Series: Parasitology #1
Published by Orbit (10.29.2013)
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 512 pages
Source: From Publisher
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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.
The uniqueness of this book was the selling quality for me. The idea was crazy, but also completely logical. It was done so well that I felt like it could actually happen!
I didn’t really care for Sal, to be honest. She was rather flat and dull to me, and I couldn’t connect with her at all. I felt nothing reading from her perspective because she was so detached and clinical about everything. The emotion just wasn’t there. There were a few times she cried, but there was no feeling to go with it! She was just…leaking. There was never anything such as ‘felt a pang of sadness/guilt’ or ‘I felt blah blah whatever emotion.’ She reacted, sure, but there was no insight to her thoughts or feelings. Which made no sense, because it was first person! I felt like Sal was just describing things, not experiencing them, which led to me feeling very disconnected from the story.
Not that I didn’t enjoy it, because I still did. The originality was so special that it was impossible not to enjoy it. And, as everyone knows (or should by now haha), I am a world building whore. And I’ve gotta give major kudos to Grant; she did her research! The world was so fleshed out and realistic that she almost had me believing it could be real. I was highly impressed by the medical terminology and the magazine articles. (And there was a date!!! I don’t know why I got so excited about this.) Now, I’m no biological engineer, so it could all be completely illogical and I’d never know the difference. But to me, it seemed legit!
For some ridiculous reason, the constant reminders about how ‘knowledgable’ Sal was with dogs annoyed the shit out of me. Why? I have no idea! But the constant facts about dog behavior and such came off as trying too hard to show that Sal knew said facts. Who cares if she knows specifics of dog behavior? Maybe it’s just because I’ve worked in a kennel for nearly 7 years, and because I already know it, I felt like it was too much explaining. But there were also times when I feel like she had her facts wrong. i.e:
The dog sat down by my feet, assuming the patient waiting posture that has been the characteristic of the Labrador retriever since the breed was born.
CLEARLY you have never worked with labs. Either that, or my vet clinic just has a ridiculously high amount of asshole Labradors. (We may never know.) But in my 7 years of experience, the Labrador breed has been overly hyper/energetic/psycho, with a tendency to drag your ass across the lawn, not wait patiently at your feet. Just speaking from experience here, folks. Yes, well trained labs can be like that, but their main characteristic in my opinion is stubbornness. *ahem* Sorry, got off on a bit of a tangent there…
I’m afraid that the major plot twist was quite predictable. There were a couple of minor surprises in there that caught me off guard, but I had the big one pegged in the first half. View Spoiler »Her dreams gave it away! I figured she was dreaming in the perspective of the tapeworm every time she described the hot warm dark. Um, a womb-like place, hello! « Hide Spoiler
While I didn’t feel any emotion and didn’t connect to this book like I’d hoped, the world-building was hella awesome so it was still an enjoyable read!
Parasite wasn’t scary, or gory, but the fact that it sounded totally plausible makes it pretty creepy!
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5