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.
WARNING: THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART, FOR THOSE HANGING ON TO THEIR LAST SHREDS OF SANITY, AND FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT TAKE CRAZY PLOT TWISTS. IT’S INSANE, I TELL YOU. INSAAAAANE!
This is what Parasite by Mira Grant made me feel:
* It made me want to go on youtube to look for videos of carnivorous plants. Needless to say, I stumbled upon the weird part of that crazy site again. CANNOT UNSEE WHAT HAS BEEN SEEN.
* It made me fucking scared of elongated little buggers who may just have the capability to enter your body and stay there… FOREVER.
* It made me want to sit in my little corner and rock myself until the end of time.
* It made me want to put protective gear… IN MY SKULL.
* It made me want to die now before I feel nature’s wrath upon us.
This book is both disgusting and fascinating, both disturbing and engaging. I’ve never read anything by Mira Grant before, but holy hell! I’ll surely buy her books from now on! This one was mad crazy good! I mean, sure, I blame the sudden appearance of my fears of parasites/worms/carnivorous plants or whatever thingies on this author, but to be honest, I regret nothing.
Here we have Sal who’s had an accident, and thanks to a tapeworm installed inside her body, she finally got the chance to live again. When she woke up from her vegetable state, she remembered nothing – not even her language, the name of her parents, absolutely nada – and had to start at zero. 6 years later, she’s finally better and is a contributing member of society. Yeah, she still gets therapy sessions and medical check ups at SymboGen, the institution who helped her live again, and is still guarded by her parents day in and day out, but at least she’s living. Then suddenly, people are transforming. There’s a sickness going around where people suddenly stop being themselves and become empty, lifeless shells moving about. SCARY EH?!
For the first 40 or so percent, we’re left in the dark about almost everything. It was very slow, and it gave us an overview of Sal’s life and her relationships with other people. But honestly, I didn’t mind it very much because it made me understand what the heroine was going through, and the hardships she was facing. Grant really has this uncanny ability to make these fictional people feel so real and genuine; nothing sounded forced or unnatural at all. You can feel Sal’s frustration and insecurities overflowing from the pages, while also sensing the tension escalating all around. There were small scenes here and there, but you can totally feel the eerie atmosphere building up as you put the pieces of the puzzle together.
And then everything went loose after 50%, where you get your answers and some shocking plot twists that I didn’t see coming. I swear, at exactly 52%, my jaw dropped to the ground, with my mind going WTF WTF WTF?!?!?! It’s that intense and gripping, dude. I have no other words. Sure, there were a lot of scientific terms dropped here and there, and I’m no zoologist, virologist, or heck, I’m not even that good at science, but I still enjoyed reading all about them.
DO NOT GOOGLE THE TERMS PLEASE. THIS IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!! It becomes incredibly fast-paced, with lots of creepy and heated scenes with the heroine against the “sleepwalkers”, against her family, and against the corporation that installed the tapeworm inside her and everyone else. At the last page, I was like this:
Also, there’s some good character development here, too, with regards to the heroine. At the beginning, I didn’t really like her that much (although I understood her) because she came across as too whiny, and too forceful with her feelings of rebellion against.. well.. everyone else! And the fact that she kept on saying she didn’t know what to do, she didn’t know what else to do, when the answers were kinda obvious… BUT!! She matures in the end, and I really liked how she stopped whining and finally did something for herself. You go, girl! You need to respect and love yourself more!
All in all, it was a fricking awesome read. I can’t wait to read Book 2 and Mira Grant no< officially joins the ranks of other authors in my to-watch-for-future-novels list. This book is hauntingly compelling and amazingly creepy. It gives a lot of food for thought when it comes to biotechnology and bioengineering. It sure taught me that not all progress is good progress! I sure hope the sequel is along the way!
FINAL VERDICT: 4/5 STARS
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