100 years after a nuclear apocalypse, society is left without technology and all humans are twins. One of each pair is physically perfect, and they are called Alphas, while the other, the Omega, bears some mutation. The apartheid society forces the mutated twins to settlements, even though when one twin dies, so does the other. This is the relationship between a brother and sister twin, and what happens when he becomes a leader in the repressed society.
At first this book excited me. I had heard people whispering on the grapevine, the next Hunger Games... a must read... etc etc. So I was stoked to get a chance to read it prior to its release early next year. After turning the final page I felt flat and a little disappointed. Now don't get me wrong, there are some great things about The Fire Sermon. It has a fascinating premise, interesting characterisation, and some intriguing plot twists. Where the story is let down, I think, is in its execution of these positives. The pacing of the story is off, with the first half of the book interesting and gripping, and the second half never really going anywhere. I loved Cass to begin with. I was hooked with her story and plight and where it was going to lead. By the end of it I found myself thinking that Haig had missed a good opportunity to take Cass to a higher level as a heroine (it is my hope that things get more interesting in the sequel for her). This really took the steam out of Haig's plot twists and revelations for me. By the time the story got around to dropping its bombshells I was a little bored and disinterested. This is a shame, because I can see the potential in this story. If Haig can tighten the plot, and work on some of the inconsistencies of her world-building, then I can see future books being very successful.
If you can overlook its weaknesses, and are willing to be in it for the long haul (and future sequels) then The Fire Sermon will be a very enjoyable read. If, like me, you can't, then The Fire Sermon will be a missed opportunity and disappointment.
2.5 Stars out of 5.
Note - Photo is the property of Harper Voyager.