Review of Parasite by Mira Grant

ParasiteParasite (Parasitology #1)  
By: Mira Grant
Release Date: October 29th 2013
Publisher: Orbit
Pre-order: Amazon
Barnes and Noble

An electronic copy was given in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:

Summary (via Goodreads):
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 Story:
This book traumatized me. So if you are really creeped out by things that are worm-like you should probably either stay away or prepare yourself. Grant is not overly descriptive in gory details but she created such a realistic world and the science behind it you can see the reality she created being plausible. Which to me, was terrifying. I was whisked back to those days of sitting in biology class learning of parasites and taking lab practicals.

We start the story as Sally is just waking from a coma in which the doctors and her family thought was impossible. She had been in a horrible car accident and had been legally classified as brain-dead. She wakes only to realize she doesn’t recognize her surrounding or the people around her; she has lost all memory of her life. Only by having the advanced SymboGen implant was she able to survive; due to this SymboGen wants to study her in detail and utilize her miraculous recovery for their benefit. The corporation along with her parents and her new boyfriend, Nathan, help Sal (she doesn’t go by Sally anymore) rebuild a semblance of life.

We follow Sal as she experiences this new life of hers and tries to understand what exactly happened to her. As she is living her life she starts to witness peculiar things happening and people acting oddly. Grant takes her reader through a slowly paced, incredibly interesting story line revolving around Sal. We stay within her point of view the entirety of the story so we experience events as she does. This adds mystery to the already gripping story. Though the pacing starts out slowly there is a creepy aura the entire time you are reading. I kept waiting for the next thing to happen; kept me on my toes and flipping pages.

The Characters:
Grant does a splendid job creating a character living after complete memory loss. I found Sal’s questioning of terms and learning of new vocabulary and popular culture terms endearing and realistic. Sal and Nathan have a strong and healthy relationship though it is not at the forefront of the story but it is a constant and driving force for he characters motivations. I had some trouble understanding her parent’s attitudes as the story progressed. I felt they had manic changes in personality at points and I couldn’t understand many of their actions.

I loved how Grant gave insight into the pioneering scientists by including magazine interview snip-its and video descriptions. She revealed only so much as the reader needed to start putting all the puzzle pieces together as well as getting a very informative peek into these characters.

Final Thoughts:
Parasite is a very unique and engaging book that left me feeling disturbed, squirmy and freaked out–but all in a good way. Would you get a tapeworm implant that would keep you healthy and take away any need for medicine? With my intense phobia for all things parasite and tape-worm I don’t think I could ever knowingly ingest a pill containing one.

 Interesting side-note: the book actually killed my appetite so weight-loss by reading 🙂

Want to know more about SymboGen and their implant?


  1. says

    lol, awesome review Kristen 😀 Glad you enjoyed this book. <3 Not loving the cover, so would never have heard of it if you hadn't reviewed it (A) don't think it's a book for me, but I do think it sounds pretty awesome 🙂 I do love creepy things, hih ;p Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • says

      I wasn’t overly crazy for the cover either and probably would have skipped it if some blogger friends hadn’t recommended it to me. It was a bit out of my norm but I enjoyed it 🙂

  2. says

    I’m really looking forward to this now! Although I haven’t read any Mira Grant’s previous books, I love the sound of this one and can’t wait to give it a try soon. I’m glad you think it’s unique and that the story situation is plausible. And now that you have me picturing tapeworms and parasites, I can definitely see where the weight-loss by reading comes in. 😉

    Fantastic review as always!

    • says

      Thank you Sam! I’ve not read any of Grant’s work either but I think I will sooner than later. I have heard great things about the Feed series. I’ll be curious to see what you think of this one.

  3. Meg says

    Thanks for the review! I can’t wait for this book. I’ve had it preordered from the minute Amazon started taking orders. I loooooooved the Newsflesh trilogy. Mira Grant was kind of an autobuy after that, so I’m glad this book looks like it’s going to live up to my expectations!

  4. says

    As always, a great review! And despite being fairly grossed out (disadvantages of having a very vivid imagination, and well with my line of work, quite a few experiences with icky situations) I’m very intrigued about this book, so I think I’m gonna be adding to my TBR list!

    • says

      Ooh, now I’m curious about your line of work. My vivid imagination was really had me struggling at some points because the suggestion is often times worse than a detailed description.

      • says

        I’m a nurse, currently working on Oncohaematology, so really I get to see a bit of everthing. Even a patient from Guinea puking a tape worm… So proud of myself for not puking after that! Also, sorry for the mental image I’ve just given you!

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