When important people leave, emotional holes inevitably remain, voids that can be filled by either new symbiotic or parasitic relationships. Both are explored in this new philosophical contemporary sci-fi from Thomas (Nowhere Near You, 2017).
The Mexican-American Vasquez family of Eustace, New Mexico—mom Maggie, elder brother Hank, middle child Ana, and younger brother Milo—are still reeling from the sudden loss of their father when a mysterious being takes up residence within the three Vasquez siblings. Having originally considered the clan to be one complex organism, Luz (as the children dub their interloper) appropriates Hank’s hands, Ana’s eyes, and Milo’s ears to both observe the surrounding world and to communicate with and among its sibling hosts. But then Luz leaves as well. Chapters of densely metaphorical third-person prose shift focus among the members of the Vasquez clan and eventually to Luz himself, highlighting each character’s unique relationship with the strange being that once occupied their home and their attendant emotional turmoil at his sudden and violent separation. Thomas explores themes of forgiveness, family, friendship, and identity along the way as the Vasquez clan slowly heals from the major rifts in their lives, rifts whose beginnings were set in motion long before the arrival of Luz.
This pensive sci-fi novel straddles many worlds without quite fitting in any, not unlike the endearing square-peg characters at its heart. (Science fiction. 14-18)