“I have to say this was one of the weirdest concepts I have ever read about. Unsettling and a good story though I am still not sure how I feel about it. ”Dee M wrote this review yesterday. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I was really unsure what to make of this book. Even after reading the back of the book I wasn’t sure if it was a mystery, sci-fi or horror story. Turns out it is a little of all three. Something I didn’t know going in, but I think most readers should be warned about before reading it, is this is part one of a larger story. The book ends on a solid cliff hanger, which honestly killed me. By the end of the book I was totally invested in what was going on and when I flipped the page and found the afterward and a “to be continued” I audibly moaned. That is because up to that point I was totally enjoying the story and didn’t want the ride to end.
The main character is really unique, which after reading so many books isn’t something I get very often. The way she is constantly building her new identity while struggling with separating herself from a past she can’t remember is truly fun to read. I was with Sal from early on and I am 100% on her side. The only real issue I have is that the big reveal about her is dead obvious by half way through the book. I am not sure what the Mira Grant could have done differently however, since the character was being purposefully thick skulled. Grant did telegraph that all the supporting characters also figured out the reveal well before the end of the book, so maybe it wasn’t a reveal for the reader. Perhaps the reveal was really for Sal only.
Also something I really liked was the creepy as hell children’s story that keeps getting quoted. Although this is not an outright horror story, a bit more suspense then horror really, the passages from the book really help set the mode. Coupled with the transcripts from early research on the parasites and excerpts from the biographies of the creators of the parasites, even the lead in to the chapters both fill in the world and set a mood.”
“Not as intriguing or fun as Grant's other series about zombies. Kind of a slog, really, with some cleverness now and then. ”Jaylynn wrote this review 3 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“audio”Liza S wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The first book in a new duology from the author of the Newsflesh trilogy! Symbogen has created the ultimate new device in medical technology, a symbiotic parasite that is tailor made for you to keep you healthy. It gets rid of almost all need for daily medications for things like high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, etc. What could be better? Then the sleeping sickness starts affecting people who have the parasite. They just seem to go out to lunch and never return and it seems to be spreading. Sal is a survivor of a horrible car crash who was saved by her parasite six years ago but now the sleepers seem to be cropping up near her constantly and when they do, she seems to be the focus of their attention. What is going on and how do they make it all stop?
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Not much in the way of twists and turns that aren't easily figured out early on but there were a few minor ones that were fun. A bit slow in a few places but more often it's moving at warp speed. If you enjoyed Feed or like scientific horror, go grab your copy now!
“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.
Quick & Dirty: Grant spins a fantastic tale full of mystery, emotion, and romance. A little confusing at times, but that is my only real complaint.
Opening Sentence: Sally Mitchell was dying.
It is 2026, and humans have traded in pharmacies and drugs for tapeworms that live in the body and create whatever the body needs from inside. Health thrives and the major corporation that has created the parasites, SymboGen, is completely and totally rich. Nothing is wrong with the tapeworm. It is completely healthy.
Or so it seems.
Sally Mitchell died in a car crash. She became completely brain-dead, and though her heart was still beating, her mind was forever gone. Just as she is about to be taken off of life support and be released into the void, she opens her eyes.
But this is not Sally Mitchell, because no memories remain. Sal, the new Sally, learns to speak, to walk, just as a baby must. She develops her own personality, and soon she has learned everything strictly necessary to live among other humans. Sal receives therapy once, but often more times, a week, even six years after she first woke as a new person.
Sal for the most part belongs to SymboGen, who are trying to discover how her miraculous recovery came into being. They pay for all of her health care and her job, in return for testing. Since Sal’s health is dicey at best, she can’t argue. They’ve saved her life many times before, after all.
Then something starts happening, and Sal’s life spins even more out of focus. People are becoming empty. That’s the best way to put it. Nothing remains of the minds that lived inside but empty husks and they stumble around, some hostile. How are the parasites involved? How is Sal involved? Sal Mitchell sets out on a mission to find out.
I thought this was a good read, and worth checking out. I love how the author focuses on how hard it is for Sal to live in a family that is still waiting for the old Sally, a family that gave birth to Sal, but isn’t the daughter they raised. The feeling of her not being the Sally her family wants, plus the guilt of taking that Sally from them, plays a powerful roll in Sal’s emotions, and I enjoyed that.
Nathan, Sal’s love interest, is an amazing character. I find their relationship adorable and even with all the struggles it stays strong. Nathan is smart, handsome, and didn’t know Sally beforehand, so Sal knows that she’s the girl he loves.
During Sal’s sleep, she reverts to “the hot warm dark,” which is assumed to be when she is still in her coma, brain-dead. She thinks of it as a place of comfort and unchanging solitude. I loved how the author did this! It helped me understand Sal more, and I felt it was intriguing.
The eerie tone throughout this book sets me on edge and kept me reading, even though nothing remarkably interesting happens for the first 100 or so pages of this story. Grant has a unique writing style, but I grew fond of it by the end of the book.
I was a little confused in certain sections of this tale, that was the only real problem I had. When all of the complicated science ideas are being explained, it took a few pages for me to finally catch on.
Even though I love all the characters and I read this so fast, the reason I didn’t give it five stars was because some of it was confusing, and because sometimes I had to push ahead even when I was a little bored. Trust me, though, if you don’t love this and you’re not on page 100 yet, keep reading. It gets better, I promise!
