The Fire Sermon: The Fire Sermon (Book 1)
by Francesca Haig
“What would you do if you had to leave everything you knew behind?
If what made you perfect also made you an outcast?
If your twin, once your only friend, was now your worst enemy?
Since the blast that reshaped the earth, only twins are born. The imperfect one of each pair is branded at birth and sent away. Twins share nothing but the moment of their death: when one dies, so does the other. But Cass and her twin Zach cannot be separated.
In this scorched and broken world. Cass’s bond with her brother may be the most dangerous thing of all.”
I actually saw the second book in The Fire Sermon trilogy and almost bought it when I found out it was the second, so I looked around for the first, which is The Fire Sermon. I did not know anything about it before reading it, except the blurb and the different blurb on the Waterstones website.
Cass and Zach are both perfect, but Cass is a seer and therefore an omega, but she keeps it a secret for 13 years until Zach works it out and hands her over. Cass goes to live in a nearby settlement for Omegas and survives for years through the drought until she is captured by Alpha soldiers and put in the Keeping Rooms. After years of isolation, interrogation and dreams about tanks and the island, she manages to escape.
Cass is my favourite character, she does not like the fact that Alphas and Omegas fight against each other and think of each other as separate people, she thinks of them as one people and instead of thinking of one death she thinks about both deaths that occur at the same time. She is a very unusual character and it is intriguing to follow her story. All the other characters in the book are fabulous and the Alpha rulers come across as scary while the Omega people come across as weak and dependent on the alphas.
I love the way it is a first person narrative. My favourite part was probably within the second half of the book, once I got engrossed into the book, but I loved the first part when Cass and Zach were children, it was lovely to have a back-story for the characters.
The Fire Sermon kept me guessing all the way to the end, there were plenty of twists and turns. I did have an issue with the first 100 or so pages and trying to get into the story, but I persevered and I am so glad I did, I had to get used to a different style of writing as the author is a poet and this is her first novel, it captivated me once I was captured by the story and plight of Cass. The Fire Sermon definitely made me tense and scared in all the right places, I do not think I cried or laughed, far too tense for that.
The Fire Sermon did end on a cliffhanger, this is because it is the first of a trilogy and the second book The Map of Bones has just been published.
The Fire Sermon is a book that is great for people who like post-apocalyptic fiction or the poorer standing up to the powerful. It does contain fight scenes so not youngsters, but even though is a young adult fiction book I think adults and teenagers will enjoy it. 4 out of 5.