The Shadow of the Sun
Sarah Kelly
(3 reviews)
Emily enters her senior year of high school expecting to keep her head down long enough to graduate ... Show More
Adventure, Cross-Genre, Dystopian, LGBT, Modern Romance, New Adult, Romance, Sci Fi, Young Adult
Social Issues, Sex Ed, Contraception, LGBT, Sci Fi, High School, Adventure, Environment, Censorship, Class Issues, Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender


With gloved hands, Emily tapped in the security code, the same code since she was born, and opened the door to her family’s apartment. Tiptoeing down the hallway, she made her way past her parent’s bedroom and checked on Josh’s room.

Josh wasn’t there, of course. Emily wondered where he was now. Was he listening to Kendra? Had she done the right thing?

Her room looked exactly as she had left it. The bed was unmade, dirty laundry in the hamper, and her school tablet was gathering dust on her desk. Nothing had changed.

“It feels weird being back,” Emily said, kneeling down. Her collection of news articles, pamphlets, and books were still there.

“It’s only been a day,” Artemis said.

Emily rolled her eyes. Leave it to Artemis to be literal.

It had only been a day. A day and a few hours. But it felt like years and years since she had stepped foot in her room, much less slept in her own bed. It felt weird for everything to be the same.

Emily pulled the stack of papers from underneath her bed and blew.

“Wait, what am I thinking?” Emily asked as Artemis laughed. She took Artemis off and placed her on the desk with the papers. Emily tossed her gloves onto the desk, then knelt down to retrieve her unused journal. A red maple leaf embellished the cover.

She sat at her desk and reached for the lamp.

Emily stopped, hesitating only for a second, and put one glove back on to turn on the lamp.

4 April 2037,” Emily read.

“BBC reporters recently caught up with current WHO leader, Sandy Miles, about the controversial building under construction in New Cali, Nevada. The 50-storey building will be home to ReproTech Industries in an expansion to the United States, whose recent legislation has been directed to try to block the company from gaining a foothold in the country.

“When asked why the building was so controversial, Miles replied, ‘It’s not about the money or the resources. America doesn’t care about those. What we’re seeing is a very strong ideological difference between America and UN countries, and this is merely a symptom of that.’

“Just last year, President Pastor Michaelson was quoted saying, ‘It’s un-Godly, and it’s un-American. There is no need for a European company to come overseas to try to impose laws on a sovereign nation.’

"His response came after the UN threatened sanctions on the United States after the WHO released a 75-page report on infant mortality rate, mother mortality rate, necessary incubation versus natural pregnancy rate, and poverty rate among single mothers in the United States.

A high-ranking official of the United Territories of Korea commented, saying, ‘If the UN imposes sanctions, we will be ready with guns.’”

Emily sighed and placed the article on the desk, then moved onto the next one. This article was more aged, almost twenty years old and brown throughout. The light glared off of its plastic sheet as Emily read.

13 June 2019

“World leaders met today to sign a peace treaty in the still smoking ruins of the former US capital, Washington, DC. The move comes after increased hostilities between the United States and Canada, resulting in skirmishes along the demilitarized zone between the two countries.

“After the US condemned the actions of Canadian soldiers during the war, President Pastor released a statement demanding reparations for the loss of many national buildings such as the White House and the Library of Congress. In addition, the US has threatened more violence if Canada refuses.

“The UN-approved treaty will end formal hostilities between the two nations, disallowing the United States, China, the UTK, and Russia from trading, buying, or selling military equipment. Whether or not the United States' UN membership is dissolved remains to be voted on by other UN member-states.”

Emily placed it beside the first article and moved on.

She placed multiple other sheets of paper on her desk, including copies of the Declaration of Independence and the pre-2020 Bill of Rights. On top of the unrevised Bill of Rights, she placed the revised one. On top of that one, she placed yet another article.

