because it appeared realistic. 

If you like dystopian or post-apocalyptic fiction, do give this book a try. I think it is amazing, and I really enjoyed reading it. I’m looking forward to reading it’s sequel, Map of bones.

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