Sometimes humanity is the reason we can’t have nice things.
Imagine a world where there is no more illness. That’s right, no more colds, flus, diseases, even cancer. Now imagine in that same world, people willingly let themselves get implanted with tape worms. Yup, you read that right. Due to science and research, scientists have discovered a way to keep the human race healthy. All that’s needed it a regularly implanted tape worm into your system.
When I sat down to read this with my blog partner, Emily, I had never read any of Mira Grant’s work. I didn’t really know what to expect, but Emily assured me I wouldn’t be disappointed. And I wasn’t. In this futuristic world that Grant has created, a company known as SymboGen has developed bio-engineered tapeworms that allow their human host to remain healthy. This seems all fine and dandy until people start acting strange – sleepwalking but violent strange.
Sally Mitchell is one of the many who have received this parasitic worm implant, and thanks to this implant, she survived a life threatening car crash. The only lasting scar is the amnesia which has robbed her of any memories of who she was before the crash. Six years have passed since the accident and Sally has had to relearn everything. She now has a job, a boyfriend, her family, and SymboGen paying for all her medical expenses.
Parasite is mostly told from Sally’s – or Sal, as she likes to be called now- point of view. At the beginning of each chapter/section, we get a little scientific background told through interviews and journals from the three scientists who discovered the worms. But for the most part it’s Sal’s voice that we’re listening to. We follow her confusion as people all around her succumb to this “sleeping sickness” and then we follow her determination to find out what’s really going on with SymboGen and the implants.
Grant’s writing style is very precise and intriguing that I was sucked in, wanting to know more, wanting to know if my predictions were correct. Though the pacing was slow at times, it never really bothered me. It fit the style – how we wait forever for information that’s vital but when it comes we’re like “YES!”. Her characters were clearly defined and so real. Sally, the reluctant heroine who at times was hard to like because she was so empty and damaged, but I felt for her. Her life was stolen, in more ways than one, and she’s just trying to find the truth and survive it. Nathan, Sally’s boyfriend, was a highlight for me. Nathan is one of the few who refused the implant and his devotion and trust is Sally is heartwarming.
The blurb about the book gives away the main plot: the parasites want to live. And while I found a few of the main “oh my gosh” moments to be predictable, I really enjoyed the journey that we were taken on. With all the advancements going on in science today, it’s not hard to envision this world and that’s a pretty scary thought to me. It brought a sort of realism I didn’t expect. I am very excited to see where this story goes in the sequel, especially with the ending this one had.
I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This review can also be seen here on my blog.