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 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 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.
Francesca Haig is the author of the post-apocalyptic Fire Sermon trilogy (The Fire Sermon; The Map of Bones; and The Forever Ship), translated into more than 20 languages.
Her latest novel, The Cookbook of Common Prayer, is published in June 2021 (UK; July 2021 for Australia and New Zealand).
Francesca gained her PhD from the University of Melbourne, and worked as an academic before becoming a full-time writer. Her poetry has been widely published. She grew up in Tasmania, and currently lives in London.
i liked this second book more than The Fire Sermon, but i’m not in love with the series yet.
i’m going to be as spoiler-free as i can, but any book review worth anyone’s time is going to include some discussion of the book’s contents, so if you’re a person inclined to recoil in horror from knowledge, you may not be safe with me.
i’m usually able to roll with a premise, even an oddball one, but there’s something about this situation that i can’t stop “but wait”-ing because it is bonkers.
in the briefest of nutshells and with many omissions - a nuclear event has occurred, whose biological aftereffects are that every human birth now results in twins - one perfect baby and one “burdened with deformity” (<—from the synopsis). these “deformities” manifest in a number of ways - extra fingers or toes, missing limbs, blindness, etc. bottom line - they are all physical anomalies, (except for seers, but we don't need to go into them here). when the babies are born, the twins are separated as the wheat from the chaff into “alphas” and “omegas;” the alphas are kept at home with their parents to love and rear and educate, while the omegas are branded on the forehead and sent off to a life of hardship and sterility in omega communities with limited opportunities and fewer and worse resources. oh, but fun fact - when one twin dies, so does the other. when one twin is injured, they both feel it, no matter how far apart they are. if an alpha falls in the forest, somewhere an omega makes a sound.
none of this makes sense to me. not the psychically linked twins part - that's just ordinary creepy twin shit, but i find it hard to believe that parents would give away half of their children for what is essentially a cosmetic reason. six fingers? who cares? it’s hard to wrap my head around a society’s collective shame towards physical imperfections overwriting the individual’s hardwired biological imperative to protect its young. and particularly in this case, where the death of the icky omega also results in the death of the beloved alpha. shouldn’t these bound fates be incentive enough to keep both babies close, watched over, provided for, even if one of them only has one arm? if not compassion, at the very least self-interest should provide enough motivation to keep everyone alive. it seems short-sighted, letting one of the children toddle out of parental reach, when there's a risk of waking up to a dead heir and not knowing how it happened and if it could have been prevented.
that’s just one of the things that makes me wonder why this wasn’t marketed as a YA series; that whole “exploring injustice or racism or bullying or ostracization in terms of pretty vs. ugly” theme that pops up so often in YA lit but is a little underbaked to serve to an adult audience. don’t get me wrong - i am an adult who happily reads YA, but there are different expectations when reading adult fiction than reading fiction targeted at a younger audience, and this series features many of the hallmarks of YA lit - the age of the characters, the division of society into capital-letter groups like “Alphas” and “Omegas,” the “Council” whose leaders are known as “the Judge,” “the Reformer,” “the Ringmaster,”“the General,” etc., the all-consuming insta-love between cass and kip in The Fire Sermon, cass’ stubborn anti-violence stance despite the realities of her world, the ramped-up dramatic tone; these are all the snips and snails of YA fantasy-adventure.
The Map of Bones has less of this than The Fire Sermon, but it’s still there, worked deep into the trilogy’s roots. however, there are definite improvements for my tastes. for one thing, kip and cass are separated at the end of The Fire Sermon, so this is mercifully free from that overwrought romance. there’s also a bit more of a reality-slap for cass. despite everything that happened in front of her in the first book, she still seems to believe that it can all be worked out with a conversation and maybe a bonk on the head if things start getting especially heated. traveling with piper and zoe grows her up a little bit, and i really appreciated zoe’s soldier-impatience with cass’ little girl squeamishness about violence and her need to remind everyone that every death is actually two deaths, as though anyone’s going to forget about that when their own death is twice as likely to take them by surprise. this one pulls back a bit less from unpleasantness, and there are some interesting developments i look forwarded to seeing continued/concluded in the next book.
reading this to get myself one step closer to finally being able to honor the goodreads giveaway gods for their generosity in crowning me the winner of the third book in this trilogy. i am coming for you, book three - don't give up on me!
This was a solid 4 for me, it's not a perfect book but the story is solid, the characters credible and the conflicts believable..... if you have read "the fire sermon" and liked it , then you need to read this sequel.... you won't be disappointed. A lot of answers to questions the first book left open are answered in this one .... can't wait for the end to this trilogy!!!
Zach had been the steady point in my life. Not a force for good--I'd seen too much of what he'd done to believe that. But a force nonetheless. I knew there was no part of me that had not been shaped by him, or against him. And if I allowed myself to slip into madness, then I could neither stop him nor save him. It would all be over.
The Map of Bones picks up where The Fire Sermon left off. The Island has been destroyed by the Council and the resistance is being systematically dismantled. Piper, Zoe and Cass are on the run following the deadly confrontation at the Silo.
