I’ve said before that a theme in my stories, or my first story anyway (The Little Queen), is ‘everyone is messed up their parents somehow’. In real life, I actually get along with my parents just fine even though we clash a lot on politics. I just realised when I was nearly writing that all the main characters actions are because of their parents.
Jennifer obviously got her love of knowledge and science from her parents, and it was their disappearance that made her withdraw from the world. Kaya is shown to not be close to her dad, and admits that it may have been jealously that Jen was close to hers that made Kaya into a bit of a bully when she was younger. Tenley spent most of her life living alone with her mother, taking care of her and doing all the chores. The only thing her mother ever taught her was to fight, so when faced with loss that’s exactly what she does. Titania’s contempt for humans actually comes from her father figure, Alvin Stag, who also looks down on people despite being human himself (as well as the fact that they did try to kill her when they weren’t able to control her).
It’s also a story about another way humans might engineer their successors, so I suppose all this is rather. When I’m writing the next edition, I want to strengthen all these themes more throughout the story. (The original edition of course is still available many places, but as it was my first novel and a little rushed it’s probably best to regard it as a draft. The new edition will be the finished novel).