Review: The Map of Bones (The Fire Sermon #2) by Francesca Haig

Release Date: April 7th 2016
Published By: Harper Voyager
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Purchase: Booktopia The Book Depository

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: The Omega resistance has been brutally attacked, its members dead or in hiding. The Alpha Council’s plan for permanently containing the Omegas has begun.

But all is not entirely lost: the Council’s seer, The Confessor, is dead, killed by her twin’s sacrifice.

Cass is left haunted by visions of the past, while her brother Zach’s cruelty and obsession pushes her to the edge, and threatens to destroy everything she hopes for.

As the country moves closer to all-out civil war, Cass will learn that to change the future she will need to uncover the past. But nothing can prepare her for what she discovers: a deeply buried secret that raises the stakes higher than ever before.


Review: This review contains no spoilers for this book. It does however contain spoilers for The Fire Sermon. See my review here.

The Map of Bones picks up where The Fire Sermon finished, with Cass, Piper and Zoe on the run after the events on the island and Kip’s death. They are armed with the knowledge of what the Council plans to do to the Omega’s, and they plan to stand against the council, to save themselves, to save all Omegas.

But the war between Alpha’s and Omega’s is just beginning, and it is easy to lose sight of the goals in times of senseless war and destruction. I found this to be the case with Cass - while she is fighting for the Omega’s, she is also fighting herself. She is suffering from the events that haunt her, the memory of Kip and what he did to ensure the Confessor could not succeed and the fact her own brother is the person she is ultimately fighting against. She is fighting her visions, her love for her brother and most of all, fighting for her future.

Although filled with fear and guilt, pain and sorrow, I loved being on the run with Cass, Piper and Zoe. This book really allows for these characters to grow after the events of The Fire Sermon, and into the an unknown future. We get to learn a lot more about the former Omega’s leader and his Alpha twin Zoe, and I think these are the two that really allow Cass to become who she needs to become. Cass is struggling with a lot, but she is learning to see some things how they really are, rather than how she would like them to be. This is clearly something she needs with the uprising of the Omegas, if they are to ever succeed. Cass also continues receiving uncontrollable visions, but these visions may not be what she thinks they are, in fact, they may be the key.

I will admit I didn’t enjoy this sequel as much as I did The Fire Sermon, with the pacing a little slower and the action being withheld until later in the book. Although in saying that, this was necessary. This book is as much about the characters developing as well as the storyline, so therefore there is a lot of reflection, information processing, emotion management. So much has happened in this world, the blast, the oppression, the events at the silos - it is a dark and sinister world, and it all needs to be processed and dealt with appropriately. The tone is one of refection before action, there is so much at stake - after all, the Omegas can’t just revolt and kill the Alphas - that would lead to their demise as well. So although a little slow to get into, The Map of Bones is a fantastic apocalyptic sequel that should not be dismissed. With a lovely prose and intricate world-building, I thoroughly enjoyed being in this world. I really love Francesca Haig’s writing - it is simple and elegant, honest and scary - her prose effortlessly draws you into this dark and bleak world, while still giving you enough beauty to see through the darkness. The story is filled with vivid descriptions and character development, the story really picks up the pace towards the end.

Dark and creepy, unique and interesting, Haig has created an intricate post-apocalyptic world where Omega’s and Alpha’s are bound together yet unable to live in harmony with one another, or live without the other. This complex and twisted world is filled complexities that go beyond the superficial, but a world where prejudice plays a much bigger role in this game - everyone has prejudice, either birthed from fear or hatred, rejection or oppression.

This is a world where morality is questionable at every turn, but even a history written in ashes cannot be hidden forever.

Bound by birth and death, will both the Omegas and Alphas return to the ashes they came from?


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