The Map of Bones (The Fire Sermon #2)
by Francesca Haig
Source: ARC from Netgalley, Gallery Books, physical copy from Library
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.
3.5 of 5 Stars
I am really enjoying this series and after reading the second book, am very impatient for the third. I had a few issues with the first book and many of those continued. I connected more with Cass in this book but still found myself getting frustrated with her. I appreciate that she’s an ever growing character, that she’s deeply impacted by the events that happen. Ongoing survival isn’t just altering her mood or causing PTSD, it’s changing the way she views herself and the world around her. I loved this evolution that she went through. I also really liked getting to know the other characters more. I’m fascinated by Zoe and hope she appears more in the future.
While I relished the characters in this book, the plot was incredibly slow. Often with trilogies, I’ve found that the second book ends up being a lot of filler. This book felt like the journey we had to take to get from book one to book two. Frequently, it’s slow and scenes are drawn out with a lot of internal struggle going on for Cass. I was able to stay interested for the most part but admit that a faster pace or more action would have resulted in a higher rating.
Overall, I’m still really excited about this series. I can see where it falls into some of the cliche’s of young adult dystopia but the premise is different enough for me that I enjoy it anyway. I classify this as science fiction for sure but love how it’s different than most that I’ve read previously. I’m very curious as to where it will go in the future, especially after the ending of this one! Don’t worry, it’s not a cliffhanger but it does leave a lot of questions to be answered.