20 February 2020

“Riots have broken out across the United States of America in protestation of Congress’ revisal of the Bill of Rights. Including removing other fundamental aspects of the bill, Congress has rescinded voting rights of citizens in debt to the government. From the market crash of 2016, 85% of Americans are considered ‘debtors.’

“In what some have dubbed the American Spring, citizens from all across the US are demanding the immediate impeachment of President Pastor Michaelson. Countless videos have been uploaded showing police brutality, and over a million tweets use the “American Spring” hashtag.

“One such user tweeted, ‘How long before they take away our first amendment, too? #AmericanSpring #Hindsightis2020’

“Multiple tech giants, among them Google, Apple, and Microsoft, have moved their headquarters overseas to protest the growing number of court-orders for cloud data confiscation.

“President Pastor Michaelson has refused to comment.”

Just one article was left. Emily placed it on the pile.

August 25, 2021

“Pastor addressed the nation today in a groundbreaking State of the Union address. In the speech, Pastor declared the national firewall complete, citing it as a victory against the nation’s enemies.

“”For far too long, we have suffered under the UN,” Pastor said amidst raucous cheers. “Today, we are finally secure against countries who would abuse us, who would take our free will and turn it against us. The cyber armies of Canada and Britain can no longer hurt an innocent American citizen.”

“Our comrades in the East sent a formal congratulation to Pastor, and the Chinese Minister of Technology advised Pastor on how best to discourage naysayers.”

Emily was out of articles. She felt like she needed more, like she needed to bring libraries of articles with her. She hoped that whoever found her journal, whoever took the time to rifle through her collection of paper history, would understand.

Opening her journal, she brought an old-fashioned ink ballpoint pen to the paper and paused. Emily leaned back and stared at the ceiling. She knew she was wasting precious time, but couldn’t think of anything to say. She didn’t even know who she was writing to.

“What do you say to someone you don’t know?” Emily asked.

Artemis, the helmet, didn’t respond.

