November 29, 2013

Parasite by Mira Grant

Parasite (Parasitology, #1)
Parasite by Mira Grant
Series: Parasitology, #1
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
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 knew that I had become a creator of monsters. I did not know, before I ran out of choices, that I had become a monster myself.

My overall thoughts of Parasite go a little something like this - "ew ew ew gross gross gross scary scary scary surprising awesome still pretty gross but crazy weird and cool". That's kind of the best way to put it. I am thoroughly freaked out by the idea that intestinal tapeworms want to control these people's bodies. I am also thoroughly intrigued by this idea!

Parasite started out on a really gruesome scene - but kudos to Mira Grant, because I could picture it perfectly. Not that some squishy insides were what I wanted to see, but hey. I pictured it exactly the way it was explained, I think that was so good description there.

I figured out that I can't trust my instincts on Mira's characters, though. Because one character that I thoroughly trusted - didn't turn out to be all that trustworthy. Which is sad, because I liked them. It was upsetting.

I thought that the "worms" were chilling. It seems medically plausible to me, and the more I think about it the scarier the idea gets - which makes it a pretty good horror, actually. I liked that all of the explanations (even the scientific ones) were very thorough. It made it relatively easy to understand, but it did make the book quite long. The plot was kind of slow.

I liked the interviews and quotes at the beginning of each chapter - it made it easier to understand things about the doctors who created the worm, and the world who would actually take such a thing. It gave us a bit of backstory.

I figure that I have to talk a little about the characters before the review is over, so I'll tell you that I didn't really identify with Sal. It became obvious later on (as to why I couldn't), but at first it was a little off-putting. In the end, though, I think she was the perfect kind of heroine for this book. I kind of hated her dad, though. Not going to lie.

Some of the supporting characters, such as Sal's boyfriend Nathan, Tansey, and Adam were well done - I actually liked Nathan, but I'm sort of scared of Tansey and Adam's potential. Tansey outright terrifies me sometimes, but Adam seems like a sweet person. I just can't figure out what they're capable of yet!

All in all, Parasite was definitely an interesting read, and it raises lots of interesting questions. Should the parasites that gain control of those bodies be allowed to keep them? Is humanity really stupid enough to get a tapeworm to keep healthy? *neon sign: yes* Just, you know, lots of questions. I hope that the next book in this series helps to answer some of them!

Fun fact: After reading Parasite, I learned something scary - toxoplasma is real. So a lot of the medical terms that Mira Grant used are probably real, even if they have never been used as an "intestinal bodyguard".


  1. This one sounds great! Although... the name of the series... "Parasitology"... it's even more gross than the book title because it gives the impression there are going to be more disgusting parasites, not just one. I love the cover!

    I actually like the idea of trusting a character and then finding out you trusted the wrong guy. It keeps things interesting and it means the book is not predictable.

    Oana @All Fantasy Worlds

  2. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)November 29, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    I was a bit freaked out by the concept as well (or a lot), but the amount of research and Grant's superb writing made me enjoy this anyway. She can always be counted on for clean, precise and well-researched prose.
    Great review, Megan!

  3. Ah, Pawn... I've seen many reviews of this and all of them had a low rating. Now I just wanna read it to see for myself. lol. Great review! ^^

  4. Thanks, Kimba! Isaiah is so adorable, I loved him. :) Thanks for commenting, girly!

  5. "ew ew ew gross gross gross scary scary scary surprising awesome still pretty gross but crazy weird and cool" made me laugh! xD but ew tapeworms freak me out. Not sure if I would be able to read this though it seems like a fantastic book. :)

  6. I am really scared of creepy and horror books.They give me nightmares.I guess I am a little chicken hearted:)

  7. Maybe I should go for it now that I've finished my exams.What I like about Aimee Carter is that her books are unpredictable.Her twists are amazing.

  8. I was thinking of The Vampire Academy, but I'm not sure. I haven't read Evernight, but I do know that it's also about some kind of boarding school.

  9. Megan@The Book BabeDecember 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Haha, don't worry. My sister is like that as well - scary movies aren't for me, but books are no problem. I bet I could recommend some good semi scary ones if you'd like, though! :)

  10. Megan@The Book BabeDecember 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Haha, thanks! Tapeworms are SO gross, I can't even handle it, LOL. It was a really good book, but I totally understand, Steph. ;)

  11. Megan@The Book BabeDecember 2, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Maybe! If you do, I hope that you like it a lot more than I did. :)

  12. Megan@The Book BabeDecember 2, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Yeah, they are both about vampire boarding schools. :) Evernight reminds me of the House of Night series. :) I hope that he likes whatever you recommend him! :)