Throughout the book, Cass continues to be plagued by her visions of the blast, but now also has to contend with an almost crippling case of survivor's guilt. Guilt over the deaths of the people at the Island; guilt over the actions of her twin Zach and all the pain he has caused; and especially guilt over Kip. Even as the three of them rejoin the struggling resistance and try to make make plans to move forward, it seems that there is no path that is not fraught with more violence and death.
I felt more than ever the truth of what Zach had said on the road outside New Hobart. I was poison. He was right. Even to glimpse me now, a hooded figure in the snow, meant death. My journeys in the last few months had left a map of bones laid across the land. If I was a prophet, I foretold only death, and I fulfilled my own prophecies.
This is a very dark book in every sense. The post-nuclear apocalyptic setting; the senseless violence and casual indifference the Alphas visit upon the Omegas; and the deeply depressed Cass who simultaneously fights despair and potential madness from her visions. There isn't a lot of respite here. That said, I also got the sense that with The Map of Bones, now that the darkness has been revealed most starkly, Cass may be able to start to make her way through it. I'll have to wait for the final book to find out.
I do love a good post apocalyptic trilogy (or indeed standalone novel) and Francesca Haig’s “The Fire Sermon” was absolutely top notch, not only because of the beautiful writing but because of the wide imaginative scope, the endearing characters and perhaps most of all the ability the author has to dump unexpected trauma onto you. A writer that is fearless is one that I admire, The Fire Sermon often surprised, always delighted and the final pages had me reeling. So to say that I was excited to read Map of Bones would be putting it mildly.
The second book then, often the one in the middle that fails slightly to deliver – not in the case of The Map of Bones which if anything just took off at a gallop. Following on immediately in the aftermath of part one, the ripples of those events heading ever outwards, once more we join up with Cass for the next part of her intense and often emotional journey. Determined to stop her brother fulfilling his twisted plans for what is left of humanity, Cass faces down a future that would scare the most stoic of us. Worse for her, she can see what is coming, what has gone before and is often powerless to make sense of it all.
This then is the world that Francesca Haig throws you into, one of conflict and betrayal, hope and despair, once again she keeps the reader on their toes as the plot thickens – every time I think I know what is coming she throws me a curveball. This is not only terrifically emotive storytelling but descriptively gorgeous, the landscape which the surviving generations of “before” inhabit is bleak yet often beautiful and creating visual imagery with language is one of the strengths here.
Cass is surrounded by a supporting cast of cleverly drawn characters, the author creating a group dynamic of unexpected allies, strange companions and ever changing loyalties – the interweaving of relationships another strength, you just live these peoples lives right alongside them. Hugely fascinating and complex is the twin relationship, specifically that between Cass and Zack, after all one cannot live without the other no matter how at odds they are. This creates some wonderful and heart stopping moments when they are in confrontation. The twin dynamic as a whole gives the author a really good chance to explore very real social issues in a totally imagined environment – she does that with bells on. The Fire Sermon and Map of Bones will make you think and consider. I wasn’t always necessarily on the side of the angels here…
Overall a really really great read. Once again I’ve reached the end and gone “OH NO WHAT NOW? How will I wait?” But wait I will because one thing is for sure I’m in this to the finish. I do like a novel that creates fear in me. Fear of the unknown because I am attached like a limpet to Cass, to Piper, to all of them, yes even Zach. I’ve bonded. Because I never learn. But then thats what great writing does.
Passionate and intense, evocative and involving, Map of Bones (and The Fire Sermon) come highly recommended from me.
CONTENT WARNING: The world is very ableist: the whole concept of Alphas and Omegas, and how Omegas are treated. Also, if you're pregnant, you may want to skip Chapter 17.
The problem with reading a sequel more than a year after its predecessor is that my memory sucks. OK, my memory sucks anyway - a month after reading a book, I may have already forgotten character names. (And reviewing The Map of Bones a month after I read it, my recall is failing.) But I digress.
For the first 100 pages of The Map of Bones, I didn't know where the characters were going and why. And when they formed some kind of army and invaded a town, I didn't understand that, either.
But the best part of the novel is when Cass and Piper find the Maze of Bones, and journey underground. It's dangerous, creepy, and claustrophobic, and what they find in there - and how they struggle to exit - are jaw-dropping scenes of brilliance. These books so far are at their best when they fall on the science part of the spec-fic spectrum. (The epic/high fantasy journeying doesn't work for me.)
Even when confused about the story, one thing is always certain: Zoe is awesome. Unfortunately, the novel's from Cass's point of view, but Zoe is still the best. We learn more about her backstory here. And she goes out on a mission that could change the lives of the Omegas forever...
3.5 Sterne Achtung! Diese Rezension enthält Spoiler zu Band 1!
Da der erste Band bei mir schon eine Weile her ist hatte ich Bedenken, wieder gut reinzukommen, aber die Autorin hat die früheren Ereignisse sehr geschickt in die Handlung eingefügt, so dass ich keine Schwierigkeiten hatte, der Geschichte zu folgen.