Emily sighed. She put the pen to the paper again, writing, “I don’t know who you are.”
Log in to add a comment or review for this chapter Chapter updated on: 9/24/2015 7:57:40 PM
  • Yashita Ghazi commented on :
    5/28/2017 6:03:12 PM
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  • Kine Gaye commented on :
    9/18/2016 1:10:58 PM
    Good day. It’s my pleasure meeting you, and that you enjoying your day? Can you allowed me to introduce my self to you. My name is Kine Ghazi . I will like to get ... Show More
  • TP Keating commented on :
    5/16/2016 3:06:49 PM
    As other reviewers before me have said, this is an extremely readable story, which provides background without ever feeling like info-dumping. Highly enjoyable.
  • Kelly Haas Shackelford commented on :
    6/27/2015 7:45:52 PM
    I really enjoyed the opening.
    • Sarah Kelly Thank you for reading! I hope you'll enjoy the rest just as much.
      6/28/2015 3:41:41 PM
    • ANN brown Hello good day, i will like to meet you in person, am miss Anna, am from France and am leaving in London, please contact me on my email id at (, for more information about me. because i have some important thing i will like to discuss with you privately. Hope to hear from you soon. Anna, thanks
      5/6/2016 7:31:22 PM
  • anna brown commented on :
    3/31/2016 12:52:19 AM
    Hello good day, i will like to meet you in person, am miss Anna, am from France and am leaving in London, please contact me on my email id at (, ... Show More
  • Aden Ng commented on :
    2/21/2016 4:20:51 PM
    I've had this in my bookshelf for a while now, and I've finally cleared enough of my shelf to read this. And I must say, I'm impressed. I especially like the introduction ... Show More
    • Sarah Kelly Thanks! I'm finally catching up on comments hahaha! I go back and forth, because I think this might be too much info at once, yet I think it's also a good way to bring people into the world.
      3/29/2016 4:41:57 PM
  • Dev Chatterji commented on :
    10/21/2015 4:36:00 AM
    The news story you have here is awesome. Very chilling in its realism.
  • Tandy Gutierrez commented on :
    7/17/2015 11:46:10 PM
    I like that this has high readability. I can sit and breeze through and not realize how much ilve read. The contemporary yet dystopian flowis refreshing. Most novels of ... Show More
    • Sarah Kelly Thanks! I figured I wouldn't overload with darkness. That was actually advice I took from my friends and other people on here. If it's too dark/angsty/arrogant, it can really turn people away (especially if it's a first chapter).
      7/31/2015 9:18:38 PM
  • Geoffrey Ng commented on :
    6/25/2015 9:12:35 PM
    I liked how you introduced me to your world's issues with the protagonist reading news articles. I really like that method over traditional narration.
    • Sarah Kelly Thanks! I wasn't sure if it was too much, or too boring, but I'm glad to hear it's worked for you.
      6/28/2015 3:42:11 PM
  • Ada Redmond commented on :
    6/18/2015 11:24:05 AM
    Oh my goodness, what an introduction. Looking through the tags, I wasn't really sure what I was getting into here to be honest, but after reading those articles I'm ... Show More
    • Ryan Watt Never too late to this party. It's so good, so very good.
      6/18/2015 3:55:59 PM
    • Sarah Kelly Thanks guys! Yeah, the tags are weird. Same with the synopsis. I'm just really bad at explaining what, exactly, the story is about. There is more mentions of different countries sprinkled throughout. I think it's fascinating how different countries work together (or not).
      6/18/2015 4:14:13 PM
  • Nathan Daeodain commented on :
    6/4/2015 6:47:39 AM
    The very start is a Great opening. And OH SO DARK that the president of the US is a pastor. Love it! As a citizen, I love seeing America as the bad guy,,, or at least it ... Show More
    • Sarah Kelly Thanks! Yeah, I wanted to show that the separation of church and state has completely dissolved. As for the "America as a bad guy," that is my biggest pet peeve about the Call of Duty series. All of the villains are foreign. Metro 2033, in my opinion, does a better job at more realistic enemies, simply because some of the dangers the main character faces come from inside the society. I'm not entirely pleased with this prologue myself. I wrote it to replace this 4k word beast of a chapter, and it still needs work. Thanks again! I definitely appreciate the constructive criticism.
      6/4/2015 7:19:10 PM
  • Devon Tarantino commented on :
    5/23/2015 12:26:37 AM
    Totally hooked already! I love dystopias that are done intelligently, which is unfortunately hard to find. So far this looks incredible! I love the little details ... Show More
    • Sarah Kelly Thanks so much! I hear you. Especially for YA dystopias (or YA anything, I'm looking at you, House of Night series).
      5/24/2015 4:11:31 PM
  • A. L. Ross commented on :
    4/17/2015 4:15:00 AM
