The Fire Sermon
By Francesca Haig
Published by Harper Collins UK (26 February 2015)
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.
The Fire Sermon is a fascinating concept. A world where radiation has caused all births to result in twins - one boy and one girl, one of whom is mutated. People are persecuted for their disability. The mutated twin (the Omega) is cast out by the family as soon as the mutation is identified - this could be a missing limb or psychic abilities, for example. The twins have an invisible bond; when one dies, the other dies too. This is why the Omegas can't be killed and, when their twin is an important Alpha, they can become a target.
This dystopian young adult novel started off a bit too slowly for me. It was well written and there were some good twists, but I felt that it needed more action early on. The characters weren't as well developed as they could have been. The relationship between Cass and Zach wasn't explored deeply enough and I didn't find that the romance element of the story was believable.
Overall, however, The Fire Sermon was an enjoyable read and I can see it appealing to the young adult market. The ending left many unanswered questions and felt a bit abrupt, which leads me to assume that there is a sequel on its way.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.