Der Schreibstil ist sehr ruhig und leider noch etwas gestreckter wie im Vorgänger. Da hatten ja schon einige bemängelt, dass es langatmig ist (obwohl mir das bei mir gar nicht so ins Gewicht gefallen ist) aber ich finde, dass es sich hier noch mehr zieht. Während dem Lesen ist mir das zwar meistens gar nicht so aufgefallen, weil es schön flüssig ist, aber es hätte ruhig um 1/3 gekürzt werden können.
Insgesamt passiert wirklich nicht viel, aber es steuert immer wieder auf kleine Höhepunkte hin - trotzdem hatte ich mir doch etwas mehr erwartet.
Dafür ist man immer nah am Geschehen und alles ist eindrucksvoll beschrieben, auch die Charaktere, die jeder für sich besonders und untypisch sind.
Cass ist ja mit den Zwillingen Piper und Zoe auf der Flucht, nachdem die Insel zerstört und die Widerstandskämpfer versprengt wurden. Bis sie dann endlich auf weitere Rebellen treffen und die Handlung an Fahrt aufnimmt, dauert es einen langen, einsamen Weg, der die Drei jedoch immer mehr zusammenschweißt. Cass steht durch ihre Rolle als Seherin im Mittelpunkt der Ereignisse, da sich alle auf ihre Vorhersagen verlassen - dabei hat sie aber immer vor Augen, welches Opfer ihre Begabung erfordern wird, denn alle Seher verlieren sich irgendwann in ihren Visionen und werden verrückt. Aber noch kann sie den Rebellen helfen, denn sie sind einem hoffnungsvollen, aber auch gefährlichem Geheimnis auf der Spur.
Das besondere hier für mich ist immer noch das Motiv mit den Zwillingsgeburten und deren Verbindung, worüber man auch mehr erfährt, wie es dazu kam. Die Vorurteile, die Ausgrenzung von Menschen mit "Makeln" und der Wert jedes einzelnen steht auf subtile Weise immer wieder im Vordergrund, was ja leider auch in der heutigen Zeit immer noch ein Thema ist.
Aber auch die Maschinen bzw. die fortschreitende Technik und ihre zerstörerische Kraft, der Respekt und vor allem auch die Angst, die in der Gesellschaft gewachsen ist, in der Cass aufwächst und die Frage, ob der Nutzen hier die Gefahr aufhebt, wird immer deutlicher. Welche Risiken wir Menschen eingehen, nur um einen Vorteil zu nutzen, der meist viel mehr Nachteile beinhaltet.
Der Widerstand von Cass und den Rebellen geht etwas stockend voran, dafür lässt uns die Autorin mühelos in eine unwirtliche Zukunft eintauchen, die einige besondere Themen aufgreift. Auch hier gibt es am Ende wieder einige Überraschungen, die meine Neugier auf den nächsten Band geweckt haben!
I have to admit, sci-fi and fantasy books are so far out of my normal genre that I read, but I try and keep my mind open to all works and publications I am asked to review. Most authors I find are incredible and have amazing foresight. I am jealous of them! So when you run across an author that has the ability to keep my interest in a genre that I do not normally enjoy, they have a special gift in their craft. Francesca Haig is an author like that!
This book takes off immediately where the last book stopped, I assume. Since I never read the first book, I was a bit lost. It took me about a 1/3 of the way in to feel comfortable with the characters and to figure out where the story came from and was going. Because of that, it was hard for me to get into the story. But once I got mid way through and the action starting picking up, this book took off for me.
The author has a genius mind when it comes to the post-apocalyptic vision she has of Earth. Her descriptions are in-depth and captivating and for me that totally made the story. With plenty of plot changes and twists you do not expect, this book was an interesting look at what the future could hold. The third book in the series will tell the rest of the story.
While I made it though the book with some interest due to the authors hard work, fantasy is still not my favorite genre. Sorry!
Quick & Dirty: The time to fight is now, or all will be lost.
Opening Sentence: Each time he came to me in dreams I saw him as I’d seen him the first time: floating.
Cass is still reeling from the devastation on the island and Kip’s sacrifice at the silo. The island is lost and most of the resistance is dead or hiding. The only good news is thanks to Kip the Confessor’s dead as well. Zach’s power has been weakened but not enough. Cass stills sees the tanks and knows that if they don’t do something all of the Omegas will be tanked forever. As Piper, Zoe and Cass continue to make their way across the deadlands they know they have to come up with a plan. All of them are hoping about the ships that haven’t returned yet, and the hope is they will have found Elsewhere.
Zoe and Piper decide that they must ask Sally for help, many of the Omegas are still mad because he didn’t turn over Cass and Kip and that decision cost too many lives. They hope that Sally’s backing will help them retain their standing in the resistance. Once they meet up with her, she lets them know that Simon is alive and on the move. So they make the decision to meet up with him and form a plan to help the Omegas. Along the way the Ringmaster meets them and offers an alliance against the General and the Reformer. Too many people are afraid of the machines and the Alphas are unhappy with the current council.
