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Parasite (Parasitology Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Mira Grant
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

Product Description


An incredible, disturbingly plausible tale of what happens to a world where medical treatments have minds of their own (

Parasite is believable, disturbing and only the beginning . . . The distrubingly realistic plot, coupled with interspersed events of hostility from the infected, make for a suspense ridden read (SciFiNow)

A creepy spine-tingler of a medical thriller (Charles Stross)

The most readable, wittily written - and even charming zombie thriller in years (MORNING STAR)

Interesting, morally ambiguous characters and some genuinely unexpected plot developments . . lives up to its intriguing premise (THE LIST)

Existing in a unique space somewhere between medical thriller, psychological science fiction and body horror, Parasite is a properly chilling read (THE ELOQUENT PAGE)

A riveting near-future medical thriller that reads like the genetically-engineered love child of Robin Cook and Michael Crichton (John Joseph Adams)

Parasite is a thoroughly enjoyable nightmare (SUNDAY SPORT)

Book Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of Feed comes this year's most CONTAGIOUS thriller - about a miracle cure . . . and a nightmare side effect

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1225 KB
  • Print Length: 513 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316218952
  • Publisher: Orbit (29 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #84,947 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Review also published on my blog,

After a car accident that leaves her legally brain-dead, Sally Mitchell becomes the first person ever to be saved by a SymboGen implant. The SymboGen implant (known as the Intestinal Bodyguard) is a modified tapeworm which pulls toxins from the bloodstream, fights off infections and generally keeps everyone healthy without any effort on the part of the human who's had one implanted. With no memory of the girl she was before her accident, Sal has had to relearn everything - how to walk, talk, and most of all, who she is. Six years later, she's still guarded by overprotective parents, and occasionally has to submit for testing at SymboGen, but generally life is good.

Then the `sleepwalking' starts - perfectly normal people seem to hollow out, becoming mindless shells of their former selves. With no explanation as to why the disease occurred, how it's spreading, or who will be next, life just became scary and confusing.

I really enjoyed the format and writing style of Parasite. Each chapter begins with a quote or an excerpt from a book or interview about SymboGen. This is a great touch, as it makes the whole world feel more believable, whilst also helping you form opinions of characters who begin to feel three-dimensional even before you meet them.

One of my favourite things about Parasite is that there was some actual science behind the plot. I'm by no means an expert on tapeworms, but we had to study them as part of my degree, and I'm really glad Mira Grant seemed to have done her research! There was just enough science to keep my brain ticking over, and to make the plot seem believable, without feeling either patronising or dry.

Sal is an interesting character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
It’s July 2027. Over the last 12 years people have increasingly chosen to have a SymboGen parasite inserted into them to help monitor and control their health. SymboGen’s genetically engineered parasite can boost the immune system, be used to control drug delivery into the body and even result in bodily improvements. Sally Mitchell was one of SymboGen’s early success cases – 6 years ago they inserted a parasite into her after a serious car crash left her close to death with serious head and bodily injuries. It gave her a new life but the price was to bind her to SymboGen for their research. She has to submit to psychological and physiological tests to assess how the parasite is working and due to the severity of her injuries, her parents have legal guardianship over her affairs, controlling what she can and cannot do. Her only solace is in her boyfriend, Nathan, a doctor at the local hospital who supports her attempts at independence.

Then people suddenly start coming down with what’s termed sleepwalking sickness. They lose control of their bodies, wandering off and even attacking other people. Sally and Nathan become convinced that there’s a link to SymboGen’s parasites but their investigation leads to a shadowy conspiracy and a truth that’s more shocking than they could possibly imagine …

Having really enjoyed Mira Grant’s NEWSFLESH TRILOGY, I was looking forward to reading the first of a new horror trilogy that riffs on INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Grant has clearly done her research on parasites and creates a plausible scenario where people would willingly agree to implantation but this is a curiously flat piece with a lot of set-up and not a lot of tension.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. 6 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another great book by Mira Grant and a strange yet interesting take of the future. The way in which her books are written including 'Parasite' makes you feel as if the story is real and that anything is possible. The characters are likeable and I have grown attached to them. The science behind the storyline and the obvious amount of research that has been put into this book is amazing, it helps to not only understand the characters better but develops the story into something I haven't found with any other book or author. I cant wait for a second volume, this book seems to be the beginning of an exciting series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 'Don't go out alone...' 4 May 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As Mira Grant's books go, this one is definitely slower paced. It does have the feel of a set up for the next book rather than standing alone which I think accounts for some of it. On the other hand I still found it sufficiently engaging that I didn't mind that it wasn't going anywhere fast - I was happy to go along for the ride. And what a set up it is; I was put in mind of H.G. Wells War of the Worlds except in this case the invasion is coming from within.

Under the lowering shadow of the faintly paternal and obscurely threatening Symbogen, Sal Mitchell is just not improving any further after a car accident six years ago killed her but the Symbogen engineered intestinal bodyguard saved her life. She has no memories of the life she led before the car accident and in a very real sense has been learning to be herself for the last six years.What Sal doesn't know, what she can't let herself know, is why. And how does this make her so important to both sides in an upcoming war? When the battle lines are drawn, which side will she stand on?

Anyone who has read any science fiction is going to figure out in about twelve pages what the big plot twist is. On the other hand I think it was never intended to be a big twist; the conflict in this first book is on a small scale - Sal vs herself. Sal vs Symbogen and her loving but controlling parents , then later Sal vs the sleeping sickness which may have something to do with symbogen implants. As a confused character who has not had a lifetime to learn social mores and niceties (and therefore doubts that she is behaving appropriately, ceding control to others) Sal is sympathetic and well depicted. Yet she does have agency.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 3 months ago by Kss123
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
this was a present he says he enjoyed it
Published 3 months ago by moira jankauskas
1.0 out of 5 stars In the hands of a great SF writer this could have been a great book
In the hands of a great SF writer this could have been a great book. Unfortunately Mira Grant isn't that writer. Read more
Published 8 months ago by JPK
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not the best of her books. I made it all the way through but found it a bit obvious.
Published 9 months ago by S. Bradshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book!
This book is fantastic! The storyline is great and keeps you wanting to read more! I definitely hate nasty tape worms
Published 10 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow...
Wasn't sure about this book...I had seen it before and never bought it.
I took the plunge and wow am I glad!
I could not put it down! Brilliant... Read more
Published 10 months ago by hevvur
4.0 out of 5 stars That aside I enjoyed reading it
As others have said you can kind of guess what's going to happen in the end within the first few pages. That aside I enjoyed reading it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by RichyBoy
1.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, poorly-executed
Mira Grant transports the reader to a near-future where modern medicine has been completely revolutionised by a genetically engineered parasite that sits happily inside the gut... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Marie
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a struggle
Not what I'd call a page turner by any means. In some parts it drags on with nothing really happening, and the ending you can see coming from page 10. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Bookworm
2.0 out of 5 stars its ok but is too similar to newsflesh to bother unless your really...
If you have not yet read the newsflesh trilogy go read that instead. This book is almost the same material, almost and I read it, and liked it but it just seemed too familiar with... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jon
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