Parasites is about hope, adventure and found family, which are perhaps the three of the most important things in the world to me. It’s a science fiction novel in the genres of solarpunk and hopepunk; it takes place towards the very end of the universe, when the very fabric of space itself is cooling and contracting.
It follows two explorers, Kael and Alessia, in their exploration of thinnings: patches where two universes rub together, overlapping and allowing travel between worlds in different places. The discovery of thinnings has allowed the people on their resource-poor planet, Lyra, to survive and colonise other places in other universes.
Alessia’s father, also an explorer, died two years prior to the start of the novel, on a mission that – until now – she knew nothing about. But when Kael and Alessia find a message hinting at a ‘solution’ to the problems of the universe, she jumps at the chance to follow in his footsteps and uncover the secrets of the past, recruiting Basteel, a family friend and their bodyguard, to keep them safe.
Parasites is set across a weird and (hopefully) wonderful set of places; planets and space stations with their own cast of creatures and hazards. It’s a journey with friends.
I’m conflicted as to whether Parasites is YA: the protagonists are in their mid to late twenties, but the narrative is also fairly straightforward. It’s on the verge of being hard sci-fi, but my background in the sciences is flimsy to say the least: let’s just say that I’ve tried to make it accessible, which is something that runs through my fantasy books as well. There are no long lineages of characters to remember, no geography to memorise, no large casts, no tough scientific things to get your head around. There’s technology and magic, but it’s my aim to explain it all in a simple way that allows you to just be immersed in the story.
One last thing – if you were hoping this book was something to do with the Oscar-winning Korean film, I apologise – but I hope that I’ve piqued your interest!