Synopses & Reviews
The Hunger Games
meets Cormac McCarthy’s The Road
in this richly imagined first novel in a new post-apocalyptic trilogy by award-winning poet Francesca Haig.
Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that has 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.
"Debut novelist Haig builds a richly textured world and creates characters who immediately feel real. The suspense of the plot, driven by the fear and anger underlying this unbreakable bond between twins, never flags. Haig's experience as a poet shows in her writing, which is clear, forceful and laced with bright threads of beauty. With its well-built world, vivid characters and suspenseful plot, this book, the first in a planned trilogy, is poised to become the next must-read hit."
"As an award-winning poet, Haig's prose is gorgeous and engaging, particularly when she describes the desolate landscape, now peppered with ruins from the Before. Fans of dystopias will appreciate this adventure filled yet character-focused tale that offers hope and explores (in a refreshingly nuanced way) the moral complexities involved in defeating an oppressive and backward government structure."
"A hell of a ride. I would recommend it to anyone I can, regardless of age."
"Words like 'masterpiece' and 'instant classic' are cliché, but in the case of Francesca Haig's astounding The Fire Sermon, they're the only words to use. It's a breath-taking, passionate, absolutely sensational work of imagination, perfectly structured, beautifully written, populated with fabulous characters and packed with intrigue, violence, compassion and underlined by a very important human message that is always present without ever becoming homily. The Fire Sermon is completely without equal – it leaves Hunger Games, Divergence, Twilight blah blah-yawn twitching in the dust."
“Readers who enjoy the Hunger Games series, Pierce Brown’s Red Rising, and like-minded dystopian literature will enjoy this first title in a trilogy.”
“A beautifully written tale of a dark and often unforgiving post-apocalyptic world . . . a spectacular introduction to the series."
“Fantasy and sci-fi fans finally have a book they can bond over. This is going to be a series to watch."
"The Fire Sermon is an undeniable page-turner... At the heart of Haig's worldbuilding is a precious love story between Cass and a fellow Omega on the run named Kip. The writing surrounding these two beautifully demonstrates Haig's craft. If you thought Peeta Mellark had a big fan club, just you wait. There will be copious amounts of kissy fan art and montage videos. You can count on it."
Nuclear war, dystopian unrest, a genetic mutation that divides twins in life and unites them in death--the "refreshingly nuanced" (Booklist, starred review) first novel in award-winning poet Francesca Haig's richly imagined and action-packed post-apocalyptic trilogy "is poised to become the next must-read hit" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
Four hundred years after a nuclear apocalypse, all humans are born in pairs: the deformed Omegas, who are exploited and oppressed, and their Alpha twins, who have inherited the earth--or what's left of it. But despite their claims of superiority, the Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: whenever one twin dies, so does the other.
Cass is a rare Omega whose mutation is psychic foresight--not that she needs it to know that as her powerful twin, Zach, ascends the ranks of the ruling Alpha Council, she's in grave danger. Zach has a devastating plan for Omega annihilation. Cass has visions of an island where a bloody Omega resistance promises a life of freedom. But her real dream is to discover a middle way, one that would bring together the sundered halves of humanity. And that means both the Council and the resistance have her in their sights. But is she alone in her idealism that they can live peacefully side-by-side with the twins? And what will they do when they learn who her brother is?
About the Author
Francesca Haig lives in London with her family. She received her PhD at the University of Melbourne, and is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester, where she is also Programme Leader in Creative Writing. Her poetry and prose have been published in many literary journals and anthologies in both Australia and England, and have won various prizes. In 2010 she was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship. The Fire Sermon is her first novel.