Author: Mira Grant
Series: Parasitology, Book 1
Published: Reprint edition (October 7, 2014)
Paperback,, 544 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Summary: 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.
Review: I loved this book. I bought a used hardbound copy from a library book sale for 50 cents, and then it sat on my TBR shelf for the longest time because it just looked so HUGE. At 512 pages, this was actually a really fast read. I don’t read much horror, but when I do it tends to be zombie fic, and I’m really interested in epidemiology. Now this book doesn’t really have to do with epidemiology, but it seems like it does? I can’t explain it.
Of course I saw the ending (at least as it relates to Sal) coming from miles away. Still, there were several plot twists and surprises I did not see coming at all, and the book kept me riveted throughout. I really like the dynamic between Sal and Nathan, and appreciated that this sci-fi/horror story also had an element of romance. Hooray! It’s also interesting to think about the dynamic between Sal and her parents, with them treating her like a child because she only has a child’s “life span,” but she also has a fully developed adult brain, so she’s a “child” but at the same time not. Intriguing to me and my just-enough-to-be-dangerous knowledge of psychology.
I don’t know anything at all about biology, parasites, or medicine, so I can’t say if the jargon around the Intestinal Bodyguard is possible or not from a purely scientific viewpoint. As a reader, Mira Grant made me believe that it was believable, which is all I ask. For someone with a more advanced medical background, there might be more of a suspension of disbelief involved when reading this book. There’s enough medical stuff put in there in such a way that I believed it and it gave the book a very sci-fi feel, but not so much that I felt lost or disconnected from the story. I think that’s a very fine line to traverse, and Grant does it amazingly well. Also for being horror, this book isn’t TOO horrific, which I appreciate because I’m a total weenie when it comes to gore and the super scary stuff.
Long story short, after reading this as a chaser to Mira Grant’s Into the Drowning Deep (which I LOVED), I’m pretty much convinced Mira Grant can do no wrong. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series, Symbiont.