Nuclear war, dystopian unrest, a genetic mutation that divides twins in life and unites them in death—the “refreshingly nuanced” (Booklist, starred review) first novel in award-winning poet Francesca Haig’s richly imagined and action-packed post-apocalyptic trilogy “is poised to become the next must-read hit” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
Four hundred years after a nuclear apocalypse, all humans are born in pairs: the deformed Omegas, who are exploited and oppressed, and their Alpha twins, who have inherited the earth—or what’s left of it. But despite their claims of superiority, the Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: whenever one twin dies, so does the other.
Cass is a rare Omega whose mutation is psychic foresight—not that she needs it to know that as her powerful twin, Zach, ascends the ranks of the ruling Alpha Council, she’s in grave danger. Zach has a devastating plan for Omega annihilation. Cass has visions of an island where a bloody Omega resistance promises a life of freedom. But her real dream is to discover a middle way, one that would bring together the sundered halves of humanity. And that means both the Council and the resistance have her in their sights.
Francesca Haiggrew up in Tasmania, gained her PhD from the University of Melbourne, and was a senior lecturer at the University of Chester. Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies in both Australia and England, and her first collection of poetry, Bodies of Water, was published in 2006. In 2010 she was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship. The Fire Sermon, her first novel, was published in 2015. She lives in London with her husband and son. Visit FrancescaHaig.com and follow her on Twitter @FrancescaHaig.
"A beautiful, brutal story about what it means to be human, and what's worth fighting for."
– —Lauren DeStefano, New York Times Bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy
“Readers who enjoy the Hunger Games series, Pierce Brown’s Red Rising, and like-minded dystopian literature will enjoy this first title in a trilogy.”
– Library Journal, starred review
"As an award-winning poet, Haig's prose is gorgeous and engaging, particularly when she describes the desolate landscape, now peppered with ruins from the Before. Fans of dystopias will appreciate this adventure filled yet character-focused tale that offers hope and explores (in a refreshingly nuanced way) the moral complexities involved in defeating an oppressive and backward government structure."
– Booklist, starred review
"Debut novelist Haig builds a richly textured world and creates characters who immediately feel real. The suspense of the plot, driven by the fear and anger underlying this unbreakable bond between twins, never flags. Haig's experience as a poet shows in her writing, which is clear, forceful and laced with bright threads of beauty. With its well-built world, vivid characters and suspenseful plot, this book, the first in a planned trilogy, is poised to become the next must-read hit."
– Kirkus, starred review
"Set in a vividly realised world of elite Alphas and their ‘weaker’ Omega twins, [this series] holds a mirror up to our obsession with perfection.”
"A potential heir to the Hunger Games.”
"The Fire Sermon is an undeniable page-turner... At the heart of Haig's worldbuilding is a precious love story between Cass and a fellow Omega on the run named Kip. The writing surrounding these two beautifully demonstrates Haig's craft. If you thought Peeta Mellark had a big fan club, just you wait. There will be copious amounts of kissy fan art and montage videos. You can count on it."
– Bookshots (LitReactor)
“Fantasy and sci-fi fans finally have a book they can bond over. This is going to be a series to watch."
– RT Book Reviews
“The best post-apocalyptic novel I’ve read in years – it’s dark, deep, and doesn’t conform to the dystopian tropes we’ve all come to expect.”
– The Mary Sue
“A beautifully written tale of a dark and often unforgiving post-apocalyptic world . . . a spectacular introduction to the series."
– Fresh Fiction
"Words like 'masterpiece' and 'instant classic' are cliché, but in the case of Francesca Haig's astounding The Fire Sermon, they're the only words to use. It's a breath-taking, passionate, absolutely sensational work of imagination, perfectly structured, beautifully written, populated with fabulous characters and packed with intrigue, violence, compassion and underlined by a very important human message that is always present without ever becoming homily. The Fire Sermon is completely without equal – it leaves Hunger Games, Divergence, Twilight blah blah-yawn twitching in the dust."
– Starburst Magazine
"A hell of a ride. I would recommend it to anyone I can, regardless of age."