August 5, 2015

Review: The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

This was a good story as well as a refreshing plot on the saturated genre of dystopians/post-apocalyptic books. It takes place 400 years after most of the world has been wiped out by nuclear fire.  The world is a much more primitive place and every time someone is born, they are born with a twin.  One twin is perfect and one twin has a deformity of some sort, thought to be a leftover byproduct of nuclear fallout.  No one knows why this happens and no one has been able to stop it.  So the world is divided into Alphas and Omegas, with the Alphas branding their deformed twins on the forehead, shunning them from their lives and their settlements all apatheid-like, and basically being giant flaming asshats.

The Fire Sermon has a slower pace than most dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories, in my opinion, but that's not necessarily a bad thing- and that's coming from someone who needs quick paced reads. This one is actually more character-driven than plot-driven.

I liked Cass, Kip, and the other characters they meet up with eventually. I think I actually liked Kip more than Cass, though. The story is from Cass' POV, but while she starts out as a determined young child, somewhere along the journey (which is decidedly long and hellacious) she gets defeatist and that irked me a little. It made the third quarter of the book seem hella long. I do think it could use some editing down, but this is a review of an advanced reader's copy so that might already be in the works. I think Cass and Kip balance each other out a lot though, which is good.  Plus, Kip can be witty, which I like in a person/book character.

I did get surprised at a revelation and some of the events at the end, which is always appreciated in a story. In a way I feel like I should've seen it coming because I am forever figuring out these things way too early in a book.  I was happy I did not this time!  Makes it more enjoyable not to figure it out ahead of time. 

I recommend giving The Fire Sermon a try if you enjoy this genre. It is nice not to have a completely tired and worn-out storyline, but something unusual and creative.

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