    Oh yes, this will do most excellently! I'm hooked immediately. Just enough questions are asked about Emily's current state of safety. Also, the articles effortlessly ... Show More
    • A. L. Ross I do want to critique however, the paragraph with the sentence, " building being built in New Cali..." as a bit redundant.
      4/17/2015 4:19:11 AM
    • Sarah Kelly That's a good catch! Thanks! Of course if it's being built, people don't really need to be told it's new.
      4/19/2015 10:40:01 PM
  • M. Howalt commented on :
    4/3/2015 2:37:48 PM
    I've wanted to begin reading this for a while now, but only got around to starting now. I wasn't disappointed! :) I like the snippets of "history" we get through the new ... Show More
    • Sarah Kelly Thanks! It's a great cover. I absolutely love it, especially since it goes against this trend a lot of young adult novels have where they stick a pretty girl on the cover. I'm still not sure if this is the best way to present so many news articles, but I like it. I also have a love for journalism, so it was important to me to talk about journalism at least a little bit.
      4/10/2015 3:50:39 PM
  • Andre Clemons commented on :
    4/9/2015 11:45:11 PM
    Great opening chapter, setting the scene of what's to come. I do like how extensively you map out the political and social scene in this not-so-distant future. So much of ... Show More
    • Sarah Kelly Thank you! I definitely tried to showcase society's biggest concerns.
      4/10/2015 3:47:51 PM
  • Kevin Boyer commented on :
    4/7/2015 11:20:11 PM
    Hm, pretty much an exposition chapter. I like how you've started with character setting and a bit of characterization, but it really is an exposition chapter. I know ... Show More
    • Sarah Kelly It is, admittedly. I think the pacing of it could be a little better, but I'm content with it (for now). And, I love time travel! But it's not really in this story. It is, but it isn't. Part one and two are written from Emily's perspective, and essentially she's writing in a journal, so it's her future (or current) self writing about events that happened to her past self.
      4/9/2015 9:54:12 PM
  • J.A. Waters commented on :
    2/13/2015 12:12:14 AM
    I'm pretty torn about this first chapter / prologue. I like the use of news-clips to really get us into the world you've imagined, but I also really liked the interaction ... Show More
    • Sarah Kelly I can definitely see how that would smooth things over, but she has to do stuff the old-fashioned way for that. I need to clarify somehow that she wants to save these things for posterity and can't have the formats be dependent on batteries or screens. Hmm. But thanks! And, yeah, I think that will be the first joke of 2020 and will be run into the ground by January third or fourth.
      2/13/2015 12:23:07 AM
  • Jake Young commented on :
    2/8/2015 8:15:47 PM
    Holy [*****], this is awesome. This is so edgy, so relevant. What keeps us in our homes, content? This is dangerous. It's exciting. The American Spring. This is something I can get down with.
    • Sarah Kelly Right? There's so much going on in the world that I couldn't resist touching on that. I especially have a love for journalism, and I really am fascinated by how social media is changing journalism. Today we live in a world where if a riot happens in Antarctica, we know about it an hour later, and the news is straight from the penguins and polar bears and seals of Antarctica.
      2/8/2015 8:53:36 PM
  • Jake Young commented on :
    1/12/2015 10:57:48 PM
    Well, I've failed. I can already tell you that much. This is just insanely good. I don't even know where to start - first off, you make me feel dumb so thanks for that. ... Show More
    • View 1 more comment(s)
    • Jake Young Sarah, I think I'm starting to figure out why I haven't read more of your book yet. This chapter was mentally and emotionally gripping, draining, stressful, something. It was too long. It was so good, but I became immediately intimidated out of reading on. I outright enjoyed the hell out of it, but subconsciously something said to me "do you really want to try and make it through another one of these?" The answer is, not more than once every 5 or 6 chapters. Your next chapter is a much better indicator, I think, of how the story will flow. This one is just so long to represent only one day.
      1/28/2015 2:17:31 PM
    • Evan Marcroft Leave that period out. Don't be a sellout and maintain your artistic integrity.
      1/28/2015 4:24:45 PM
    • Sarah Kelly Yeah, chapter one is definitely pretty long. Other chapters are more reasonable. I think it's something like 3k words, which is pretty dang long. I might even re-write the beginning for a print release. Hahahaha! "No, mom, you just don't get it! I meant to leave that period out! It represents life's lack of a meaning!" Or something.
      1/28/2015 6:37:40 PM
