Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fire Sermon (The Fire Sermon, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Fire Sermon (The Fire Sermon, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fire Sermon

(The Fire Sermon #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  5,949 ratings  ·  1,107 reviews
When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. We were perfect. They would have been disbelieving: nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega.

They were born together and they will die together.
One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death.
The Omegas live in segre
Paperback, Export Edition, 423 pages
Published February 23rd 2015 by HarperVoyager (first published August 14th 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fire Sermon, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sean Conner No major cliffhanger. Some minor things are still left unanswered and their full story isn't done. But you could think of it like the harry potter…moreNo major cliffhanger. Some minor things are still left unanswered and their full story isn't done. But you could think of it like the harry potter series where this part of a larger story is finished and the next will be a continuation with new things happening alongside the normal things already happening.(less)
Karoline Aasen Yes, this contains a love story. A sweet one.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,949 ratings  ·  1,107 reviews

Sort order
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-biggest-fear
the first book in any fantasy-dusted series has one job: to tell the reader what’s up with this world. and this book does that, but it does so in a breathless rush that never addresses the underlying questions attached to “what’s up with this world,” like “how” and “why” things are this way. it’s a crucial part of writing; the world-building, because without accounting for more than just the surface details, it’s like listening to someone tell you about a crazy dream they had:

so, there was a bl
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
This has such an excellent start that I was immediately drawn into the fascinating story. It's set in a post-apocalypse world that has been destroyed by a catastrophic event, called the Fire Sermon, which has killed thousands of people. In the aftermath of the blast the only children that are born are twins. One is perfect, the Alpha, and the other is deformed, the Omega. They are separated at birth, when their categories are usually known, and are forced to live apart. The Alphas live like king ...more
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: estantería
De lo mejor que he leído este año.
¡Os hablaré de él la semana que viene en el canal!
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction/Blue Door and NetGalley.)

“I’m on my way to achieving something big. I can’t let you get in my way.”

This story had lots of potential, but it didn’t quite fulfil it for me.

Cass was a strong character, and she held up well against the threat of the alphas and the situations she was put in. Kip was also a likeable character, and the pair worked pretty well together.

The st
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, dystopian
In short: Good world building, good writing but unappealing characters.

I can understand why this book has already been optioned by Dreamworks for a movie. The world building is quite unique and fascinating and the author has done a great job describing it from Cass’ point of view, an Omega seer. As a reader you really get a feel for the post-apocalyptical world the characters are living in.

At first the book took of great but and the story was told well, the pacing was just right but then, durin
Sarah Churchill
Loved the writing - I've heard that Haig is a poet, and that definitely shows in the writing, some of it is just downright beautiful. I also enjoyed the world itself, though no real information was given about the disaster that caused this postapocalyptic world and I would have liked to know more. Maybe in book 2!

Character wise, the protagonist is likeable enough although I did find her a bit whiny, and I would have liked a little more growth from her, but again... maybe in book 2! I liked some
Andrea Izquierdo
Está bien el planteamiento, pero la historia tiene algunas lagunas. Por lo demás, me ha gustado.
Jessy MelodyofBooks
Irgendwie ist meine Rezension gestern erst verspätet online gegangen, hier für alle noch mal der Link :)
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review was done by KissinBlueKaren

This story follows the synopsis pretty well. The Fire Sermon definitely has Cormac McCarthy’s The Road feel to it. In the far future, after a nuclear apocalypse, the survivors carry a genetic abnormality. Every baby is born a fraternal twin, one boy one girl. One twin is “normal” (Alpha), the other twin has a congenital abnormality (Omega) and is born sterile. In rare instances, the Omega has psychic ability and no physical abnormality. Every twin is link
Oct 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A grudging 3 stars.

Dystopian fiction is a hook that gets me every time. Judging by the prevalence of this kind of story recently, I'm not alone in that. I think we sense this modern world we live in is a fragile one, unsustainable or riven with cracks that just need the slightest pressure to fracture the whole. We're desperate to know 'what happens when it all falls apart?'

The greater premise of this story is one that addresses this question. Characters talk of 'the Blast', seemingly a nuclear
Anna (Enchanted by YA)
So much potential, yet this book fell flat.

Now, I’m writing this review for myself as much as anyone because I want to figure out where everything went wrong.

