A high school story set in a glamorous Asian eco-city.
Fun. Quirky. Romantic. Shoujo with a sci-fi twist.
Shortlisted for the Watty Awards 2022.
Evanna, a lonely gamer girl, dreams big when she moves to a glamorous eco-city, where she reunites with her childhood bestie at the prestigious Komoreby High. Everything is set for a great new start—or so she thought.
When the very first day spirals to rock bottom, she thinks life can't get any worse—until a school tour of the city's gargantuan particle collider takes a bizarre turn. She awakens in a parallel universe with draconian rules and warped versions of everyone. To find her way home, she must unravel the mystery while navigating a social web of potential friends, foes and a rocker guy she's relentlessly drawn to.
The Making of
I'm absolutely thrilled to share this story with the world! It's been brewing in my mind for a long time before I painstakingly jotted it down. It draws inspiration from many sources, including a story my cousin and I dabbled with back in 2010.
Wondering why the title is Komoreby? At first glance, it's just the name of the city. It comes from the Japanese word "komorebi", which means sunlight falling through trees. This has layers of meaning, but I'll let you find out. Check out the comprehensive glossary with science words, story locations and more!
It might interest you to know that Komoreby High in the alternate universe is based on real Asian schools, including its draconian rules. The daily inspections, prefects raiding classrooms, the ban on romance and shadow education are real.
I've always been a science geek, so I've done extensive research for the sci-fi and worldbuilding in this book. The sources are diverse—such as free Harvard courses on Edx, World Science Festival, Isaac Arthur, science magazines and more. The story's high energy physics lab is based on CERN, while the particle collider is a bigger version of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). There's been wild speculation that the LHC can produce wormholes through which people can travel. This is currently restricted only to one's imagination.
There is a cute ship that may bring to mind shoujo anime and K-dramas. Brace yourself for fluff! The story's bad boys are of the non-toxic variety (like Oga, Aomine and Sirius Black). Did I mention the fairytale elements? Yep, Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella.
Komoreby has a diverse cast of characters, coming from many ethnic backgrounds, especially of Asian origin. Due to this diversity, the story contains traditional cuisine and unique locations (such as a forest monastery). The protagonist herself, Evanna Zeller, is a whimsical blend of "different" and gives an authentic voice to those who are not often represented in mainstream media.
Evanna Zeller is...