In Johanna Sinisalo’s alternative universe, Finland is a nanny state run amock, where prohibition was never repealed, the theories of the eugenics movement were never renounced, and alcohol and all sorts of other substances are completely banned – including chili peppers, due to their possible mind-altering and addictive properties. The heroes of the novel are Vanna, an undesirably intelligent woman who wears an empty-headed pose to stay out of the clutches of the Health Authority, and Jare, an illicit chili pepper dealer who recruits her as his assistant and helps her to search for her lost sister.
This newest novel by the internationally acclaimed author of Troll: A Love Story and The Blood of Angels is audacious satire, with a numinous soul at its core.
Reviews of Core of the Sun:
“[Sinisalo] creates an impressively detailed and extremely frightening world. Written with wit and grace… the novel maintains an impressive grasp on plot and suspense, easily luring the reader into taking its characters, politics, and striking story to heart.” – Kirkus (starred review)
“Like the best dystopias, Core of the Sun recasts a familiar concept into a slightly different world, in order to highlight exactly how strange our everyday beliefs are. It’s the best dystopian fiction I’ve read in a very long while.” – Paul Constant, Seattle Review of Books
“Sinisalo harnesses the smooth writing and nicely calibrated pacing that has made her fiction popular, but ups the ante with well-placed 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.” – Christine Tran, Booklist (starred review)
“SF, fantasy, and New Weird readers will revel in the elegantly blurred lines of science and mysticism. Readers seeking a reliable, strong, female narrator won’t be disappointed. The narrator’s funny, sad, punk voice is unforgettable.” – Library Journal
“Sinisalo crafts a funny, unsettling, emotionally charged apparition of the present that’s all her own.” – Jason Heller, NPR
” A testament to the power of the human soul to escape oppression and a smirking social commentary, The Core of the Sun is one deliciously spicy package.” – Shelf Awareness (starred review)