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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastically gripping, wonderfully written novel.
Review also published on my blog, StudentSpyglass.com

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...
Published 7 months ago by StudentSpyglass

versus
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. By the time I finished I wasn't gagging for more
Published 2 months ago by Bookworm


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastically gripping, wonderfully written novel., 20 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Parasite (Parasitology) (Kindle Edition)
Review also published on my blog, StudentSpyglass.com

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. There were times when she was frustrating, but most of the time I liked her. Curious and intelligent, Sal slowly becomes more feisty throughout the novel, and she's both protective and loyal to those important to her. She already has a boyfriend, so there isn't a huge romance in this (or a love triangle!), which is refreshing. I also loved the supporting cast, including Sal's boyfriend Nathan, a truly loveable dog named Beverly, and the unhinged seeming Tansy.

The plot is gripping and full of twists. There was one twist that I personally thought was quite predictable, but there were plenty of other ups and downs to keep me hooked. I've recommended Parasite a lot since finishing it, and I can't wait to read the rest of the series. This was my first Mira Grant book, and it led to a binging of her other books!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant., 6 Jan 2014
By 
Alex.Arcade "Alex.Arcade" (Scotland, Unighted Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Parasite (Parasitology) (Kindle Edition)
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 That aside I enjoyed reading it, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: Parasite (Parasitology) (Kindle Edition)
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. It was one of those books that you look forward to going to bed to read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, poorly-executed, 8 Jun 2014
By 
Marie (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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 performing all kinds of immune surveillance. The population have taken these tapeworms on board in huge numbers, and the implants have even saved their first life. Sal, previously Sally, sustained a severe head injury in a car crash that was very nearly fatal. But just when everyone thought that hope was lost, she reawakened, and all thanks to her SymboGen tapeworm. She unquestionably owes everything to the team at SymboGen and falls into the role of their international poster girl. But she slowly develops a creeping suspicion that these parasites aren't the panacea they first seem to be...

The premise of this is really great and has the potential to raise all kinds of wider issues and questions that could be so interesting to read about. I got excited just reading the blurb. What does it mean for society if parasites stop people from getting ill any more? Are people living longer, are there overpopulation issues, will natural resources begin to get stretched? Unfortunately, Grant doesn't even begin to explore any of these wider issues and the plot is really quite basic. The idea is excellent but I didn't think it was very well-executed.

I never really grasped what the parasites were supposed to do in the first place and how they could possibly work as a cure-all implant. It didn't seem to be properly explained. This made it really difficult for me to suspend my disbelief later on. And it is certainly necessary to suspend a whole lot of disbelief. Sal's story made no sense to me - we are told about her accident six years earlier, and how she awoke a completely new person, having to even learn to speak and write English from scratch. But then here she is, having sex with her doctor boyfriend and discussing the intricacies of gene splicing. I found it all completely implausible, and to make matters worse she is a fairly bland character who I couldn't engage with at all.

I had my suspicions of what was afoot right from the beginning, but persevered thinking there would be some twist in the tale that I hadn't foreseen. There wasn't. I don't see how even the most half-hearted reader could fail to predict the conclusion. You probably don't even have to start reading the book - just five minutes musing over the premise will get you there. If you've got a tapeworm wriggling around inside you, a tiny little worm, how might it possibly decide to go about causing you serious harm? What's the most sinister thing it could do living there inside your body? If you think you've got the answer, you probably have.

I wish I hadn't made so much effort to get to the end of this book. It wasn't for me and I won't be reading the rest of the series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a struggle, 6 Jun 2014
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. By the time I finished I wasn't gagging for more
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2.0 out of 5 stars its ok but is too similar to newsflesh to bother unless your really into Mira grant, 5 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Parasite (Parasitology) (Kindle Edition)
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 the same plot tropes.

Maybe I'll buy the follow up, maybey. if its on offer or can't find anything else worth reading.
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1.0 out of 5 stars An interesting idea, executed terribly, 1 Jun 2014
Decided to buy this based on a staff recommendation in waterstones as i needed something to read for a long journey.
The writing style is appalling; the prose is terrible - like a mashup of Stephenie Meyers, Dan Brown and bad fanfiction and the whole book feels like it could do with some serious attention from an editor. The characters are the laziest kind of one-dimensional stereotypes whom the author singularly fails to endear to the reader. As for the big twist, it really is as obvious as the plot summary on the back of the book suggests. I kept thinking that it wouldn't be, that the author would surprise me but i was left disappointed

The idea behind the book is interesting and could have made a brilliant novel in more capable hands. Who knows, maybe the author was having an off day when this was written but I'll never know because, based on this book, I'll give Ms Grant's work a very wide berth in future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 14 May 2014
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This review is from: Parasite (Parasitology) (Kindle Edition)
A good read but beware that it is the first in a series. Well paced and gripping in parts. Well worth a read if you like the News Flesh trilogy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read, 12 May 2014
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This review is from: Parasite (Parasitology) (Kindle Edition)
I'm going to be counting down the days until the second book is released in November. I loved every minute of and literally could not put it down. I would recommend this to everyone I know.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 11 May 2014
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This review is from: Parasite (Parasitology) (Kindle Edition)
Terrifyingly brilliant, addictive reading. In some ways very believable and you can't stop reading because you need to know what is going on.
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