Filaria is, in its conciseness and its oddly disturbing grace, one of the finest debuts written in the last decade -- in the sff genre or any other genre. For a fast reader, it could be consumed in nearly a breath, but this would be to miss the point entirely. This is a book meant to be examined, to be known.
What strikes me as so unique is how Hayward manages to build such a intensely resonant world in so few words. You will not forget having been in this book. Images, perhaps even whole scenes if you're visually minded, will stick with you for the remainder of your life.
Here, because it might illustrate what I'm trying (and probably failing) to say, is something I said about Filaria in an interview:
"There is a scene in it where two ancient elevator-repairmen brothers are hanging in a massive (and malfunctioning) elevator shaft--or rather, have been hanging in a massive elevator shaft their entire lives. This may seems a somewhat mundane scenario when compared to interstellar wars and such, but there is for me this moment of consideration: what must life be like, hanging in silence and darkness for most of your life, waiting on... what? An elevator car that will never come? It's frightening to consider, and yet in its way it is also beautiful in an immensely sad way. It's almost like considering death, that great unknown."
Anyway, you should buy it, because it's great.