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The Map of Bones (Fire Sermon, Book 2) Hardcover – 7 Apr 2016

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (7 April 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007563094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007563098
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 4.1 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


‘The Map of Bones is a wonderful book – thrilling, emotionally engaging, booby-trapped with some incredibly inventive twists and turns and some excellent action sequences and, from beginning to end, it is intensely moving. Like its predecessor, this is a book that forces us to consider what it means to be human, and how important it is to respect the humanity in others. Francesca Haig’s writing is exquisite, loaded with turns of phrase and lines of dialogue that are so perfect and so beautifully realised, it reminds us how powerful the written word can be. And, on top of all that, it is – along with The Fire Sermon – the most exciting and rewarding novel we have read in a very, very long time. You have got to read these books, they are storytelling at its absolute finest.’ STARBURST.


‘This book is a thought-provoking whirlwind of a story, with a fab lead character, grisly politics and brave adventure. I loved it!’ Jessie Burton

'A hell of a ride. I would recommend it to anyone I can, regardless of age' James Oswald

‘Set in a vividly realised world of elite Alphas and their ‘weaker’ Omega twins, it holds a mirror up to our obsession with perfection’ Guardian

‘Words like ‘masterpiece’ and ‘instant classic’ are cliché, but in the case of Francesca Haig’s astounding THE FIRE SERMON, they’re the only words to use’ Starburst Magazine

‘This terrific set-up spools out into a high tension tale of mistrust and dependency, injustice and optimism, told with poetic intensity’ Daily Mail

‘Haig’s post-apocalyptic world is colorfully fleshed out, and the conclusion ask us to consider who, really, is the Other’ Washington Post

‘With its well-built world, vivid characters and suspenseful plot, this book… is poised to become the next must-read hit.’ Kirkus

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.

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Format: Kindle Edition
Rating: 3.5/5

My Review:

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.
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By Cheryl M-M TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 April 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the second in the Fire Sermon series, a dystopian tale set a few hundred years after the nuclear destruction or devastation of earth.A DNA mutation caused by the radiation of the initial blast has caused a splintering of the population.
Each pregnancy is a set of twins, one of which is born with some kind of mutation, ergo the lesser of the two. They are called the Omega and the perfect twin is called the Alpha.
The twins are connected via a life-bond. If one dies the other automatically dies the same way. The Alphas reject their twins, and so does society.
I’m sure if it wasn’t for the pesky ‘if I die you die’ element of their sibling relationship, the majority of the Alphas would just kill their Omega sibling. Instead the Alphas have found a variety of nefarious methods to rid themselves of their ‘broken’ other halves without actually killing them. Might as well be though.
The Omegas have built a network of resistance across the country, and despite the really bad odds are still trying to outwit the Alphas. They are also trying to find out whether there is anyone else out there in the big world. Literally in the Elsewhere.
Cass is still reeling from the shocking revelations about Kip and his demise. As a seer she is both a pariah to her peers and a beacon of hope. They need her to have visions, but are frightened of them at the same time.
The Fire Sermon series is an eclectic mix of post-nuclear devastation, dystopian world-building and the usual YA tropes. Some of the topics sail pretty close to what could become a reality if we are ever faced with a nuclear disaster on a major scale. Underground bunkers, the aftermath of the destruction the inevitable changes or mutations caused by radiation. A good read.
*I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.*
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After thoroughly enjoying her first book, The Fire Sermon, picking up The Map of Bones was a no-brainer. As always, I'll do my best not to drop any/too many spoilers here.

This book is a great read, building perfectly on the world and characters created in The Fire Sermon. In a nutshell there was a nuclear devastation several hundred years ago and now every pregnancy produces twins - one Perfect called Alphas and one mutated ,be it subtle like an extra finger or much more severe, called Omegas. Omegas physically cant have children.

Alphas do not like their Omega twins at all. They are branded and cast out of society, but not killed - to kill one twin means killing the other as their lives are linked. Personally I find this an amazing premise

The story picks up shortly after the end of The Fire Sermon with Cass, an Omega seer, Piper and his Alpha twin Zoe making a hasty retreat from the silo, the crescendo of the last book, and Cass's Alpha twin Zach who is one of the leaders of Ruling Alpha Council.

Mini-spoiler (if not read the first book): Zach and others on the on the Council have found a way to suspend Omegas in tanks, keeping them alive but unconscious, thus keeping their Alpha twin 'safe'.

This situation does not sit well at all with Cass, Piper or Zoe who set out to put a stop to the Council's plans.

There is conflict galore, internally with Cass (first person narrator), implied and actual and it is all wonderfully written. Cass's character development is subtle and I found it very easy to identify with her emotions and inner turmoil, even though I'm not a mutant seer living in a nuclear devastated land.

For me, the pace and tone of the story were perfect, allowing me to fully submerge myself in it.
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Format: Hardcover
Huge thanks to Harper Fiction for inviting us to take part in the Blog Tour for Francesca Haig’s Map of Bones. Having fallen in love with the first in the series, I’ve literally been waiting a year with baited breath for the next in the series (is it too much to hope for the next one to be here next week?)

Map of Bones picks up where the Fire Sermon left off, Cass is still suffering with her reoccurring visions of the blast and she’s also dealing with the loss of Kip. With the resistance scattered and Piper out of favour, it’s now Cass, Zoe & Piper alone who must work out how to get out a warning of the tanks to try and save as many Omega lives as possible.

On top of this Map of Bones looks more into Elsewhere and the significance of the Arc – what it is, getting to it, and stopping the Council from getting favour in their plans to tank the Omegas in favour of their lives.

I was gripped once again within just a few pages of this book and found myself itching to return to it and get to the conclusion as fast as possible.

Although Zach features less in this book he is always a presence as our most of the twins but it was an interesting development with this book to see that not everyone in the council felt as strongly as him about the use of machines. The introduction and development of the Ringmaster was a great turning point to the plot of this book and I sincerely hope that we see more of his journey in the concluding part of the trilogy.

Although the book is set in the future I felt a lot of the plot had significance to the present day – about how we deal with those with disability for example and indeed reasons for going to war and fighting for what is right.
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