Review: THE FIRE SERMON by Francesca Haig (Gallery/Voyager)

HaigF-FireSermonUKMuch-hyped debut fails to sizzle

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.

This novel has been enjoying quite some hype on social media, and the premise does sound like an interesting take on the post-apocalyptic dystopia genre. Dreamworks has already acquired film rights for the novel (which is the first in a trilogy), and the Guardians of the Galaxy co-screenwriter has been hired to write the adaptation. It has been described as a “Potential Heir to the Hunger Games“. This had all the makings of an enjoyable, thought-provoking read, one that would rise about the masses of other dystopian novels that are hitting shelves on a monthly basis. I decided to read it early (I received an eARC via the US publisher and NetGalley). Sad to say, I was thoroughly disappointed.

[Minor spoilers ahead. Some not so minor, perhaps.] Continue reading

New Books (November #1)

BooksReceived-20141117

A quieter month — I don’t know if that’s just because there’s less coming out, or because I’ve somehow missed a bunch of new releases that never made it on to my radar. Feel free to add suggestions and recommendations in the comments, if you think I’ve missed something I shouldn’t have.

Featuring: Ben Aaronovitch, Stephen Blackmoore, Myke Cole, Francesca Haig, Stephen King, E.C. Myers, Ben Okri, Matthew Reilly Continue reading