Cass discovers that Sally has proof of the Before and a place called the Ark. Cass knows that something there is important for the future and it ties into New Hobart. The town is still being held and rumors that the council is searching for something are all over. So as all the players converge on New Hobart, will Cass be able to save the children? Will they be able to figure out a plan for the future or will all be lost?
I recommend starting with book one or you will have no idea what is going on. I still can’t believe Kip is gone, and that he was an Alpha. Thankfully there doesn’t seem to be a new love interest for Cass and this really focuses on the future and coming up with a viable way to save the Omegas. This one was fast paced and action packed from like a third of the way in all the way until the end. Whew, plus so many exciting things happen at the end.
I am not going to tell you, but I need Book 3 like now. I really like the concepts and the way that Francesca has built her world. A lot of questions are answered in this book and more are raised, so I really can’t wait to see how she is going to wrap it all up.
“That was the council’s plan for us all. And if we didn’t have a plan of our own, a goal to work for, then we were just scrapping in the dust, and there’d be no end to it. We might forestall the tanks for a while, but no better than that. Once, the island had been our destination. That had ended in blood and smoke. So now we were seeking the ships that Piper had sent out from the islands months before, in search of Elsewhere.”
FTC Advisory: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of The Map of Bones. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
Rating 3.5/5 rounded up to 4/5 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.
Sekitar empat ribu tahun di masa depan, dunia porak-poranda akibat perang nuklir yang membakar habis peradaban. Seluruh kebudayaan musnah beserta sebagian manusia penghuninya. Sisanya, manusia-manusia yang selamat harus memulai semuanya dari nol sambil menghirup udara serta meminum air yang penuh radiasi nuklir. Sejarah bumi lenyap, orang-orang hanya tahu masa Sebelum Detonasi dan Sesudah Detonasi. Selain menghancurkan peradaban, perang nuklir juga menghasilkan efek samping yang sangat mengerikan. Semua bayi yang lahir Setelah Detonasi terlahir kembar. Satu bayi sempurna dan satu bayi yang mengalami cacat. Bayi yang terlahir sempurna ini lalu disebut kaum Alfa sementara kembarannya yang tak sempurna masuk golongan Omega. Uniknya, setiap kembaran dipersatukan oleh ikatan yang sangat erat. Alfa dan Omega lahir dan mati secara bersamaan. Ketika yang satu mati, maka kembarannya akan ikut mati. Jika si Omega mati karena dibunuh atau sakit atau kecelakaan, maka kembarannya si Alfa juga akan ikut-ikutan mati—meskipun saat itu fisiknya dalam kondisi prima. Hal yang sama juga berlaku sebaliknya: si Alfa mati, maka kembaran Omeganya juga ikut mati.
“Keberanian jenisnya macam-macam.” (hlm 535)
Dalam buku pertama, The Fire Sermon, dikisahkan tentang penindasan yang dilakukan golongan Alfa kepada kaum Omega. Dewan Alfa sudah menetapkan bahwa antara Alfa dan Omega harus dipisah sejak anak-anak. Kaum Omega yang cacat lalu dicap dengan lambang omega di dahinya, lalu ditindas semena-mena oleh kaum Alfa. Keberadaan kaum Omega yang cacat menjadi momok bagi kaum Alfa sehingga mereka menekan, menjauhi, bahkan menindas kaum Omega. Cass dan Zach adalah kembar Omega – Alfa yang dipisah sejak anak-anak. Keduanya lalu tumbuh dewasa di pihak berlawanan, dan saling memusuhi. Dalam buku pertama, pembaca telah menyaksikan pembantaian kaum Alfa terhadap kaum Omega di Pulau. Tetapi, Cass juga berhasil menghancurkan rencana Zach yang hendak mengurung para omega dalam tabung cairan. Bagi kaum Alfa, mengurung kembarannya dalam cairan yang disokong mesin pendukung kehidupan adalah alternatif terbaik untuk menjaga kembaran Omeganya tetap hidup. Tetapi, bagi kaum Omega yang dicelup dalam tabung, mereka harus mengalami penderitaan tak terpeti, serasa hidup segan mati pun tak mau.
“Kekerasan tidak menghasilkan perubahan nyata yang permanen.” (hlm. 302)
Cass dan kaum Omega lainnya sudah muak ditindas. Dan di The Map of Bones ini mereka melanjutkan perlawanannya di dunia yang sudah terlalu dikuasai kaum Alfa. Bersama Piper dan Zed, ketiganya bertualang mencari para Omega yang tersisa untuk kembali mengobarkan perlawanan terhadap tirani Alfa. Mesin tabung temuan Zach semakin menguatkan tekad mereka. Kaum Omega harus melawan, lebih baik mati dalam pertempuran ketimbang dibiarkan sekarat dalam tabung. Perjuangan belum berakhir. Diawali dengan menemukan Sally, mantan anggota Resistance yang legendaris karena berhasil menyusup ke lingkaran dalam Dewan Alfa dan masih bisa kabur hidup-hidup dari sana. Sally ini walau sudah sepuh, tetapi legendanya menjadikan kaum Omega hormat kepadanya. Sally juga yang membantu Cass dkk dalam menjalankan rencana-rencana mereka melawan Dewan Alfa.
