Parasite (Parasitology) Paperback – 29 Oct 2013
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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)
From the New York Times bestselling author of Feed comes this year's most CONTAGIOUS thriller - about a miracle cure . . . and a nightmare side effectSee all Product description
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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. The main problem is in Sally herself – an unconfident woman who’s effectively learning to live again – she’s incredibly slow to pick up on things that the reader has already guessed and spends a lot of time running around asking obvious questions and being a target for others. I didn’t care about her relationship with Nathan (who’s too good to be true) and the conspiracy elements are ham-fisted. SymboGen also comes across as a generic evil corporation – so much so that I really didn’t believe it and it’s not helped by the fact that Steven Banks is a two-dimensional character. Ultimately the end result simply didn’t excite me and I’m not sure I’ll read the sequel.
The idea pushing the story could have been an interesting one, had it not been done to death already. It was slow moving and tiresome in a 'been there, done that' sort of way. I ended up not caring one bit what happened to anyone.
To now that this appears to be a trilogy with this particular edition ending on a cliff-hanger, does not endear it to me.
What it did make me look at is, how people are sterilizing themselves to the point that kids don't even get to play in the dirt much anymore!
I will not be reading the next books in the series/trilogy. *ARC Supplied by Publisher*
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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