Intricate world building and complex characters
Series: The Fire Sermon
Author: Francesca Haig
Publisher: HarperVoyager, UK
My ratings: 3 out of 5 stars
Releases: 23rd February, 2015
T he Fire Sermon was one of my most highly anticipated books of early 2015. With the promotions running high I could not get my hands on this bad boy quickly enough. Alas, my relationship with this book turned out to be more complicated than I expected.
The premise is quite interesting. In a post apocalyptic world children are born as twins. One twin is unmarred and is called the Alpha while the other twin almost always has a physical disability marking them as the Omega. Now the Alphas blame all their misfortunes on these Omegas and they are ostracised and condemned. They would be eliminated but for the fact that if an Omega is hurt the Alpha feels it too. Zach and Cass twins but in their case, Cass is an anomaly. She is an omega without any surface marking but with a power to see slices of the future. This is the story about her.
I loved the way it started. The relationship between Zach and Cass was so complex, heart breaking and intense. While they loved each other the resent for the other was on the surface and sooner rather than later it emerges. Cass’ early life and her eventual imprisonment was interesting and set up for a riveting read. But then Cass escapes and pick up another Omega, Kip. Together they make their journey to the promised land of the Island, a last haven for the Omega. This is where things go down hill. While I enjoyed the growing relationship between Kip and Cass, it was mind numbingly slow. The whole journey was daunting but pointless. I’m not going to go into details but things don’t pick up until Piper appears.
However this reprieve does not last and before we know it the story slows down again. While I appreciate the world building the plotting was slow and failed to capture my interest. I put this book down several times and had to force myself to complete it months later.
Saying the above, the action picks up again toward the end. The last few pages were filled with revelations which shocked me and made me sit up and take notice. The ending was left open and after the shocking events I am keen to see where the story will go now.
To sum it up, The Fire Sermon may not be for everyone. It was a slow burning type of book, with intricate world building and fascinating lore appealing to a more mature fantasy fan base.
Review copy provided by HarperVoyager, UK