The Forever Ship is the concluding part to the Fire Sermon trilogy and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous books.
She was a rumour made flesh. A person from Elsewhere. A person without a twin.
There’s always a certain satisfaction from completing a trilogy or series. Although this wasn’t my favourite instalment I couldn’t imagine not reading it, I just wanted to know what happens in the end.
If you need a quick recap, Cass and Zach are twins in a world where everyone is twinned. Each birth brings a “perfect” Alpha and an Omega with deformities or other disabilities. When one twin dies, so does the other, that is the strength of their bond. Cass was separated from her brother later than normal as she could hide her ability, that she saw visions, including those of the blast which brought about the twinning.
In The Map of Bones, proof of Elsewhere was discovered in the form of Paloma, an untwinned young woman sent as an emissary. With the use of medicines from the before, they have ended twinning even though birth defects are still the norm. Cass, Piper and Zoe have teamed up with The Ringmaster, an ex-Council member to fight The General and Zach, who are tanking Omegas and have plans to bomb Elsewhere with the blast technology.
You chose this. I won’t be made to feel guilty any more. I’m your twin. I grew up with you, and I’ll die with you. But in between, I won’t carry your crimes.
For all the evil Zach has done, I was still waiting with baited breath for his change of heart, yet his resentment for Cass is still strong. His selfishness does bring him to seek asylum in New Hobart, knowing that they would protect him for Cass’s sake.
The resistance is at war with the Council and Francesca doesn’t shy away from showing the sheer number of resulting deaths. There were a lot of battle scenes which isn’t something I particularly enjoy reading and at times it felt it was impossible it could ever end well.
I thought the second book had done a good job of showing the fatal bond between twins and I would have liked that carried on a bit more during the battles. Because they were killing a lot of twins in the process but that was glossed over, except for a few times when Cass saw a vision of the twin’s death. It’s such a complex and conflicting thing, two lives so intertwined with each other. At times you can kind of see where Zach was coming from even though it doesn’t forgive his acts.
There are still things worth fighting for. There’s more to the world than fire and ash.
It seemed a bit inconsistent that twins were feeling more shared pain; if they were so affected by the others’ health would those with a tanked twin not be suffering? At one point Cass tortures herself to get information out of Zach because he feels the same pain. It didn’t quite all fit together for me this time.
I had hoped this final instalment would have been set in Elsewhere, instead it is just mentioned, a lot. There was also some repetition around the seers’ visions of the blast and how it was inevitable, it could have done with a tighter edit to be a much pacier book, but I do think pacing has been the one issue throughout the trilogy that made it less than perfect.
The Forever Ship is published by Harper Voyager and is out now in hardback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.
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