“Tidak ada salahnya diperhatikan oleh orang lain.”(hlm 130)
Banyak ulasan menyebut buku kedua trilogi The Fire Sermon ini muram dan datar. Kisahnya memang cenderung datar, dengan begitu banyak peristiwa sederhana yang diceritakan berpanjang-panjang sementara adegan perangnya hanya muncul satu dua kali. Muram juga karena pembaca terus menerus disodori Cass yang galau berat akibat terawangan yang diterimanya, serta beban rasa bersalah yang menghimpitnya. Tetapi, novel ini ditulis dengan luwes. Kalimat dan paragrafnya—kalau bukan indah—terasa rapi dan halus. Meluncur halus mungkin ungkapan yang tepat untuk novel ini. Alurnya lambat tetapi tidak membosankan, bisa dinikmati. Nyatanya saya hanya butuh dua hari membacanya, padahal baca Magnus Chase 2 saja sampai seminggu. Dan walau adegan perkelahiannya sedikit, tetapi penulis tidak tanggung-tanggung dalam mendeskripsikannya. Adegan pertempuran seperti digelar seutuh-utuhnya di depan mata pembaca. Darah tumpah, tebasan pedang, tusukan anak panah, darah yang membanjir. Ini buku kalau nggak muram ala musim dingin ya berdarah-darah ala peperangan—tetapi dalam artian yang seru untuk dibaca.
“Sama sekali tak ada unsur keindahan dalam berkelahi.” (hlm. 71)
Ada alasan mengapa buku ini lambat. Banyak pertanyaan yang muncul di buku pertama coba dijawab penulis. Tentang bagaimana Zach bisa membuat tabung-tabung mengerikan itu, tentang apa yang sebenarnya menimpa Bumi pada masa Sebelum, tentang adanya Tempat Lain, tentang ledakan yang terus menerus muncul dalam terawangan Cass, juga tentang Bahtera yang konon menyimpan informasi dari masa Sebelum. Cass juga akhirnya menemukan jawaban atas sikap dingin Zed kepadanya. Hubungan Piper dan Cass juga makin tegas di sini. Akankah Piper menjadi pengganti Kip? Membaca buku ini membawa rasa kepuasan tersendiri, sulit untuk tidak jatuh cinta pada karakter-karakternya, juga pada dunia paskaapokaliptik, serta cara menulis penulis yang halus. Romancenya terhitung minimal untuk buku setebal ini. Dan, yang terpenting, nilai-nilai kemanusiaan yang tersirat dalam ceritanya akan mengubah persepsi pembaca tentang menjadi manusia dan bagaimana memanusiakan manusia. Terjemahannya juga apik sekali. Saya selalu suka sama model terjemahan ala mbak Reni Indardini yang kayak gini.
“Kau mau bertarung, sekalipun kau melihat kita kalah. Kau sudah tahu sedari awal dan kau tetap saja berdiri di sini, siap untuk berjuang. Itu dia yang namanya harapan.” (hlm. 263)
Me ha encantado. Se nota la evolución tan grande que ha tenido la autora, ya no me he encontrado descripciones pesadas ni extensas, ni escenas interminables en un mismo escenario. Ya conocemos la historia, eso hace que la lectura fluya, además de que los escenarios son más extensos y ricos en detalles. Los personajes esta vez han sido mucho mejor y trabajados sobre todo. Los gemelos Piper y Zoe increíbles, y Cass ha evolucionado a mejor. Sin duda vale la pena pasar un poco por alto el comienzo del primero, y poder seguir con la trilogía solo por este libro.
Future Earth is in ruin, devastated by a nuclear fire. The survivors have shunned attempting to re-introduce technology for fear that what is left of Earth will be destroyed. Single births are no more, twins are born to families. One is an Alpha defect free and will become part of the upper class of power. The other is born an Omega with “defects,” anything from a physical oddity to mental or psychic capabilities and their twin deaths are tied to each other, much as their births were.
The Omegas are revolting as they see their kind tortured and sent to “the tanks.” Small rebel groups are growing, but the superior might of the Alphas soundly crush them, until Cass, an Omega with the gift of foresight sees the outcomes of the future in flashes or dreams. Trust is a hard commodity for her type, and for Cass, it is twice as difficult, her Alpha twin is a high ranking member of the Alpha Council, responsible for the atrocities on the Omegas. The Resistance is determined to have equality with the Alphas, bloodshed is on the horizon and only the determination of the Omegas may see them victorious or die trying. Will Cass’s visions guide them to victory or has she not seen enough to be sure? They need an army, one they do not have until Cass makes one giant leap of faith, but even that is not a guarantee they can stop the genocide of their kind.
