Series: Parasitology Volume 1
Format Read: both egalley & hardcover
Source: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
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.
Sorry Goof but books are never for scratching. You can use any of them for pillows though, try the paperbacks.
I have been waiting for this book for months, ever since Grant announced it. I didn't even care what it was about. Actually the title, and the blurb, are a bit off-putting; who the heck wants to read a fiction book about parasites, parasites we willingly ingest? Ick! But I have faith in Grant's writing and she didn't let me down. That said, I don't see myself knowingly swallowing a parasite anytime soon.
Whereas with "Feed" it took me a hundred pages or so before I was engaged, "Parasite" sucked me in right away. While the sleeping sickness and the truth about the parasites were interesting, it was the story of Sally Mitchell that really kept me interested. The Sally Mitchell we meet in the book is Sally 2.0. The first Sally died in a car accident six years ago but comes back to life thanks to the parasite in her body. This Sally has no memory of her life the first time around and even had to relearn basics such as language. She's utterly fascinating as she deals with daily life, holding down a part-time job, constant medical testing, a boy friend, and the family she has no memory of, who have difficulty accepting Sally 2.0 especially as she underwent a personality change.
That could make a book all on its own but there's the mysterious sleeping sickness infecting people and its possible connection to the parasites. There's a large pharmaceutical company which may or may not be evil, a love story, secrets, treachery (I was so sad, I liked that character!), and an eccentric character or two (I'm looking at you Tansy!). It's a lot to tackle and not all of the plot lines are resolved in this book. There are more books to come so we should see them resolved. I foresaw a couple twists but for the most part the book kept me guessing and kept me enthralled. With the exception of Nathan who seemed too understanding to be real, the characters are complex and multi-dimensional; the issues and themes brought up are scary and all too real; and Grant spins a fascinating tale. You want this book, you really do.