Nothing particularly sticks out to me as the reason that I gave The Fire Sermon only 2 stars – there wasn’t anything which immediately put me off like insta-love or infodumps etc. Quite the opposite really, I found there were things which could have pulled me into the story – the thing is they didn’t.

Everything was so… impossibly… slow… tha
Max Lau  • Maxxesbooktopia
3.5 Stars [Review to come]
Diane S ☔
A great premise, and a terrifying new world where the Alphas are on top, their twins, the Omegas on bottom. Loved the catch that they must protect their twins at the same time they are keeping them at the bottom of the social and ruling scale. Leads to some horrible and unique ways of keeping them safe.

Yet, this reads like a YA book, the romance between two of the Omega escapees seems trite, and some of the lightness in very dangerous moments did not ring true. It bothered me, but might not both
Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
2.5 stars
This is the plot and what happened I'm doing this cause I don't want to read this again. Read if you don't want to continue with this book.
(view spoiler)
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
Not quite a 4, but more than a 3 so I'm rounding it up.

The Fire Sermon is a debut novel about a post-apocalyptic world in which everyone is born with a fraternal twin. One twin is the alpha, and one the omega. Every omega twin is marked by a physical deformity of some kind while the alpha is not. Rarely, an omega twin will be born with no physical deformity, but will instead have some psychic power as a seer. The twins are linked for life however, and when one dies, so does the other.

A social st
Oct 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, 2018, re-read
Ursprünglich erschienen auf meinem Blog Piranhapudel:

In letzter Zeit hört man oft, dass Dystopien auf dem absteigenden Ast und eher unbeliebt sind. Ob es also Glück, Zufall oder ein Risiko ist, dass der Heyne fliegt-Verlag dennoch die "Feuerzeichen"-Reihe übersetzt: Ich freue mich sehr darüber, so viel darf schon mal gesagt sein. Obwohl ich die Übersetzung an einigen Stellen recht holprig fand, wird diese doch im deutschsprachigen Raum hoffentlich viel Au
Page one, first line, and I. Am. Hooked. That was all it took and not once did my mind wander! The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig was pure magnetic reading for me.

In a post-apocalyptic world, hundreds of years into the future Earth as we know it does not exist. In its place is a primitive world where singular births no longer exist and each pregnancy ends with the birthing of twins, one whole, normal and desirable, called an Alpha. One is always born with some type of deformity, limbless, blind,
Jan 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5, can't believe I've started with decimal stars!

Imagine a setting, far into it future, where the world has been scorched by fire; parts are uninhabitable, parts arable and a lot seems unexplored. Using our knowledge we can assume that there has been some sort of nuclear event- the fire sermon. The event seems to have been caused by evil Electric but given we're in the future with no technology, or living memory, we don't have the finer details. This doesn't matter.

Now imagine the fall out, th
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
TRIGGER WARNING: Ableism, and lots of it. The society based on ableism, so it's pretty inescapable. Thankfully, the story is told from the point of view of someone who believes that ableism is wrong - otherwise the book would've been unreadable.

Is The Fire Sermon post-apocalyptic or fantasy? Maybe it's supposed to be both. The post-apoc elements work best, but the fantasy elements had me questioning the world-building.

There was a nuclear blast, which blighted the land and decimated the populatio
Brittain *Needs a Nap and a Drink*

I really need to stop rating books while I'm still in the afterglow stages of reading. I almost always come back later and pull it down a star or two after considering the plot holes and flaws in the book.

I saw this cover in a book store a few months ago and simply stared at it for a few moments. The publisher and author would have to be confident in both the cover art and the content to be able to put out a book like this.

And their gamble worked. It got my attention.

The Fire Sermon is a post-ap
Kennedy Liggett
I feel torn with this book because it had the potential to be really good, and at certain points I started to believe that maybe it was beginning to become what I thought it was capable of.

However... now that I am done with the book, I feel disappointed.

The general idea of the book was clever- Every person has a twin, but one twin has a deformation while the other twin remains unscathed. Twins are separated at birth based on the ideals of society, and one girl (Cass), is determined to change tha
Jenny (Reading Envy)
For a post-apocalyptic novel to really work, it needs to be plausible. There are a few problems with this new series that disconnected me from the story - all of the sudden, everyone has a twin! And one of the twins (but only one, always) has a deformity! And society is divided into Alphas and Omegas. Except if your twin dies, you die. I actually like the consequences to this divided society, to the extra risk of murder/illness for your twin, but it isn't explained. It would have been more belie ...more
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Original. Adictivo. Personajes interesantes.
Received book through Goodreads First Reads

This book was so different from others that I have read and I utterly loved it! It was wonderfully written and the story was unique with a great concept to it. The characters were well thought out as well(I especially loved Kip).

