Wednesday, October 16, 2013
I look forward to every book Mira Grant writes (or Seanan McGuire, her urban fantasy alter-ego) and Parasite (Goodreads | Amazon) was no exception. The story follows Sally Mitchell, an amnesiac who was declared clinically brain-dead then somehow, miraculously woke up. Doctors credited her Intestinal Bodyguard, a genetically modified tapeworm that is culmination of modern medicine, with saving her life. Almost every human has one, a parasitic tapeworm that enhances the human immune system, which has been too sanitized by years of medicine, and distributes necessary medications and immunities into it's the human system.
This book is very different from Feed and Sally is a very different main character from Georgia (If you've read Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy). Sally can only remember the last six years of her life. So despite being an adult, sometimes she's also very young and naive. She's pushed around by almost everyone, SymboGen Corporation, who want to figure out her miraculous survival, and her parents who have guardianship over her. She lives with the ghost of a girl she can't remember but everyone expects her to be.
In some ways that makes Sally hard to connect with. There were huge gaps of her life, and thus pieces of her personality missing. Even though I rooted for Sally, I didn't really feel her experiences on an empathetic level until the end of the book. However, by the end of the book I REALLY felt them.
From the onset, the idea of a symbiotic tapeworm living in everyone's intestine, this book is creepy. The science seems crazy impossible, yet well-researched and feasible. What scares me the most about Mira Grant books is that they don't seem that far-fetched, like we're a few twists of science away from parasites trying to take over the human race. Like her other books, the complexity of the world-building continues to impress me. Not only is there the basic plot-line, but inset interviews from magazines, autobiographies and the creepiest children's book known to man, that make the world feel layered and realistic.
While Parasite might not be as good as Feed, it's still a very good book and a series with a lot of potential. By the time I finished the last page I cared (and it's driving me nuts not knowing what happens next). If you're looking for realistic medical-based science-fiction, then once again Mira Grant has written a winner.
I received an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.