Thursday, 18 July 2013

Parasite (Parasitology #1) - Mira Grant [Review]

Parasite by Mira Grant

Title: Parasite
Author: Mira Grant
Publisher: Orbit
SeriesParasitology #1
Release Date: October 29th 2013
Rating: ★★★★


A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives...and will do anything to get them.


I received an ARC of this book on Netgalley. This will in no way influence my review. It will always be based on my opinion.

After reading many great reviews of this book, I was really excited to read it. It did not disappoint!

Parasite is about Sal, who recovered from an accident by a SymboGen implant. These implants are tapeworms who live in your spine. Then people start getting sick, they space out and start sleepwalking. Sal finds out this has to do with the tapeworms and tries to find a way to stop it.

The first part of the book is pretty slow. We get a background story of Sal's life after the accident and what SymboGen is exactly. After strange things are starting to happen (sleepwalking sickness) it gets faster and we find out a lot in a short time.
I did not mind the first slow part. I liked that everything was explained in detail and we were not in the dark about what SymboGen was for example.

I liked how the book had several news article and interview excerpts in between the chapters. It gave more background information on SymboGen and its creators.

The mystery and suspense in the book were great. The slow beginning makes you very paranoid and you are waiting for things to go wrong. From the moment the sleeping sickness starts you want to know what causes it. I actually found the revelation about Sal in the end and the cause of the sleeping sickness predictable, but that did not make the book less good. It was just a little anti-climatic.

The characters were not annoying, but were not memorable either. The protagonist Sal was a bit whiny and immature at times. I understood her struggles, but I did not really care for her. The secondary characters were more interesting, a few (Adam, Tansy..) were quite different than normal, they made the story even more original. The others were not developed and did not leave an impression on me.

The book had lots of biology - virology to be exact - terms in it, but this won't influence the understanding of the book if you don't know anything about biology. I actually liked this about the book, since I like biology. Maybe if you hate biology you will be irritated, but I wasn't a problem for me. It did seem like the writer did some research on the subject, but I can't know if everything was correct. It seemed realistic enough to me.

This is quite a creepy book. The whole tapeworm business, agressive zombies, parasites.. all together makes one scary story. It's not like you get nightmares from this book, but if you start thinking about it you see a lot of disgusting images. The concept of a parasite taking you over made me think of The Host, but here people turn into zombies.

If you think about it, it's not really realistic that people will let someone implant a living tapeworm into their body, even if it is against sickness. Men generally have an aversion against insects and worms etcetera and the thought of putting something like that in your body makes me shiver. SymboGen is a private company, so the government can't have advised or forced anyone to take the worm. The research on the tapeworm turned out to be pretty crappy, so I don't think the government would normally have approved of it at all.
    I did believe it when I was reading it and I know it is a sci-fi book, so it doesn't have to be realistic, but this were just some thoughts from when I just finished it.

I would recommend this book to everyone who likes a creepy sci-fi book.

Stars: 4 out of 5


  1. Eveline, I am just so obssessed with your blog design. It is SO beautiful! Loving it!:D
    I enjoy the idea of the book, the paranoia, and the suspense. Great review!

    xoxo ~Cambrie

  2. I hadn't heard of this one, but it sounds interesting (and very different). Great review! ~Pam

  3. Ooooh this one sounds good and kind of creepy. It's unfortunate though that you found the characters unmemorable. Great review :)

  4. Thanks, I just changed the design, glad to see that others like it too:)


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