Review: Parasite by Mira Grant


by Mira Grant
Series: Parasitology #1
Publication date: October 29th 2013
Category: Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Horror
Source: eARC from NetGalley

My Rating:

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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.

~My Thoughts~

Wow. I don’t even know where to start with this review. Perhaps I should begin with a summary of my feelings using images instead of words.

I should begin by saying that Parasite started out a bit slow for me. It was interesting, but quite complex and with loads of information in an unfamiliar presentation. I felt a bit like…

uh, yeah.. ok

Perhaps I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind when I first cracked this baby open. I even debated putting it down and picking it back up another time, but I had been dying to read this ever since I got my hands on it so I pushed on. I’m so glad I did, too, because right around the 20% mark I realized there was no turning back. From there it was a lot more like…

What the

And then a lot of this…


Now that I’ve finished the book I feel a whole lot of this…


And I can’t believe it ended that way! Are you kidding me right now?

isn't fair

Where’s the next book? I need the next book. Please give me the next book!

Well, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s move on to the written portion of this review, shall we?

Sally Mitchell. Hmmm…

Sally was in a car accident which left her lying in a hospital bed on life support, her doctors trying to convince her family to pull the plug. There was no coming back for her… until she sat up and looked at them, having no idea who they were, or who she was for that matter. She didn’t know how to speak or understand what they were saying to her. She was alive because of the genetically engineered tapeworm living inside of her. Or was she? It was time to start from scratch. Learn to live again, but under the microscope of SymboGen, the company that saved her life.

Six years later, it’s the year 2027, and she’s managed to relearn quite a bit, but has never recalled her memories from before the accident. She’s Sal now, not Sally. She doesn’t want to remember who Sally Mitchell was, she only wants to move on with her life. She desperately wants to stop having to see the therapist she hates, stop having to go to SymboGen for check ups, stop being the experimental lab rat! Did the implant bring her back or not? That’s the question everyone is trying to answer. But when she starts digging for her own answers, more and more questions arise. She begins to realize there’s no one she can trust; definitely not the folks at SymboGen and perhaps not even her family. She is certain she wants to know the truth.. until she gets it.

It’s impossible to summarize this book because I just want to go on and on, but I can’t. There are so many characters that play important parts in this story, but if I mention them all this review will end up being the longest in history. Sal is obviously our main character and the story is told from her POV. I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about her at first, but she grew on me. Better on than in, right? Ha! It took me some time to get acquainted with our main character. I understood why she had such an unusual personality, but then again.. no I didn’t. Not really. Not until much later. Ugh. I’m getting off track.

Her boyfriend, Nathan, who just happens to be a parasitologist seemed nice enough, but I wondered through the whole story if he could be trusted. Don’t get me wrong, I liked his character, but I had my guard up around him the whole time. All I could think of is, what are the chances that Sal, the girl being studied because of a parasite implant, is dating a parasitologist that is trustworthy? Hmm, food for thought.

Dr. Steven Banks, co-founder of SymboGen… now there’s a guy to steer clear from. He gave me the willies! Totally creepy guy with a god complex. Dr. Cale and her kids.. whoa! I’m just… I’m… this book left me speechless, and that just doesn’t happen. I am never without words, just ask my husband. But now I’m starting to speak like Tansy! Oh, just read the book and you’ll understand that all of my incessant babbling really does makes sense.

Parasite is like a zombie book, but without rotting corpses. It’s a medical, science fiction thriller that scared my heart into skipping several beats at times. This story is so intelligent and thorough, with depth that seems to go beyond the minds eye. Trust me, if you love horror, science fiction and totally creep-tastic stories, this is the book for you! If you have a weak stomach, are faint of heart, or the thought of creepy crawlers makes you scream like a little girl, you may not be ready for this.

~About the Author~

mira grant

Born and raised in Northern California, Mira Grant has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead. In college, she was voted Most Likely to Summon Something Horrible in the Cornfield, and was a founding member of the Horror Movie Sleep-Away Survival Camp, where her record for time survived in the Swamp Cannibals scenario remains unchallenged.

Mira lives in a crumbling farmhouse with an assortment of cats, horror movies, comics, and books about horrible diseases. When not writing, she splits her time between travel, auditing college virology courses, and watching more horror movies than is strictly good for you. Favorite vacation spots include Seattle, London, and a large haunted corn maze just outside of Huntsville, Alabama.

Mira sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests that you do the same.

Mira also writes as Seanan McGuire.

Mira’s Website | SymboGen Corp | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Wife, homeschooling mom, YA author of paranormal, dark fantasy, and horror, huge fan of the Oxford comma, book blogger, crafter, baker of sweet things, lover of the culinary arts, self-appointed zombie slayer.