cover image The Forever Ship

The Forever Ship

Francesca Haig. Gallery, $26 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4767-6720-8

Haig’s third Fire Sermon postapocalyptic novel (after The Map of Bones) conjures up a complex, broken world in which brutality and oppression are just barely balanced by fleeting moments of hope. As established in previous volumes, following a devastating nuclear war, all human births now result in twins: the “perfect” Alphas and the mutated Omegas. Each pair of twins is connected psychically, so that what befalls one also affects the other; they suffer each other’s pain and die each other’s deaths. Omega Cass experiences prophetic visions of another terrible explosion and must coax her allies into waging all-out war against the Alpha forces of the insidious general to prevent catastrophe. When her twin, Zach, a prominent Alpha leader with vital information, seeks refuge with Cass’s people, his presence creates disarray and distrust. Even as Cass leads a force to free thousands of captive Omegas from the stasis tanks in which they’ve been placed for “safekeeping,” she must uncover the traitor in her ranks and deal with the brother who’s turned into a mortal enemy she can’t afford to harm. Haig never fully takes advantage of the setting’s conceit to examine the brutal impact of every act of violence being doubled. Still, as she wraps up the trilogy, she subverts expectations even as she draws to a logical, bittersweet conclusion. Agent: Juliet Mushens, Agency Group. (Dec.)