To sum it up, I thought this was a nice, refreshing read with a new concept. Check this book out, because you don’t want to miss this.
I stared at her. So did Nathan. Tansy looked between us, brows furrowing in frustration.
“What, did you think this was some kind of game?” she asked. “That you could open the broken doors, look through, and decide it wasn’t for you, so sorry, you were just going to go home and have a nice cup of cocoa and not think about it? Puh-leeze. This isn’t that kind of picture book, and once you’ve opened the doors, you’re required to step through them.”
FTC Advisory: Orbit provided me with a copy of Parasite. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.”
“Really great! Can't wait for the next one”Ktb38 wrote this review Friday, November 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Once again, I find myself in the position of having to write a disappointed review of a book by a favorite author. This just is not my year. Expectations certainly are a factor in such an experience. Little can compare to the amount that I love Mira Grant’s Newsflesh Trilogy. As such, odds of Parasite being THAT good were low. Even so, I’m left underwhelmed by Parasite. While I do think it’s a decent novel, it lacks the powerful characters, the dark humor, and the strong plot that made Mira Grant’s first series so unforgettable.
Full Review: http://readeroffictions.com/2013/10/review-parasite/”
“Parasite really ups the creep factor with a slow building sense of dread. Mira Grant takes current medical technology and moves it into the near future in an all too believable direction. Much like she did in Feed and the wonderful Newsflesh trilogy, she has created an all too believable world. Instead of zombies, the world of Parasite is one where genetically engineered tapeworms are voluntarily implanted in virtually everyone to regulate our bodies and cure everything from allergies to diabetes.
We live in a world where we hear about antibiotic resistant bacteria and children and adults being so isolated from germs that they don’t build up tolerance for them. It’s very easy to believe that a medical industry that promises relief from this as well as better overall health and a freedom from pills and shots in the form of a tapeworm would be welcomed with open arms. It’s even easier to believe that a company that gets rich off this development will go to almost any lengths to protect its investment.
The heroine of the novel is Sal (Sally) who awoke unexpectedly from a coma, her body repaired -- thanks to her tapeworm, but her memory lost and her personality changed. She is both grateful and mistrustful of the company that is responsible for saving her. She chafes at her dependence on them and their desire to not only monitor her health but to study her. She loves her family even as they both care for her and mourn the person she used to be before the coma.
Grant does a great job of building sympathetic characters, as well as characters whose surface politeness makes you question their real motives. Where she really shines though is in the creation of absolute terror from her depiction of the sleepwalkers. Ordinary people who without warning shut down and seem to vacate their bodies. Sal’s encounter with this, first in a crowded mall and later on a sidewalk with a man walking his dog are absolutely chilling in the sense of fear and dread they create.
Sal’s fragility is a little annoying at times, but her desire to find answers is the driving force of this novel. The tension mounts steadily as Sal gets closer to the answers. The main mystery is pretty much understood by the end of the book, but the implications and resolution are left for the next book in the series. One I’m very much looking forward to. Highly recommended.
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book.”
“I heard a lot of good (and great) things about Mira Grant and Newsflesh Trilogy, but Parasite is first book by her I read and I really enjoyed it. It's a thrilling page-turner that will make you think you have gained super-fast reading speed. At least, until you look at the clock and see what time it is.
In the not-so-distant future, humanity has found a perfect solution to improve health of population. You just need to swallow one little pill and all your allergies will disappear and your immune system will improve ten-fold. What's the catch? Well, you will have a tapeworm living in your gastrointestinal tract. Yep you heard me right. A tapeworm. A parasite.
Believe it or not, this idea actually became very popular and most of the population accepted it. That's definite proof that good advertising can sell anything. Hats off to SymboGen's marketing department. As for me, if I can choose, I would not have any parasite in me even when I am dead. I don't care that this is friendly neighborhood tapeworm. Just a thought about something squiggling trough my body creeps me out. Not to mention that thing laying eggs etc. Sneezing when there is too much dust sounds like better option for me, thank you very much.
One of the reasons that Parasite presents such an engaging story and sounds so real is that it's full of excerpt from interviews and science studies. It somehow gives the story credibility and makes it all seem possible. The other thing that made me connect with the story so much was the choice of a narrator.
Sal had a horrible car accident which she barely survived and suffered from amnesia as consequence. And when I say amnesia, I mean total amnesia. She didn't remember even English language and had to relearn again. Having a narrator who is new to the society and culture makes introduction to the story and the world so much smoother and easier.
I could understand why Sal sometimes felt distant from other people. It's not easy when everyone knows your story and you are "a bit of a celebrity, a bit of an experiment, and a bit of a cautionary tale, all at the same time." But Sal still has so much humanity, sympathy and honor.
I also liked the fact that Sal has a boyfriend. They are already in a relationship, they trust each other and Nathan is so cute in a geeky sort of way. It's so refreshing when book features a strong loving couple and I hope this stays the same in the future.
As the end of Parasite came near, the tempo increased, the big revelations started happening and then with a last big shocking discovery we have... to wait for the next book. I am definitely intrigued to find out what happens next and will be reading Symbiogenesis when it's published.
IN THE END...
If you like books about government and big corporations conspiracies, and you are sick of zombie virus as cause for people going crazy in the future, then check out Parasite by Mira Grant. It's will creep you out, not with gore or scary monster, but with reality of all this becoming true someday.
Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.”