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In a post-apocalyptic world, the human race was on the brink of extinction and those who survived promised not to make the mistakes of the past. But the effects of such changes lingers on, thousands of years after the Blast.
In the After, post-blast time, there are no single children, only twins. One Alpha and one Omega. One boy and one girl. One perfect while the other is flawed. Usually, the Omegas are easily identifiable, missing limbs, sights etc etc, and when spotted they are thrown out of their society while their Alpha counterpart takes his or hers place in society. Despite the difference, the twins are linked – one can’t be alive without the other also breathing. Certain Alphas, worried for their own well being, have their Omegas taken from their own societies and trapped for their own protection.
However, with Cass and Zach, the difference between them is much less distinct. Neither have any sort of impairment. Technically, they’re flawless. But Cass has a secret, and Zach knows the secret. A secret that could destroy them.
This had such a great start and I was so excited to read this! I was immediately drawn into the fascinating story. The way Zach and Cass’s relationship developed in the early pages made this novel so exciting. It begins with Cass narrating the story of how she ended up in a prison cell as she recounts her childhood and then the novel goes into present time as the narrative catches up to Cass’s present state. She dreams of escaping to an island she has only seen in her dreams; it is the only refuge for the Omegas.
The world building is quite unique, you really get a feel for the post-apocalyptical world Cass lives in. There’s a lot going on in this book, and time passes quickly in the first bit of the book, and it allows for some great world building. The entire world is scared of machinery and electricity because it was seen as the downfall of the “Before” civilization. Life has been reduced to pre-industrial civilizations are once again based on agriculture and trade instead of technology.
Cass was an interesting character to read. She loves her brother and in many ways, cannot accept what he is doing to her. She struggles with reconciling her childhood sibling with the man that he has become and it holds her back throughout the whole novel.
Kip fills the role of the sidekick, and he could’ve been really interesting read. Cass saves him when she’s escaping, and he has no recollection of who he was before. And throughout the novel, it’s supposed to be a complete mystery. But it was easily guessable. From the beginning, it was obvious that he was going to play the love interest but that part of the book was remarkably muted. There are very little moments which gave development to their romance and it was a little disappointing to read.
I should note that this book heavily relies on ableism, the entirety of this novel is based on ableism. And there were some noticeable flaws. One. If I had a twin and had to rely on them, I would be a little bit nicer to them. I would not send them into a terrible place to scrape a living where they could get sick or hurt much for easily. I’m a twin and if this was us, I would keep her somewhere safer. Because I know there would be some sort of resentment and that’s what causes the rebellion of the Omegas. Like, this whole novel wouldn’t have happened if Alpha’s were just nicer. It’s a big plot hole.
Overall, The Fire Sermon was promising and the author definitely has some good ideas and has the potential to become a great trilogy.
Format: Kindle, 432 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Harper Voyager (first published August 14th 2014)