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.
Not to be dramatic or anything, but Mira Grant’s first novel, Feed, literally changed my life.
Seriously, though, Feed was brilliant. The Newsflesh series was probably the first sci-fi series that I fell in love with and it definitely sparked my fondness for all things zombie related.
Needless to say, Parasitology had a lot to live up to in my mind.
Overall, I felt that Grant did a good job with Parasitology. It didn’t wow me the way Newsflesh did, but I think that Newsflesh was definitely a once in a lifetime kind of thing.
The concept of designer parasites living in people’s brains and secreting drugs was a cool one and I enjoyed the medical aspect of this series. I liked Sal’s character for the most part, but I never really loved her. I did appreciate her development throughout the series and her relationships with the supporting characters really helped bring her to life. In fact, the supporting characters were one of my favorite parts of this series; they were fascinating and well-developed, and I would have loved to see more of them
Parasitology started strong with Parasite and held its own through Symbiont, but it began to drag a bit through Chimera. There were some parts that seemed overly long, but Mira Grant’s voice is more than enough to carry you through them. The series has an interesting enough plot – think zombies meets medical drama meets politics – but it’s nothing particularly extraordinary. The plot was just engaging enough to not drag too much, but not quite engaging enough to be truly exceptional.
Don’t get me wrong. I liked Parasitology, especially the first book. I love Mira Grant’s writing style and she’ll always be one of my favorite authors. There are many things Parasitology does well – minor character development, cool medical stuff, top secret science labs – but there are also aspects it flounders with – it feels a bit long, the plot is fairly predictable.
My final verdict on Parasitology is: read Newsflesh first 😛 That being said, Parasitology is a solid second series for Grant. She takes on some very interesting topics with grace and her voice is truly unique. It’s definitely worth picking up if you’re into gently medical-oriented sci-fi and/or alternative zombies.
The broken doors are open – come and enter and be home. / My darling girl, be careful now, and don’t go out alone.
About the Author
Born and raised in Northern California, Mira Grant has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead. In college, she was voted Most Likely to Summon Something Horrible in the Cornfield, and was a founding member of the Horror Movie Sleep-Away Survival Camp, where her record for time survived in the Swamp Cannibals scenario remains unchallenged.
Mira lives in a crumbling farmhouse with an assortment of cats, horror movies, comics, and books about horrible diseases. When not writing, she splits her time between travel, auditing college virology courses, and watching more horror movies than is strictly good for you. Favorite vacation spots include Seattle, London, and a large haunted corn maze just outside of Huntsville, Alabama.
Mira sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests that you do the same.