Thursday, March 20, 2014

Audio Review: Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira Grant

Release date: Nov 03, 2013
Published by: Hachette Audio
Narrator: Christine Lakin
Source: Nashville Public Library
Buy Links: Audible | Barnes & Noble

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 Intestinal Bodyguard worm 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.

Parasite has been on my radar since March of last year. I loved how creepy and unique the synopsis sounded. So why did it take me so long to read it...or in this case listen to it? Well, I have a confession to make. I didn't like the debut in Grant's Newsflesh Trilogy, Feed. Yes, I know I'm in the minority. I just couldn't get into the storyline, I couldn't like the characters and in the end, I just couldn't finish the story. That dampened my excitement a bit so I didn't feel like I had to immediately rush out and buy this story. But I'm glad my bad first experience didn't stop me from downloading this. It far exceeded my expectations. The characters, the mystery, and the science all captured my attention and didn't let go until it was over, and even then I wanted more. 

Parasite is told from Sally Mitchell's point of view, a woman who awakens from a coma after previously being diagnosed as brain dead. Thanks to SymboGen and an engineered tapeworm designed to protect the human body, Sally has a second chance at life. But she isn't the same woman. She has no memories of who she previously was and those who knew Sally before the accident admit that her personality is much different from the woman they once knew. 

The beginning of the story is spent building Sally's character and mapping out the details of her family life, her love life, her job, and her role as a prized SymboGen patient. The corporation has invested a lot of time and money into her well being and she is frequently subjected to physical and mental evaluations. 

I loved the variety of characters in this story and enjoyed them all, even those you could consider bad guys and the gray characters that fit somewhere in between. Every role, including the small ones, had a significant impact on the overall story.

Another part of Parasite that I really enjoyed was the victims of the sleeping sickness. I could easily imagine the eerie way that they transformed from normal human beings to the dead-eyed, zombie-like creatures that shambled around in search of something to tear apart. The cause of the sickness doesn't come as a surprise if you've read the synopsis, but was fascinating all the same. I was even interested in the science that detailed the cause, the origin, and the secret advancements that were made. 

The debut in the Parasitology series is a futuristic medical sci-fi read with a great narrator and a captivating story that will leave you wanting more. I highly recommend downloading this audio book right now.


Talk Supe said...

Tapeworms... Gaaahh! I just saw this documentary the other day about tapeworms and ... *shivers*... It is an interesting concept, I have to give the author that.

Addicted2Heroines said...

I'm a fan of the whole "never say never" concept, but I'm 100% sure that I could not intentionally swallow a tapeworm like the people did in this story. Too creepy for me.

Alexa said...

I just showed this book to Johnny at the library and he seemed a little interested in it so now I can tell him I've read great reviews and he needs to read it.

Thanks for the great review!

Addicted2Heroines said...

I hope he enjoys it, Alexa. If he likes audiobooks, I would recommend listening to it instead of reading it.

Jessica Haluska said...

Parasite is one of those books that I'm on the fence about. I love Seanan McGuire, and I've been wanting to try out one of her Mira Grant books (I have Feed, but haven't managed to read it yet), and I love the concept of this one . . . but . . . PARASITES!! Gah! Did you ever watch Stargate? Visions of goa'uld are dancing in my head, or even WORSE, one of those parasites-that-enter-through-your-ear like the old X-Files episodes or The Wrath of Khan *shudder* But I'm probably going to have to read it anyway b/c it sounds awesome. So what if it gives me nightmares ;)

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