Title: The Fire Sermon
Author: Francesca Haig
Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair one is an Alpha - physically perfect in every way - and the other an Omega burdened with deformity, small or large.
With the Council ruling an apartheid-like society, Omegas are branded and ostracized while the Alphas have gathered the world's sparse resources for themselves. Though proclaiming their superiority, for all their effort Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: Whenever one twin dies, so does the other. Cass is a rare Omega, one burdened with psychic foresight. While her twin, Zach, gains power on the Alpha Council, she dares to dream the most dangerous dream of all: equality. For daring to envision a world in which Alphas and Omegas live side by side as equals, both the Council and the Resistance have her in their sights.
I´m going to start saying that the author´s idea in this book was so interesting, in fact, I don´t remember reading anything like this before, but I am a little dissapointed because I was expecting it to be a fast paced and action packed book, and there was a little action but it wasn´t enough for me. As I said at the beginning I was reading this book last year and I had to stop reading because I was enjoying the story but at the same time I lost a little interest in this book.
I have finally finished it and after all, I liked it. I liked the world created by this author and I thought at the same time that it was a harsh and difficult world, in this society, omegas are opressed by alphas and the only thing that "protect them" is the weird conection among the twins, because if one of them (alpha or omega, it doesn´t matter) dies, it doesn´t matter where his/her twin is, he/she die inmediatly. It made me think about how difficult would be live in a world like this, in which your own family despise you and kick you out of the house, because that is the omega´s fate, once the parents find out which twin has a deformity, they branded him/her in the forehead and this people is taken to omega´s settlements, and I have to say that those aren´t the best in the world, the fields are infertile. Omegas are forbidden from going to school and they have to pay taxes, it is a really hard situation for these people, hunger and misery is all they have till they die.
I said before that the twins are connected meaning that if something happen to one of them, the other twin is going to be affected, for example, if one of them get sick, the other twin is going to get sick too and it is the same if one of them die, the other is going to die no matter where he/she is and that is the reason why alphas in spite of despise omegas, take "care of them", because if they get hurt it would mean a damage to the alpha twin and this becomes more important to those who are in high ranges of the Council, the institution / government who rules the society. Besides these twins are always born male and female.
The main character, Cassandra or just Cass, is an omega, but she is a peculiar omega, she has all her limbs. her "anomaly" is on his head, she´s a seer and because of that when she and her twin were childs, their parents couldn´t know who was the alpha and who was the omega, in fact, they were twins that remained unsplit for a long time and that was the reason why the other childs despised them. To Zack, the contempt continued even when his siter was branded and taked out to an omega settlement.
I enjoyed the beginning of the story because we can see that Zack commanded to bring her sister in order to lock her in a place where no one can´t hurt her and therefore can´t hurt him because he is in the high ranges of the Council. From that point for a few chapters we´re going to alternate between Cass´ past and her stay in the place where she ramains locked.
Cass not just see or feel some things that are going to happen in the future, she can also see some parts of what happened in the "Before", the destruction and all of it; but also she can see visions of "the Island", a place which apparently is a tale, a place where omegas are welcomed and well treated; she´s going to try to escape and go in the island´s searching, but things are not going to be so easy and she will be envolved in many situations that will make her believe she´s guilty of carrying destruction wherever she goes.
I don´t want to say more about the story because I personally think that is better read it and find out things on your own. More than the first half is a little slow paced and almost nothing happens, though there are very interesting parts that make you wonder some things and those questions get answered along the book. The last 30 pages were the best for me, because in the end I found out that one of my theories about a character was correct but also there were events I wasn´t expecting.
I liked a lot Cass´ Character because even though sometimes she made me get stressed because she blames her almost for everything, we can see, at least that was my case, that she is so human though the world is so cruel in this book, the way she cared for others like nothing else matters; she was my favorite character of this book. In the other hand we have Zack, ambitious and manipulative, able to do whatever it takes to get what he wants, he´s a dork and I would have wished something happen to him but without affecting Cass. In general I liked the characters a lot, some that I can mention: Elsa, Kip and Piper.
In conclusion, the story wasn´t bad for me, as I said and I won´t get tired to say it, the idea of the twins and all of this world was great! unfortunately I couldn´t get into the story as much as I wanted. Still I want to give the opportunity to the next book of the trilogy and I hope the author can improve the idea in the following books and explain us in a better way the beginning of this world, which was devastated by fire and rose from the ashes.
Have you read this book? If you´ve read it you can tell me what were your thoughts and if you´ve not, you can tell me if your interested in reading the book and what are you expecting. I will be glad to read your coments!