Source: Orbit/Netgalley – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation
Publisher: Orbit Publishing
Series: Parasitology #1
Edition: eARC, 504 Pages
Genre: Sci-fi Horror
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
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 tapeworm 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.
Parasite is the sort of book I avoid. It’s sort of a medical thriller, but on top of that it touches on some horror aspects that I have nightmares about. In sort it’s about Parasites and anyone who has a slight phobia against these things will not find a friend in this book, I was seriously wigging out while reading this and I had to take long breaks from it in order to keep from having a spike in anxiety. Adverse side-effects aside it is a really good book. The subject is handled in a realistic and really scary way, and I really enjoyed it even though it scared me to death.
This is set in the not to distant future of 2027. The world has changed but it’s easily recognizable as our own and all of the little tidbits of new technology were easy to see as an advancement possible in our own world. This includes the new medical practices which include an intestinal tapeworm that secretes medications and keeps their host from being sick. Sadly it’s not an idea that seems far fetched because in our not to distant past humans were actually taking pills with tapeworms in them to help them loose weight. If humans are willing to do that for something superficial as weight loss then I don’t see it as under heard if it was proven they could help with something as huge as actual medical problems. So in that respect Mira Grant really presented an easy to believe subject, and on top of that she even built a case for it. I will admit that some of the medical talk toward the beginning of the book was kind of boring and it wasn’t until things started to get really weird that I found myself really interested.
Sal is an odd one and I really liked her overall. She’s still learning about herself and how to handle the world around her due to a nearly fatal car accident that she made a miracle recovery from, unfortunately her memories were gone and she had to start over. I really loved that she was kind of a mess. She has trouble with word meanings, and things most humans know automatically like modesty and what’s weird and what isn’t. I was also really fond of Nathan, who through all of Sal’s issues stuck by her and helped her whenever she needed it. Though I think my favorite character was Tansy, who is a complete nutcase. Everything out of her mouth was a complete surprise and it was a toss up between cute/weird and downright insane.
The parasite angle of this has probably scarred me for life and if anyone ever suggests it as a medical procedure I’ll probably flip out, but I thought it was handled really well and the effect of everything was downright chilling. I’m use to medical thrillers being standalone, at least judging from all of the books my mom use to read. So I’m super excited that this is a series and after the ending Grant gave us I’m so ready for the next book. Overall the plot isn’t the hardest to figure out but there are a few curve-balls that really make this worth while, and even though I saw the ending coming I still felt a chill when I read it.
If you’re looking for a wild ride into a uncharted territory then I definitely recommend this. It has some serious detail in it and everything is carefully constructed, making this great for those who enjoy a bit of world building and realistic ‘proof’.