Book Review: Parasite by Mira GrantTuesday, October 08, 2013
#1 in Parasitology series
by Mira Grant
Genre: SciFi, Thriller
Format: Ebook, 608 pages
Published On: October 29, 2013
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First Sentence: This is not the first thing I remember.
A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.
We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.
But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives . . . and will do anything to get them.~ taken from Goodreads
I heard a lot of good (and great) things about Mira Grant and Newsflesh Trilogy, but Parasite is first book by her I read and I really enjoyed it. It's a thrilling page-turner that will make you think you have gained super-fast reading speed. At least, until you look at the clock and see what time it is.
In the not-so-distant future, humanity has found a perfect solution to improve health of population. You just need to swallow one little pill and all your allergies will disappear and your immune system will improve ten-fold. What's the catch? Well, you will have a tapeworm living in your gastrointestinal tract. Yep you heard me right. A tapeworm. A parasite.
Believe it or not, this idea actually became very popular and most of the population accepted it. That's definite proof that good advertising can sell anything. Hats off to SymboGen's marketing department. As for me, if I can choose, I would not have any parasite in me even when I am dead. I don't care that this is friendly neighborhood tapeworm. Just a thought about something squiggling trough my body creeps me out. Not to mention that thing laying eggs etc. Sneezing when there is too much dust sounds like better option for me, thank you very much.
"SymboGen: the castle that worms built." ~ Sal from Parasite by Mira Grant [image source]
One of the reasons that Parasite presents such an engaging story and sounds so real is that it's full of excerpt from interviews and science studies. It somehow gives the story credibility and makes it all seem possible. The other thing that made me connect with the story so much was the choice of a narrator.
Sally Sal had a horrible car accident which she barely survived and suffered from amnesia as consequence. And when I say amnesia, I mean total amnesia. She didn't remember even English language and had to relearn again. Having a narrator who is new to the society and culture makes introduction to the story and the world so much smoother and easier.
I could understand why Sal sometimes felt distant from other people. It's not easy when everyone knows your story and you are "a bit of a celebrity, a bit of an experiment, and a bit of a cautionary tale, all at the same time." But Sal still has so much humanity, sympathy and honor.
I also liked the fact that Sal has a boyfriend. They are already in a relationship, they trust each other and Nathan is so cute in a geeky sort of way. It's so refreshing when book features a strong loving couple and I hope this stays the same in the future.
As the end of Parasite came near, the tempo increased, the big revelations started happening and then with a last big shocking discovery we have... to wait for the next book. I am definitely intrigued to find out what happens next and will be reading Symbiogenesis when it's published.
In The End...
If you like books about government and big corporations conspiracies, and you are sick of zombie virus as cause for people going crazy in the future, then check out Parasite by Mira Grant. It's will creep you out, not with gore or scary monster, but with reality of all this becoming true someday.