She is exceptional both in her ideas and in her execution of them. I won’t lie, when I first read the blurb of this book I was intrigued, but I was also worried. Here is what it says…
“The Eusistocratic Republic of Finland has bred a new human sub-species of receptive, submissive women, called eloi, for sex and procreation, while intelligent, independent women are relegated to menial labor and sterilized so that they do not carry on their “defective” line. Vanna, raised as an eloi but secretly intelligent, needs money to help her doll-like sister, who has disappeared. Vanna forms a friendship with a man named Jare, and they become involved in buying and selling a stimulant known to the Health Authority to be extremely dangerous: chili peppers.”
I worried that it might either be a rip off of The Handmaidens Tale, or worse (much worse) 50 shades of grey.
Thankfully it is neither – it might share a little if the same DNA as The Handmaids Tale, but it is a completely different story. It also has a little of the DNA of 1984 and A Brave New World. It is a child of a great dynasty but Sinisalo brings her contemporary experiences to the table too. Vanna is a brilliant character, and you’ll really care what happens to her. Finland as an “eusistocracy”—an extreme welfare state—that holds public health and social stability above all else, is believable, and just as sinister as any other controlling state. I doubted that using Chili peppers as an illegal stimulant and possibly hallucinogenic drug would work, but by the end I was tempted into trying them myself!
This book blew hot panic and intense melancholy through me. Read it.
5 hot bites!