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Author: Francesca Haig
Publish Date: March 10th 2015
400 years in the After, after the Blast that almost wiped out all life on the planet, all births happen in pairs, always twins, always one boy and one girl, always one perfect spitting image of health and one suffering some kind of mutation. And always one undeniable truth, they enter the world together, they leave the world together. Doesn't matter how far apart or how long they've been separated, if one twin is severely hurt, knocked unconscious, or killed, the other twin is too.
Seen as nothing more than the rejected poisoned genes left over from the Blast, this bond is the only thing stopping the Alphas from getting rid of the Omegas entirely. Instead, they are exiled from the Alphas towns shortly after birth, left to live their lives as outcasted.
But sometimes the Omegas mutation isn't a physical thing you can see, and instead takes place in the mind. The result is a seer, plagued by visions of the Blast, as well as impressions of the future.
When Cass and Zack are born, both seemingly perfect, tensions continue to increase as everyone waits for one of them to reveal themselves as the Omega. But Cass knows that she has to guard her secret, or be torn from her home and thrown into exile. Zack despises Cass for making him a social outcast by not splitting, and will stop at nothing to force her hand so he can claim his rightful place as an Alpha in society. Among other things, The Fire Sermon is about an oppressed society on the verge of rebellion, and a girl who believes in a world where both sides of the coin can live in harmony.
Cover: Featuring the symbol for Omega with a burned up page as the backdrop, the cover is both simple and striking. It's a good representative for their charred ruined world.
StoryLine: I found the pacing of this story to pretty spot on. The lulls in action where used to fill in backstory, the action never seemed rushed or jarring, and I never found myself struggling to stay interested. In fact, I had a hard time putting this book down.
I loved the world building here, proof of the consequences of the Blast are evident everywhere throughout the book, and written in vivid detail. I had no problem picturing the various landscapes, towns, and other settings that we experience throughout the journey in this book. And I love the unique and interesting concept of the twins. I've never heard of an idea quite like it, and its a fascinating one to explore. We don't learn too much about why this occurs, but I hope we get to learn more as the trilogy progresses.
Characters: I found Cass to be an enjoyable character, even if she makes some mistakes and is too forgiving where some people are concerned. She has this deep rooted belief that Alphas and Omegas shouldn't be opposed and should be able to live in harmony. She sees Alphas and Omegas as equals and both deserving of life. She's quick to remind anyone that will listen that taking one life always results in two deaths. And in a world where that's such a constant thing, the death link between Alphas and Omegas, so many seem unconcerned that killing one, no matter how guilty the may seem, will always kill an innocent party as well.
Kip is so pure and innocent. He has severe loyalty to Cass, and he puts so much more faith in her than she puts in herself. He's good-hearted, and its easy to like him. I really liked his friendship with Cass and the gentle development of a relationship that sprung up between them. The other characters we meet along the way are also well developed, and theres a good share of both kind, and inexplicably cruel characters. The kind that you love to hate.
Parting Thoughts: Amazing concept, incredible world building, a good cast of characters, and a well paced story line. I can see why this was optioned by Dreamworks before even being published, and I think it would make a great film as well. This is the perfect book to pick up and loose yourself in for a few days, and the concepts behind it will leave you thinking about it for a long time after.
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