Sempra has lived all of her sixteen years in an enclosed dome called the Circadia Stable Living Facility. It is structured, sustainable, and windowless. After the sun grew in intensity, causing society to become nocturnal, it was the only safe place to go. No one remembers the outside world. For 150 years the government has warned them about the deadly sun, and savage, vengeful outsiders. There is only one punishment for any crime: to be exiled from the facility. But Sempra is curious. Beyond those walls, what is there to see? When she and her childhood friend, Alden, discover a forbidden book, she begins to question the facility, and, with it, everything she has ever known.
Praise for Call of the Sun Child
In Call of the Sun Child, Varela has created a living, breathing world, that which was formed from her own passions. This tale of a lost girl, Sempra, and her transformation into adulthood is poignant and real. The world she exists in is somewhat distant, but unfortunately not distant enough. A cautionary tale, a coming of age tale… it all asks us the important questions: “Who are you and why do you believe what you do?”
—Steve Davala, author of The Soulkind Awakening
Call of the Sun Child is written in a haunting and beautiful prose. Varela trusts her readers with figurative and poetic language that paints an almost dream-like setting in post-apocalyptic America. Varela does more than write a story, she captures the vague and elusive emotions of Sempra, a girl who must learn to dream of freedom before she can pursue it.
—Regina Sirois, author of On Little Wings
If you like speculative fiction with fascist governments stomping out independent human thought, if you like books with human hibernation, TEEN resistance, sleep without dreams, “stiff air,” expulsions to the Outside, and “the best hair brushing methods,” if you like “shining circular portals,” if you like Jack London’s Call of the Wild, if you can recall Jesus’s 40-day fast in the Judaean desert, if you want to read about a young woman reaching for the Edge of the Universe, then Call of the Sun Child is your book. The narrator, Sempra, is a courageous, soulful storyteller. Her long, strange journey towards freedom (of thought, of shaping her own destiny) will surprise even the most seasoned of fiction readers. Francesca G. Varela’s sentences shimmer. This is a beautiful first novel by a young writer to watch. I can’t wait to read Ms. Varela’s next book.
—Jay Ponteri, author of Wedlocked