BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bea Reviews Symbiont by Mira Grant

Publisher: Orbit
Series:Parasitology #2
Format Read: hardcover
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: November 25, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit*' | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:



The SymboGen designed tapeworms were created to relieve humanity of disease and sickness. But the implants in the majority of the world's population began attacking their hosts turning them into a ravenous horde.

Now those who do not appear to be afflicted are being gathered for quarantine as panic spreads, but Sal and her companions must discover how the tapeworms are taking over their hosts, what their eventual goal is, and how they can be stopped.

Bea's Thoughts:

I think Mira Grant could write a traffic ticket and I'd read it. :D I've been anxiously waiting for this book since I finished reading book one, "Parasite", in October of 2013. I was delighted when it was announced several moths ago that instead of two books, Grant will write three in this series. Frankly, I doubt she could have wrapped this up in two books. And these books are not short. "Parasite" was 512 pages and "Symbiont" is 516 pages. With plots as twisty and complex as Grants, she needs those pages.

"Symbiont" starts shortly after "Parasite" ended as Sal and company confirm their suspicions about the tapeworm in her body. That's the first of numerous revelations and twists and turns throughout the book. As in the first book, a few things were predictable but for the most part I never quite knew where Grant was going or what would happen next. As the revelations about the tapeworms and the infected come out, Grant gives us mini treatises on the nature of consciousness, souls, memory, gender, and identity. She also explores the notion of family, a recurring theme throughout all of her books, regardless of subject or genre. She uses Sal, Sal's boyfriend Nathan, his mother Dr. Cale, as well as another doctor, Dr. Banks, and several of Dr. Cale's other children to explore these questions. The book isn't all seriousness, there's humor and even romance, but this is not the book for when you want a light, easy read or a quick read.

There are no easy answers in Symbiont. The humans in America are at war with the infected and both sides play dirty. There doesn't seem to be a solution that allows for a peaceful co-existence. Who will win? Who should win? Which side do you root for? Sal is particularly conflicted as she belongs to both sides. While there's a fair amount of action, Sal gets taken prisoner at least three times by my count, much of the book is a mix of emotional and cerebral. Sometimes that meant the pace suffered and I would wish for something to happen. Grant makes you think and makes you feel. Once again, Nathan is too good and too understanding to the point of not feeling real. But every other character is fully formed and developed. Fishy, a new character, is both charming and scary. I liked him but didn't completely trust him.

"Symbiont" blends science, horror, romance, and family dysfunction with philosophy and mythical hero's quest into a story that grabs you, that pokes at your comfort levels, and keeps you reading to what will happen, what might happen, and what will the new world look like. It's a hell of a ride so hold on and don't let go!


  1. I loved Fishy and agree she could make a traffic ticket exciting . As long as this was I wanted more which just goes to show how good it was . My review won't post till Dec 1st but like you I am thrilled there will be a third book.

    1. I wasn't ready for it to end either. It's going to be a long year until the next book!

  2. OMG, I read Parasite after getting at BEA. I would LOVE to read this one!

  3. This sound like quite the book and I've been curious ever since hearing about the first one. There seems to be a lot going on here, I like that it has a lot of different elements to it- I may have to get these now. :)

    1. There's definitely a lot going on and yet it doesn't feel busy. Give them a try.

  4. Ooh great review. I've read mixed reviews on the first book, but I haven't picked it up yet so I can't form my own opinion. The premise of the entire series interests me though.

    1. It is a fascinating premise and Grant really knows her stuff. They're worth a read.

  5. Everyone seems to love Grant, and I wish I could read her, but it just sounds too dark for me, even with some humor. I have to say, though, that if I were ever to pick her up, this review would be one of the main reasons.

    1. Aaaw, that's nice to hear. Thanks :)

      It's dark but not over the top so. Grant usually infuses some hope into her stories.


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