Parasite by Mira Grant

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Parasite by Mira Grant

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Category: Science Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Lu Greer
Reviewed by Lu Greer
Summary: A science fiction mystery which will keep you hooked and touch your heart. It really offers something new to the genre.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 512 Date: October 2013
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-0356501925

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Parasite is the first part of the Parasitology series and if the quality of this book is anything to go by the next is going to be highly sought after. It puts us several years into the future, in a time where medicine has made massive leaps forward and where humans no longer take medication, suffer from allergies, or even catch the common cold. These medical advancements are all thanks to SymboGen and the invention of their intestinal shield, which is a genetically engineered tapeworm designed to monitor your body’s functions and correct abnormalities.

The story centres round Sal, a woman who is suffering from amnesia thanks to a car crash six years earlier, which it would seem she only survived because of her SymboGen tapeworm. Sal’s amnesia is total and as well as knowing nothing at all about life prior to waking up in hospital just as her life support was about to be switched off, she must relearn everything. Along with this, her personality changes completely from her earlier life, indeed she goes as far as to change her name from Sally to Sal as she believes that the original version of herself died in the crash and that she is now a new person. Having to relearn everything that came prior to her six remembered years means that as a character she is inquisitive and allowed an outside perspective on what would usually be considered 'every day' in a way which makes the simplest sentence interesting and frequently humorous. These come to light particularly when Sal talks to SymboGen’s Sherman, as his British colloquialisms frequently confuse her and lead to explanations of words like ‘tizzy’ and highlight just how strange some of our speech patterns really are. The supporting characters of Parasite are just as well developed as Sal, and by showing them from her perspective gives many of them, particularly the SymboGen workers, a foreboding and somewhat unnerving edge which sets the tone of the book perfectly.

What makes the plot particularly interesting is the book and magazine extracts from the creators of the implant which feature at the beginning of each chapter. Through these short extracts the minds and motives of the SymboGen masterminds gradually come to light, which allows the reader the chance to analyse what each of the trio is claiming and to sort through it to find the truth behind the company and their parasite. It is a clever trick which means that Grant is able to build an idea of this future for the reader without needing to fill the book with explanation and exposition. It is through this that the novel transcends being considered as just sci fi, or just horror, but combines the two and adds an interesting and enticing element of mystery to boot.

Overall, whilst the build-up and the finale of this book loses a little of the tension held in the rest of the book, and does become a little predictable, it is an interesting, exhilarating and exciting read. With the promise of the second part on the horizon, I for one will be waiting in anticipation for another offering of genuinely relatable, intelligently written science fiction vision from Mira Grant.

For another excellent example of their work, [Newsflesh Trilogy: Deadline by Mira Grant|Newsflesh Trilogy: Deadline]] is a must. Alternatively, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson takes another look at the future of medicine.

Buy Parasite by Mira Grant at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Parasite by Mira Grant at

Buy Parasite by Mira Grant at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Parasite by Mira Grant at


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