The Sun, by Sue Lord, is an adventure story for children. Set in a future England which has been ravaged by war it tells the tale of ten year old Danny, a D-class citizen of New London. Following an unexpected run in with a group of law enforcers he escapes underground where he befriends a group of Lowers. Subsequent events lead to an evacuation of the tunnels in which they live and Danny finds himself leaving the ordered world he has always known under the huge, protective dome that covers the city. Danny and his new friends set out on a difficult journey to find the mythical Sun in which the Lowers believe.
Life in New London is strictly controlled with all citizens being routinely drugged to maintain health and suppress emotion. The desire of the rulers of this city to keep all acting in a socially accepted, prescribed manner reminded me of current practices where unruly children are offered drugs in an attempt to make them behave as required by those with power over their lives. As with other dystopian fiction, this story is strongest where it can highlight a current, questionable practice that is being implemented on a few for the supposed greater good and demonstrate a possible effect should it became more widely used and accepted.
The Lowers have acquired knowledge from books which they use to navigate the barren landscape outside the dome. As their journey progresses they encounter plants and animals for the first time. There is plenty of drama and humour amongst the group as they search for their dreamed of utopia. Their experiences of eating food rather than nourishment tablets and the effect this has on their digestive systems is described in highly amusing detail.
Adjusting to self sufficiency is a challenge but Danny soon comes to realise that the health, safety and order imposed in New London came at a high price. However, not everyone on the outside is good and the travellers face as much danger from human survivors of the war as from the landscape and wildlife.
The author wrote this book for her grandson, Freddie, who would have been four this year. Her hope is that it will help to raise money for S.A.N.D.S., the Still Birth and Neonatal Death Society. If you would like to support her then The Sun may be purchased in paperback format or on ebook from Amazon.
My copy of this book was provided gratis by the author.