Nuclear war, dystopian unrest, a genetic mutation that divides twins in life and unites them in death—the “refreshingly nuanced” (Booklist, starred review) first novel in award-winning poet Francesca Haig’s richly imagined and action-packed post-apocalyptic trilogy “is poised to become the next must-read hit” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
Four hundred years after a nuclear apocalypse, all humans are born in pairs: the deformed Omegas, who are exploited and oppressed, and their Alpha twins, who have inherited the earth—or what’s left of it. But despite their claims of superiority, the Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: whenever one twin dies, so does the other.
Cass is a rare Omega whose mutation is psychic foresight—not that she needs it to know that as her powerful twin, Zach, ascends the ranks of the ruling Alpha Council, she’s in grave danger. Zach has a devastating plan for Omega annihilation. Cass has visions of an island where a bloody Omega resistance promises a life of freedom. But her real dream is to discover a middle way, one that would bring together the sundered halves of humanity. And that means both the Council and the resistance have her in their sights.
Best known for her poetry, Haig debuts as a novelist with this first installment of a post-apocalyptic, dystopian trilogy. Centuries after a devastating nuclear war, all children are born as twins: a physically perfect Alpha paired with a deformed or mutated Omega. The Alphas oppress and shun their opposites, but if either an Alpha or an Omega dies, their twin is psychically constrained to die as well. Cass, an Omega with vaguely defined psychic abilities, is imprisoned by her brother, who has risen to prominence among the Alphas. When she escapes, she rescues the amnesiac Kip and discovers a terrifying secret about the Alphas' ultimate plan for dealing with the Omegas. Haig presents a scenario ripe with potential, but the harsh divide between the Alphas and Omegas is hard to believe in, given their inherent dependence on one another. Cass's powers work conveniently as the plot demands, and the twists still carry an air of familiarity. Haig's prose is almost wistfully descriptive, elevating the otherwise tired story.