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Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig [Review]

Written by: Francesca Haig.
Published by: HarperVoyager.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 26th February 2015.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. We were perfect. They would have been disbelieving: nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega. Nobody. They were born together and they will die together. One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death. The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts. The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they're free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts. Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose. The potential to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they're not careful both will die in the struggle for power."

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It was late 2014 when word about a book called The Fire Sermon started to pop up on twitter, instagram and all around the blogosphere. Excited chatter about a debut novel from an author who had so far only written and published poetry and was causing such a raucous that the movie rights had already been sold in a major deal, and the book was still months from initial publication. Naturally  my interest was piqued and when I was offered the opportunity to receive a proof copy of the book I jumped at it and couldn't wait to get it. What arrived was a wonderfully designed book, based on the Alpha characters, dark, fiery, powerful. There are also Omega proof's out there too, light, burnt, weak. For in the book every Alpha has an Omega twin, the one with a disability, all the bad stuff cast off from hundreds of years of radiation poising after a great war that changed the world as it was known to the world we see inhabited by the Alpha's and Omega's in the book.

I saved the book because I didn't want to read it too far away from publication at the risk of forgetting elements when it came time to write my review. It was the first book I read of 2015 and what a stunner! I needn't of worried about forgetting anything because this book is still with me now, the story, the characters, the mood, the setting. It is all sown so deep inside that I only have to look at the cover and I want to weep that Book 2 is still another year or so away!

This book is fresh, original and so blooming exciting. It's pacey, dangerous and intoxicating as you race through the pages following Cass as she tries to find an island of Omega's so that they might finally bring the oppressive Alpha government down and make everyone equal. Because in the world, they are most definitely not equal. Everyone is born a twin. It is just the way it is. But no one wants an Omega. They are hated, sometimes so deeply and unquestionably and cast off as soon as they can be. But Cass has managed to avoid the split with her brother Zach. She know's she is an Omega. He know she is an Omega. And secretly her parents do too, but neither child had any physical deformities so they had to be careful to make sure the right child was sent away. They look for anything, a sign, a slip, that will reveal Cass's true nature and when it eventually comes, Cass is far older than any other Omega cast off by its former family and her Omega branding on her forehead is still raw.

The characters are incredible. I loved Cass and part of me even liked Zach despite the fact that he is a total ass and would do anything for the power he so desperately craves. There are twists and turns and things that won't see coming a mile off and then when they hit you, BAMN!! It's like a gut-wrenching punch that will leave you breathless and gasping for the next book! It's beautifully written, so lyrical and soothing and it just lulls you straight into the world - maybe a sign of the authors previous work in poetry? It just flows so well. The world itself is so vibrant and well thought out that it feels totally real. This trilogy is DEFINITELY going to be one to look out for and it is one I cannot wait to share the ride in! Bring it on Miss Haig. Bring it on!

This is a definite contender, already for my book of the year. And that cover?!?! YIKES! So beautiful! Harper actually went to a blacksmith and had that made so that is real - it isn't photoshop, that image is real and so bloody cool! Bravo Harper! I can't wait to see what you do with he rest of the trilogy cover-wise!

My thanks to Harper Voyager for my proof copy!

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