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Parasite (Parasitology Series Book 1) by [Grant, Mira]
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Parasite (Parasitology Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Length: 513 pages Audible Narration:
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Review

An incredible, disturbingly plausible tale of what happens to a world where medical treatments have minds of their own (i09.com)

Parasite is believable, disturbing and only the beginning . . . The disturbingly 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
  • ASIN: B00BU1DEVU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #114,707 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Re-reading this book after a few years rekindled the gut theories that now are popular with evidence-based background. The forward to 'Parasite' refers to 'fringe science' in the late 1980's, ignoring people who were developing 'life-threatening allergies and autoimmune conditions... due to lack of allergens, bacteria, even parasites'. The balance to maintain an equilibrium between the gut, biological and neurological disorders are explicitly described. This is the opening of a fictional account of Sally Mitchell, a 20 year old dying on a life-support machine, legally dead after a road traffic accident. A gut parasite (Diphyllobothrium - a common world-wide tape-worm), marketed as 'SymboGen' has remarkable properties. It has been modified scientifically to not only secrete 'miracle' chemicals but can be manipulated to deliver drugs with a health and potential financial bonanza. Sally Mitchell recovers. Her memory does not. The story of her rehabilitation is fascinating.

The narrative delves into the processes of physical and mental recovery that are stirring. The genetic manipulation of the gut parasite has devastating effects when released on the population as a panacea for illness just by popping a pill. Marvellous, but Mira Grant delivers a grim account in her narrative of how a scientific marvel can have catastrophic effects through the doctors, scientists and the affected. The morals and ethics smell as much as the financial rewards.

This is an excellent and topical novel. It is part fact and fiction. I mention the former as drugs and other agents are currently being investigated and delivered by genetically modified viruses and bacteria. An intriguing read. I look forward to reading the second part.
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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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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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