The Fire Sermon

384p. Gallery. 2015. Tr $26. ISBN 9781476767185; ebk. ISBN 9781476767246.
A gifted teen stays one step ahead of a government determined to prevent her from changing the status quo. Four hundred years after a nuclear event, Cass and her brother, Zach, are born into a world in which everyone is a twin. One twin is an Alpha. The other is an Omega, born with a deformity or mutation, shunned and separated from its family. However, when one twin dies, the other does, too. Cass has a rare mutation, which she hides as long as she can. She is a seer—she can sense events before they happen. After Zach exposes her, Cass spends her teen years in an Omega settlement, while her brother joins the governing Council and starts working with a woman dubbed the Confessor, a rare Omega collaborating with the Alphas. Zach's influence grows, and he kidnaps Cass and locks her in an underground cell where he can protect her from his enemies. Cass escapes and travels toward the sea in search of the island, a rumored safe haven for Omegas and a hotbed of rebellion. There are intimations that Cass has a special gift that makes her invaluable to the rebellion, but readers will have to wait for the next in the trilogy to find out just what that might be. Haig emphasizes ideas, character, and setting more than fast-paced action.
VERDICT An original premise gives this otherwise run-of-the-mill postapocalyptic novel an interesting spark.

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