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The Core of the Sun Paperback – January 5, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and borrowing expressions from H.G. Wells's The Time Machine, yet set in contemporary Finland and uniquely thrilling in terms of voice, plot, and characterization, this dystopian newcomer offers meaty food for thought about what is worth sacrificing to make a "good society." This heartbreaking story of two teenage sisters who were formerly close will resonate with young adults. One, Manna, conformed to her society's rules, but now is missing. The other, Vera, successfully hid the traits that her society considered flaws—her intelligence and her synesthesia. Now she relies on the capsaicin fix she gets from illegal chili peppers to stay sane as she tries to find her sister. It is becoming increasingly dangerous for Vera to stay in Finland, but she can't leave without knowing what happened to Manna. The disjointed storytelling style may challenge some readers, but others will appreciate the way the parts all come together in the end. VERDICT A discussion-worthy addition in a classic novels curriculum, this offering also makes for good recreational reading.—Hope Baugh, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN
Johanna’s Sinisalo’s dystopian The Core of the Sun is a stunningly evocative novel about the great literary theme of identity, brilliantly rendering the complex struggle between society’s norms, our innate personal qualities, and the transformative substances of the physical world. Sex, drugs, and bureaucracy: what could be more compelling?”Robert Olen Butler, author of The Empire of Night
Meticulously imagined . . . the novel creates an impressively detailed and extremely frightening world. Written with wit and grace . . . Maintains an impressive grasp on plot and suspense, easily luring the reader into taking its characters, politics, and striking story to heart.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Smooth writing and nicely calibrated pacing . . . [Sinisalo] ups the ante with well-paced and eerily fitting facts about the history of science, clever literary narrative, and complex characterization. This tale will appeal to dystopia lovers and fans of darkly offbeat suspense.”Booklist (starred review)
Sinisalo is at her best when describing the action; she makes you feel the heat of those chilies . . . An unusual and fun story with a strong dose of social commentary.”Publishers Weekly
By making them into state laws, Sinisalo unveils the rules by which discrimination functionsand in doing so, makes them laughable.”Die Welt (Germany)
Johanna Sinisalo’s best novel since the Finlandia Prize-winning Troll: A Love Story . . . Her literary punch in the guts is delivered with skill and force . . . The story inhabits the same sphere as The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood . . . Sinisalo demonstrates her mastery of rhythm.”Helsingin Sanomat (Finland)
An intoxicating book, sizzling to look at and as spicy as a hot pepper.” Weltexpress (Germany)
Sinisalo creates a world so close, and yet so far, with small, often subtle twists . . . [The Core of the Sun] is a fun, feminist, political novelas tasty as a strawberry habanero chili sauce.”Deutschlandradio Kultur (Germany)
Johanna Sinisalo’s satire is bitingly on-target . . . The image of a country where the Health Authority decides what people require is pure black humorit would be hilarious if it weren’t so frightening. Sinisalo is a social critic, but her writing is very tangible, appealing to the senses. It makes for a unique reading experience: highly immersive, almost breathtaking . . . Sinisalo demonstrates that weird’ is never very far from everyday reality.”Books from Finland
Johanna Sinisalo’s Core of the Sun is a vicious satire. A dark dystopian novel that is nonetheless filled with humor, and inspired in its language.” Die Rheinpfalz (Germany)
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Top customer reviews
Similar format to Troll - A love story, but a whole new mind bending glimpse into what could have been and what may still be ahead.