Review: The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

fire sermonI really wanted to like this book. In fact, I really, REALLY wanted to like it because I was given this, plus the sequel, to review for another site. It looked promising and touted itself as a blend between Hunger Games and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I loved the former but the latter was depressing AF and a chore to get through. Yet, McCarthy’s work was given critical accolades by people smarter than myself.

This book straddles the line between young adult and adult fiction. Cass is young, and the story has all the makings of the usual YA fodder … namely, a strong protagonist discovers powers, the world is going to shit around her, she’s going to be the one to make things right. Set up an arch-enemy (in this case, her twin brother), and throw in a little romance (Kip, who she rescues from a research tank during her own escape from imprisonment).

And yet it has the markings of adult fiction – there are words in here I had to look up. I consider myself to be well-read and employ a slightly better than average vocabulary. So I hate to say it, but I doubt teens know some of the words that stumped me (unless they showed up on a quiz). If I put this book on a spectrum between Hunger Games and The Road, I’m going to plot it closer to The Road. I started slogging through some of the slower parts, and really just wanted to finish so I could start the second book.

I didn’t necessarily feel the chemistry between Cass and Kip that I think I was supposed to. I didn’t feel any emotion when Kip (SPOILER ALERT, SORRY) sacrificed himself at the end. I was just like, oh well. That’s not a good sign.

It’s not that I didn’t like this book. It had some interesting parts. The plot itself is intriguing. It just wasn’t the WOW I was expecting. Maybe the second one will be more interesting to me.

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