Francesca Haig is an author and academic. Her poetry is widely published, and her novel The Fire Sermon(the first in a post-apocalyptic trilogy) will be published in February 2015 by HarperVoyager (UK) and March 2015 by Simon & Schuster (US and Canada), and is being translated into more than 20 languages. She gained her PhD from the University of Melbourne, and her principal research area is Holocaust literature. She grew up in Tasmania, and currently lives in London. The Fire Sermon (2014) (The first book in the Fire Sermon series) A novel by Francesca Haig
When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. The complete set. They would have been disbelieving – nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega. Nobody. Born as twins. Raised as enemies. 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.
Review Debut novels are something i love to get my hands on, and the hype around this book made my desire to read it double… then i saw the cover art, im a sucker for a good cover and this one is crack(l)ing. As i started the book i have to admit to a small struggle, but world building take a little time, if done well it can draw in the reader, suck them into the mind and wonder of the writer. This book is no different, before i had hit chapter three i was hooked, drawn into the compelling concept of linked twins, with an unjust un-equal relationship. A relationship that breeds division and different classes. I was very much reminded during the reading of this book and its treatment of the omegas, of the way humanity treats those they feel inferior, the nazis and the jews, black and white, make and female. The human inability to just live as one. The book had the potential to be very dark, but i felt that the author brought a lightness, a ray of hope, that in amongst the darkness and the struggle there is the potential for redemption, for some one to shout out and topple the crazy leadership that we seem to so easily fall in behind and serve. There are for me subtle parallels in that the council have a dark agenda, one that they pursue without mandate from those who may have put them in power, some may say in a similar way to our own modern politicians who seem to promise anything to get power and then deliver nothing but pursue their own ends.
Fire Sermon as well gives us a heart warming tale of two people thrust into an impossible race for survival, pursued by odds too great to survive, chasing a dream, and ideal, and really just wanting to find peace and time to live quietly. Its a truly original tale, with a compelling and addictive plot and deep rich characters.
Highly recommended (Parm)