The Core of the Sun

tr. from Finnish by Lola Rogers. 320p. Grove Atlantic/Black Cat. Jan. 2016. pap. $16. ISBN 9780802124647.
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.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing