In the early hours of the morning I finished a book I’ve been listening to on Audible for about a month, and reading in hardback for a few more. Why it took me so long to read is beyond me, but that book was ‘The Fire Sermon’ by Francesca Haig.
One of the criteria for the 2015 Reading Challenge was #24 A book based entirely on its cover, and I wasn’t, and still am not, entirely sure what that means. Whether I was supposed to pick up a book based on nothing but its cover, or read a book and then see whether the cover did the plot justice, I do not know. Regardless, in a sense both of those criteria were fulfilled with ‘The Fire Sermon.’ Published in February this year, it is a debut novel that had received a small amount of hype. I went into the book knowing that it was a post-apocalyptic YA novel about twins, with a beautiful cover, but that was about it. Having now read the novel, I love the cover all the more.
My Goodreads Review
“‘The Fire Sermon’ by Francesca Haig is the first novel in a new trilogy, set in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone has a twin. These twins are known as Alphas and Omegas, the Alphas are strong and rule society, and the Omegas are deformed and ostracized, and evicted from the villages once they have been branded as children.
Cass and Zach are unable to be separated as it isn’t clear who is the Alpha and who is the Omega, since neither of them have any visible deformity. As such the twins grow up together, and neither are allowed to go to school or mix with the other villagers. When the twins are eventually split, Cass has to leave to move to an Omega settlement, where she hears of “The Island”, a safe refuge for Omegas to live.
The novel develops with Cass being captured and held in the keeping rooms, before she manages to escape along with love interest Kip. Together they travel in search of “The Island”, under the watchful gaze of “The Confessor” – it’s all very detailed.
The novel captured my attention from the first page. I loved the world building, with the descriptions of the before and the after, but I didn’t fall in love with any of the characters. I liked Alice, who was mysterious and felt real, but the majority felt underdeveloped. I didn’t buy into the love story, which felt contrived.
This book had a major plot twist, one that had me literally gasping – which I loved. It was wrapped up nicely for the second installment (I can’t stop thinking about who Cass and Zach’s mum’s twin is – and whether he’s going to prove important) but overall I simply didn’t think there was enough action, but it was a solid start to a series.”
I’m excited to read the second installment in this trilogy when it’s released in January 2016. The concept was very different to anything I’ve read before, and it has great promise – I just hope the character development improves.
#24 A book based entirely on its cover – The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig (6/10)
Thirty down, twenty to go. (Thirty-seven read)
My journey will also be instagrammed frequently on @charlottebibliophile