Book Two in the critically acclaimed The Fire Sermon trilogy—The Hunger Games meets Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in this richly imagined post-apocalyptic series by award-winning poet Francesca Haig.
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.
About the Author
Francesca Haig grew 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
pooled ink Reviews: 3.5 Stars Cass, Piper, and Zoe travel their way west starving, mournful, shunned, and desperate but nonetheless shuffling across the blighted land in search of Sally, an Omega who once successfully infiltrated the Alpha Council, and towards the sea in hope of finding survivor ships that may have returned bearing good news. Their rebellion and sanctuary have been smothered as thick currents of blood trickle between the stones in reminder of the failed island…but change must come, it has to. The plot of this book contains lots of planning, enough action, and a plethora of hatred and hope as it plods along at a steady pace. The darkness of humanity is not shielded or sugarcoated but it also cannot negate the power and unyielding force of hope and change. Gritty, ashen, and complicated THE MAP OF BONES continues The Fire Sermon series with moves and counter-moves as the Alphas clutch their dominance and stroke their blessed reigns of power while the Omegas dig deep into the earth for strength and lift their heads high in resilience. Elsewhere is calling but the blast is coming… Read my FULL review here: https://pooledink.com/2016/03/01/the-map-of-bones-arc-review/
Where The Fire Sermon was an excellent start to this brilliantly conceptualized series, The Map of Bones was a letdown. I was interested in how they would resolve the world, how the problems of the twinning and the imminent tanking of the Omegas would be overcome. But the first half of this book was slow – it dragged on to nowhere, gaining nothing much with respect to plot or character. It was so boring that I stopped multiple times till I reached the middle, where the plot started gaining momentum. The Council has been implementing measures to tank the Omegas, yes, but they also have another agenda in mind. Cass is still plagued by her dreams of the blast and now the deaths of people on the island, and of Kip. She is mourning him in the first half, yes, and I get that it was an important step in terms of character development, but in actuality the change comes at the climax of the book, when she realizes the meaning of living. Though I was mostly dissatisfied with the pace of the book, the introduction of the Ark in the second half and the unraveling of another of Zach’s plan almost made up for the sheer boredom of the first half. And I liked that it went into a little more detail about the origins of the twinning, though not as much as I would have liked. It does make sense from the narrator’s view to not understand what is, for them, arcane knowledge. The introduction of the new element (spoilers) towards the end does imply some hope for the series, and how that plot thread will be pursued should be interesting. In simple terms, this was not a worthy sequel but I am not giving up on this series.
It is over a year since I read and reviewed the first novel in this dystopian trilogy, The Fire Sermon, and I still remember it well for the fantastic prose, well developed dystopian world and the characters. For this reason I was really looking forward to reading this second in series novel. The excellent descriptive and emotive prose continues in this novel but I found the characters less engaging. I think I was missing the interactions of Kip and Cass which added humour and romance to the saga and many of the reminiscences are dour, appropriate for the scenarios and situations, but toning down the actual empathy I had felt in the first novel. Having said that, it is still an engaging read and many of the changes in characters are due to their growing maturity, especially after all their experiences and ordeals. The hatred and mistrust between the Alphas and Omegas has grown for many with manipulative murders, political intrigue and fear fueling these emotions even more. The plot reawakens dramatically in the final section of this novel, this section is enthralling and a riveting read, easily 5* worthy and making me still keen to discover how the trilogy will end, I await the third novel with eager anticipation . . . in the meanwhile I'll just close "my eyes and let myself remember".... Thanks to the publishers for gifting me an ARC of this novel, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.