The Map of Bones by Francesca Haig is a brilliant addition to this series with her vivid descriptions, of both the world she has created and the characters that have come to life under her guidance. Between the first book and this one, there is a marked maturity growth among the characters as they live through their ordeal. Well written, the chaos of each scene and the emotional tension runs high.
I was hooked from page one, especially after seeing the huge change in Cass, who is fast trying to become the warrior her people need. Great reading for any age, with a harsh look at a bleak future, still filled with hate, bigotry and fear of those who are different.
I received an ARC edition from Gallery Books in exchange for my honest review.
Series: The Fire Sermon - Book 2 Publisher: Gallery Books (May 3, 2016) Publication Date: May 3, 2016 ISBN-13: 9781476767192 Genre: Fantasy Print Length: 416 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble For Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com
**This review contains major spoilers for book one.**
Map of Bones continues with it’s dark setting and bleak future for the survivors of nuclear fallout. This story follows Cass after the death of Kip. Cass is accompanied by siblings Piper (the former leader of the Omegas) and Zoe. Zoe is an alpha twin who chose to stay with her Omega brother and be part of the resistance. Once they join up with other resistance Omegas things move at a crazy pace. They are gonna make a discovery that changes everything for the Alphas in control and might be enough to gain an edge for the resistance.
I really liked Zoe and Piper. I think both of their backgrounds lead Cass to the place she needs to be as a seer for the resistance. This story starts off a little slow as they gain each others trust and figure out how to live together. Zoe and Piper add so much to this story, that I don’t think a review can be done without mentioning them. Zoe is an alpha so her very presence shows that some people can overcome their prejudices and live together.
Once they meetup with other Omegas and the soldiers for the resistance, we are back to square one with the prejudice about seers. Actually, prejudice is a reoccurring theme in this story. I can see that almost everyone in this world harbors a little prejudice and it keeps them from co-habitation. Alliances are made for some different groups but it is not without problems and daily struggle.
I honestly didn’t enjoy the first 50% that much. I was really sad thinking I would have to write a negative review after liking the first book so much. There was a lot of idle time traveling and back and forth in conversations. I felt like these characters are on the run for so long, and then after that 50% mark the focus is off running and on to something else, (it was a weird transition). I almost gave up on the book, to be honest. I am glad I didn’t but readers should be aware that the beginning is slow going.
There are some big things revealed in this story. One thing that is revealed answers a lot of “how in the hell?” questions I had in the first book. The other gave me major angst for the fate of Cass. Those big things saved the story for me and made me so excited to read the next book in this series. They didn’t completely save my rating though.
Anyway. The first half of the book, I won't lie, it was slow. Like, to the point that it seemed a bit repetitive and I was kind of bored. I felt like a lot of it was the same plot being rehashed, and that it was almost just filling space until the action began. That said, there were some new characters whose additions I enjoyed, so that kept me going during the first fifty to sixty percent.
But then things started to pick up quite a bit, and I felt like the story really took off again. The readers were given quite a bit of information on the world, which I loved, and the stakes got incredibly high. This series doesn't pull any punches- if the characters are being awful, there's not going to be sugar coating, and sometimes it can be hard to read, but it makes it feel much more authentic.
As the plot progressed and we got to know more about the world and the characters, I became very invested in the story again, and am very excited to see how the third book wraps things up! I have a feeling that there will be a lot of great secrets revealed, just as there were in this book.
Bottom Line: Despite a very slow beginning, this book does a great job of further developing a series that creates a very vivid picture of an eerie post apocalyptic world that keeps unraveling its secrets.
After finishing The Fire Sermon last year, I was desperate to get my hands on The Map of Bones, and I dove right in as soon as possible. We pick up this story after the events of the previous book, and I think this is where I had my first problem.
The Fire Sermon was amazing, and I raved about it, but going into The Map of Bones I did struggle to remember who some of the secondary characters were, and tried to recall some of the events that had happened. The world of The Map of Bones is just as devastatingly beautiful as it previously was, the characters that I knew were just as I remembered them, but I found it really hard to read this book.
There were several moments that I LOVED, seeing how far Cass has come and how much she has grown on this journey she takes with friends and allies. I loved the idea behind the story, and the final aim for this book, I loved the battle scene and how things unfolded. The last few chapters had me on tenterhooks, worried over the fate of a few characters, and the ending was not something I expected.
However I did occasionally struggle with how long the journey took to get somewhere, or for a new event to unfold. I also struggled with how big the book actually was, you could use it as a door stop it's that big, and big books do scare me, especially if I can see the pages and how long I have left.
Final Verdict Overall The Map of Bones was a mixed book for me. I think I would have handled it better going in straight after The Fire Sermon, and I'm thinking that the next book may need a full re-read of the series.
Este libro marca definitivamente un "antes" y un "después" en los personajes, sobretodo en Cass.
¿Y si los recuerdos de la destrucción no son lo que parecen?
Regresamos al mundo después del fin, donde Alfas y Omegas han sido obligados a pertenecerse mutuamente, donde la muerte de uno conlleva la muerte del otro y donde las consecuencias de la destrucción son marcas permanentes.
