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The Crack Magazine

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Parahumanity by Hannah Hoare

Hannah Hoare's debut novel takes you to a dystopian future where both science and religion are equally distrusted. Seventeen-year-old Katrina arrives in California hoping to finally find her people. Raised on the Island by her father and brother, she has been told her whole life that California is Civilised Society: the place she somehow came from and needed to return to.

She enters a confusing world, unlike anything in the recordings she watched as a child to teach her all about Civilised Society. This California is not welcoming of differences. Rather it is suspicious of Katrina with her high intelligence but lack of social knowledge. She meets people who she hopes will protect her and teach her, only to be taken advantage of.

Parahumanity questions the superiority of humans and shines a light on the darkness inherent in the many myths we tell ourselves. Katrina soon begins to be taken in by this world, even more so when she meets Alexander, the son of a notorious biologist. Hoare skilfully brings this dystopian world to life with a real page-turner of a novel. As Katrina narrates her story, you will be kept wondering: how much can we trust this version of the truth? KM