It was the opposite of predictable which I absolutely loved! The storyline kept you on your toes as you didn't know what to expect was going to happen next. The story is full of uncertainty.

The ending had a huge twist to it that
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was kindly given a copy of this by the nice folks at HarperVoyager when I went to interview for a job there in 2014*, so I feel slightly guilty about the lukewarm review I'm about to write, but I honestly can't give this more than 2.5 stars.

The book is set in a dystopian future in which humanity have survived a huge 'blast', but the few stragglers that survived have mutated due to the radiation** so that every single time a woman gives birth she has twins, they are always twin pairs of one ma
Janie Johnson
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-challenge
I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This book is a YA dystopian. I don't read a lot of dystopian but this one sounded interesting so I decided to pick it up and give it a try because the concept was different from most. I am really glad I did because I found the story very engaging and fast paced.

In this story we have a world of Alpha and Omega. Alpha are the strong people and Omega are considered the weak, dead ends, and poisonous. When children are born they
Lala_Loopsie [fire breathing B!tch Queen]
DNF at 80%

I couldn't continue with the book

1. because the book was due back at the library

2. It didn't draw me in, it was as simple as that.

After reading so many (not that many) sci-fi (read: "dystopian"), they all just end up being the same. Oppressed society and revolution because of one special little lady, and bam—you have it.

So excuse me, but this is not my favourite genre.
Dit boek. DIT BOEK. Lees het. En snel een beetje.
Link naar mijn recensie:
Ana M. Román
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sagas
La premisa me parecía muy buena. Es muy común que los hermanos se vean comparados unos con otros, ya sea por ellos mismo o por otras personas. ¿Qué sucedería si uno estuviera destinado a ser el “perfecto” mientras el otro es considerado un “fracaso” con el que hay que lidiar?

Pero lo cierto es que este primer libro me ha dejado a deber muchas cosas. La autora no explota exactamente eso sino que simplemente nos sitúa en un mundo distópico como han hecho muchos autores antes. Nacen dos gemelos, un
British author Francesca Haig has created a really interesting world in her debut novel The Fire Sermon. Four hundred years after an explosion that nearly destroyed the world life is very different for the survivors, technology was blamed for the apocalyptic event and is now banned so in a lot of ways it is like taking a step back in time and living in the past. Ever since the blast babies have been born in pairs, there is always one boy and one girl and there is always one Alpha and one Omega. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Legend of Witchtrot Road (Spirit Guide, #3)
  • Predators of Darkness: Aftermath: Book One of the Darkness Series
  • Our Lady of the Streets (The Skyscraper Throne, #3)
  • Angel Dust
  • The Foretelling of Georgie Spider (The Tribe, #3)
  • Phoenix Rising
  • Admission (Pandora Jones, #1)
  • The Haunting of Tabitha Grey
  • Poltergeeks (Poltergeeks, #1)
  • Locked (Locked, #1)
  • The Underlighters
  • Fever (Parallon Trilogy, #1)
  • The Last Girl (The Last Trilogy #1)
  • Anomaly (Schrodinger's Consortium, #1)
  • The Repossession (Repossession, #1)
  • Wolf Blood
  • Lorali
  • Way Down Dark  (The Australia Trilogy, #1)
Francesca Haig is an author and academic. Her poetry is widely published, and she is the author of the post-apocalyptic trilogy, The Fire Sermon series, which is translated in more than 20 languages. The Fire Sermon, her first novel, was published in 2015 by HarperVoyager (UK) and Simon & Schuster (US and Canada). The sequel, The Map of Bones came out in 2016. The concluding book will be publi ...more

Other books in the series

The Fire Sermon (3 books)
  • The Map of Bones (The Fire Sermon, #2)
  • Rückkehr (Das Feuerzeichen, #3)
“I’m not sure that secret goat-farming is the most effective show of defiance.” 10 likes
“A history written in ashes, in bones. Before the blast, they say there'd been sermons about fire, about the end of the world. The fire itself gave the last sermon; after that there were no more.” 7 likes
More quotes…