Consiguió engancharme, aunque menos que el primero. Sentía que iba, sino lento, sí pausado. Sin embargo hacía el final se descubre que todos esos detalles introducidos dentro y casi entre líneas, vuelven a ser las acciones verdaderamente importantes a tomar en cuenta.
El final me ha dejado deseando más, pues todo esta a punto de resolverse o derrumbarse.
Lo mejor son los giros en la trama, aunque algunos de ellos son predecibles, y que los personajes sean tan sólidos, tan reales, no son personajes en plan "soy serio pero me necesitas y seré tierno por esta vez", al contrario, son tipo "soy serio y aunque estés mal te diré las cosas tal y como son".
Oía un rugido sumergido de presencia y ausencia. ¿Los habría matado el fuego o el agua? ¿Cuál habría llegado primero?
Continuing my theme I'm giving this a decimal star, 3.5, but rounding up.
I liked it and I liked the way that the plot you feel the book is about gets solved around halfway, like book one, revealing a further plot. I'm still annoyed with the disregard of twins from the previous book but in this one the evil twins are trying to deal with the problem in a more sensible (mighty evil) strategy.
There was a continuity error right near the end, hence my spoiler tag, that really annoyed me despite it being quite minor. The bard was discovered hanging as Cass, Piper and Zoe left the town amidst a group of soldiers. Cass insisted on stopping despite both twins opposition. When reunited on the ship, Cass realised that they'd need to tell Zoe about his death. She knows!!
I have never heard of the first book, The Fire Sermon. So I did not know that this book was the second one until I read the premise. Yet, I have read many books out of order and this is how I can judge how well the author writes if I can jump into the story without any issues and if I want to continue with the series or trilogy. Well I am happy to report that I was able to jump right into this book with no problems. Although at first I was growing weary of the repeated mentions of events in the first book, however, the further I got into the story the more I realized that the repeated mentions of the past is what is shaping Cass, Zoe, and Piper. Even though I have a really good idea of what happened in the prior novel, I still want to go back and pick up a copy of the Fire Sermon to read. The Map of Bones is an intriguing, refreshing breath of fresh air.
The Map of Bones, by author Francesca Haig, is the second installment in The Fire Sermon trilogy. The story picks up right where The Fire Sermon left off. Cass, Piper, and Zoe have survived the Island, while Cass managed to survive her encounter with her brother Zach, and The Confessor who tortured her for four long years while in captivity. Cass is distracted throughout the story with visions of the Blast and what happened to Kip which kind of changes her ability to move forward.
Si soy sincera, no tenía muchas esperanzas puestas en este libro. El primero de la trilogía me resultó algo pesado y predecible, a excepción del final, por lo que le di dos estrellas. Sin embargo, me ha sorprendido, tanto el giro de la trama como los nuevos personajes. Me alegro de no haber dejado de leer la saga, a pesar de la mala primera impresión.
If I'm honest, I wasn't expecting much about this book. I found the first book of this trilogy a bit boring and predictable, except for the ending, so I gave a two star rating. However, I've found myself surprised by the plot twist and the new characters. I am really happy that I've continued this series despite the bad impression I had at the beginning.
A lot of decent plot in this, but it felt like it was missing something. Piper and Cass were easily my favorites. I liked learning a bit about Zoe's backstory as well - I hadn't been expecting that. It didn't hold me as tightly as the first one, but it was still enjoyable.
The Map of Bones was a decent follow up to The Fire Sermon. I liked Cass more in this second book and it could have been because she no longer had Kip around so had to finally come into her own rather than as a part of a duo, first as a twin to Zack until they were split, and then almost using Kip as a sort of surrogate twin.
We received some answers to the whys and hows of this world and the twinnings. We got answers about Elsewhere and discovered the Ark. All of this was interesting.
I’m now about to dig into the final book in this trilogy, The Forever Ship. I’m so glad I picked up this series after all the books were released so I could binge read them all.
The Map of Bones was, by far, the most anticipated book of the year for me! I had fallen in love with The Fire Sermon, and was still reeling after that ending. So, when I ripped open the sequel, I have to admit that I was a little deflated at first. Part of me was hoping that the momentum from the first book would have carried over to the second, but instead, it seemed to be starting from scratch. It does make sense; there's the reintroduction of the characters, and some plot repetition to remind people of where we left off. It just made me more eager to get to all the good stuff!
I love where Cass is headed as a character, as she gains a whole new confidence in herself. She's getting stronger, in every sense of the word. Her gift, her sometimes overwhelming visions of the future, begin to spiral out of hand, but she seems to be close to understanding and interpreting them. Aside from the characters crossing over through the series, there are some fantastic new ones being introduced. I absolutely LOVE them! This is also leading me into a bit of dread, since I know they can't all possibly come through this uncertain future unscathed. The villainy, on the other hand, wasn't quite as threatening as I was expecting. Don't get me wrong; they're still horrible people, doing horrible things. But I'm finding the acts themselves to be more terrifying than the actual characters. With Cass' newfound confidence, Zach's hold over her has loosened. He seems smaller now, less imposing. I wonder if he's about to become more vicious, to compensate, or if he'll change his mind and decide that maybe he isn't quite as evil as he first thought.