    • Jake Young So your first chapter clocks in at 4.6k words which is around 1.5-2k too long, depending on what you're going for. Average reader is going to spend 15-20 minutes on your first chapter which means they're only going make it about halfway through. I took a break around halfway before reading the rest. It's not a bad idea to split this chapter in 2, I don't think. It seems to have two separate story arcs - one where she meets and forms an opinion about Ann, and the rest where she interacts with everyone else in the school and the rest of her friends. Again, just offering friendly suggestions! If you want to view this issue from an outsiders' perspective, check out the first chapter of 'Spooked!' Where I make this same recommendation. If you agree with me there, you might agree with me here as well. If you think I'm wrong there, same is true. It's all in the eye of the beholder. Your writing is hella solid I just need breaks is all :)
      1/28/2015 7:12:47 PM
    • Sarah Kelly That is a very good point. I'll keep thinking about it, since re-writing the first couple of chapters might be pretty useful. Especially chapter three. It just kind of sticks out, and I'd like to integrate it somehow. I'll definitely keep kicking around ideas, though. Thanks for the comments! It's what I need to hear :P
      1/28/2015 9:37:11 PM
  • Nathaniel Tower commented on :
    1/28/2015 12:57:37 AM
    You do an excellent job of capturing a young voice without making it seem whiny or immature. This is a great start, and I'm looking forward to reading more.
    • Sarah Kelly Thanks! Yeah, I tried to let the reader know Emily's upset without overwhelming them with complaints. I was actually really turned off by Mockingjay because I feel like Katniss is a little too whiny. Great series, but the voice is a tad too much for me.
      1/28/2015 6:48:49 PM
  • J.A. Waters commented on :
    1/28/2015 5:19:45 PM
    This is fun, funny, well written, and it flows beautifully. I'm simply have to keep reading. All the details and great conversation really makes a living / breathing world I want more of.
    • Sarah Kelly Thank you! I'm a real big believer in details. You don't really have to overload the reader with details, but I like books that make it feel like the characters existed before the story started.
      1/28/2015 6:45:37 PM
  • Evan Marcroft commented on :
    11/17/2014 8:06:47 PM
    Hey, just a heads up! I've heard that line indentations will disqualify you from getting into Jukepop Top30, since it doesn't comply with their perferred format. That's ... Show More
    • Sarah Kelly Thanks! I was wondering about that. Just to specifiy, I should remove the spaces on each first sentence of a paragraph, right?
      11/18/2014 1:07:35 AM
    • Evan Marcroft Yes. And, spaces between each line of dialogue, but I think you had that one already.
      11/18/2014 1:18:06 AM
    • Sarah Kelly Copy that, thanks! I heard once from a reader that indentation would help, but I don't like it. Now I have a reason to change it yesss.
      11/18/2014 1:22:05 AM
    • Evan Marcroft Indentation is what you want in print. I don't know why this site has this policy, but whatever, Glad to help. You read my serial, after all :D
      11/18/2014 1:29:29 AM
  • Evan Marcroft commented on :
    11/17/2014 8:08:02 PM
    Your opening paragraph poses too many questions in too small a space for someone to not read on :3 I love when authors give the reader just enough information to know ... Show More
  • Ryan Watt commented on :
    11/4/2014 10:11:03 PM
    You do something in this chapter that I really like. While the point of this chapter seems to be to set up Emily's old status quo so you can upset that, and there are ... Show More
    • Sarah Kelly Thanks so much! I'm glad you liked it. Honestly, I thought it was one of the more boring chapters. There's a whole lot of world building before I get to have fun with the characters. I tried to make it as interesting as possible hahaha! I also wanted to mention stuff like bracenets and pixels and proxy-drives so I can bring them up later and use them as plot points. I was also planning on doing a chapter-by-chapter analysis on my tumblr. Mainly just what inspired the chapters, what challenges I faced while writing it, what I liked/didn't like, etc. Anyway, thanks again for your comment!
      11/5/2014 5:03:25 PM
  • a dabra commented on :
    8/15/2014 9:24:51 AM
    good start.
  • TP Keating gave
    7/17/2015 9:12:30 PM
    Hi Sarah Kelly, Wow, THE SHADOW OF THE SUN has a fab, eye-catching cover. The first chapter strikes a nice balance between providing info and moving the plot along. ... Show More
    • Sarah Kelly Thanks so much! Glad to have you on board. I look forward to reading your comments!
      7/17/2015 9:32:13 PM
  • 4/25/2015 5:34:20 PM
    If someone were to time-jump just half a century into the future, then Shadow of the Sun might be a record of that timeline. The author pulls together the world we ... Show More