The plot was definitely heavily weighted to the second half of the book, when the story arc swings wildly ahead. The first half was intriguing, full of foreshadowing, and I'll give it 3.5 stars. The end, however, was 5 stars all the way! It had my heart pounding! I had complete strangers asking me what I was reading because it looked so intense!
As a middle book, it held its own. It answered a lot of questions, but also offered so many more. The third book is going to be EPIC!
A copy of this book was provided through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
When I started reading Map of Bones, I wish I had read the first book in the series, because I was a little overwhelmed by the events Cass and her twin had encountered. It was like I missed a whole lot of issues and important battles. I was kind of lost in the situation that the characters were under.
But then, the author made sure to insert some important parts that had happened in Book 1, so in the next few chapters, I was able to follow through.
I learned about Cass who was with the twins Piper and Zoe and they were on the run after the island they had known was destroyed. There were also a group of resistance fighters but somehow they got scattered.
Cass is an Omega who had defects, and that is being a seer. She had the gift of foresight, she could see and predict the future. Having this gift was an advantage to her, because she knew that sooner or later, the rebels will require her talent. This would ensure her to get back on track.
The emergence of machines and progressive technology amassed danger and destructive power, thus the society lived in fear, especially after The Blast. It was up to Cass's visions and Piper and the rest of the resistance to build an army that would stop further genocide in Future Earth.
So far, the part that really got me interested was at the latter portion of the book, when Cass and Piper had discovered the Maze of the Bones. A dark secret that would blow their minds, including the readers.
Francesca Haig's writing was beautiful, expressive and eloquent. I got lost with the words she used, they were quite hypnotic. I just can't say the same with the story though. I had, however, enjoyed the end and anticipate more with the third book.
It seems safe to say that the entertainment world might be reaching the point of dystopia fatigue. With all of the books/films/TV shows built on a post-apocalyptic foundation in recent years, audiences could be forgiven if they began to get a bit tired of the whole thing.
However, those who choose to dismiss the trend out of hand will miss out on at least a few quality offerings amidst the copious forgettable mediocrities.
One such offering is the work of Francesca Haig. Last year’s “The Fire Sermon” promised to be the start of something different in the dystopian realm; the second release in that series – “The Map of Bones” – largely delivers on continuing forward with that promise.
It has been over 400 years since the cataclysmic event known only as “the Blast.” The Blast has fundamentally altered human biology, with every birth resulting in twins. One twin – the Alpha – is a perfectly healthy baby. The other – the Omega – is born with some sort of infirmity. The twins are forever connected – so much so that when one is hurt, the other feels pain. And when one dies, they both do.
This is the world in which Cass – one of the rare Omegas whose difference manifests internally. She is a seer, subject to horrifying and uncontrollable visions of the past. Despite the best efforts of her twin Zach – a member of the ruling council known as the Reformer – she has fallen in with the Omega resistance forces devoted to fighting back against the Alpha stranglehold.
When Cass learns of the Alpha’s intention to use the ancient technology to further subjugate the Omegas, she begins searching for a solution. A possibility presents itself – one steeped in the leftover documentation of an organization from the time of the Blast – that might have answers. Answers that may be able to not only defeat the oppressors, but undo the damage that led to the twinning in the first place.
Of course, there are many who would rather keep things as they are, leading Cass to rely on allies both expected and unlikely to aid her in her quest to change the world – and perhaps to save it.
One of the most compelling aspects of the first book was the degree of world-building undertaken by Haig. “The Map of Bones” continues that trend even farther, filling in the backstory of this blighted world in bits and pieces; we learn about the immediate aftermath of the Blast just as Cass and her cohorts do. Haig resists the temptation of broad strokes, instead choosing to be very particular about the ways in which the gaps are filled.
One could argue that Haig relies too heavily on her narrator – Cass’s interiority, while certainly rich, is obviously a limiting factor with regards to scale. However, while scale is undeniably important when spinning a tale such as this one, there are other methods of building it – methods Haig wields with gleeful precision.
The relationship dynamics at play are complex ones, with each character operating in a reality in which they can never have complete control over their own safety. This lends every act an element of danger unlike the usual concerns that populate this kind of story. This added layer brings the depth of characterization that is sometimes sacrificed in genre fare.
It doesn’t hurt that Haig can really write. Too often, craft is secondary to plot advancement, leading to stories that – while engaging – don’t resonate as much on an artistic level. Haig’s background as a poet has obviously informed her use of language, resulting in passages that are far better-crafted, far more lyrical than what you usually see in post-apocalyptic fiction. Comparisons have been made to Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”; heavy praise to be sure, but not unwarranted.
“The Map of Bones” is an excellent continuation of a fascinating series. In a sea of derivative dystopias, this series is a soaring outlier. Haig has given readers a beautifully-written, complicated and often terrifying world. The third (and final) book cannot get here soon enough.