Kirkus Reviews QR Code
PARASITE by Mira Grant


From the Parasitology series, volume 1

by Mira Grant

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-316-21895-5
Publisher: Orbit/Little, Brown

Grant’s latest lands readers in 2027, when most people sport implants that help them regulate their health.

The book concerns a future in which the population intentionally ingests worms. The parasites in question are tapeworms, and they’re programmed to help their hosts overcome disease and other health issues. Since their introduction, tapeworms have become an accepted health resource. SymboGen, the enormous corporate entity that developed the tapeworm technology under the leadership of Dr. Steven Banks, has grown and prospered with the continued employment of the parasites. Now they’re interested in Sally Mitchell, or Sal, as she likes to be called. Badly injured in a car accident, Sal finally awoke from a coma to find herself a blank slate. She had to relearn everything, even language. But she’s very different from the old Sally, and since SymboGen was in on her recovery, they’re continuing to closely monitor her. Sal hates it and distrusts the company’s founder, Banks, but she knows she owes her life to SymboGen. She and her doctor boyfriend, Nathan, harbor reservations about SymboGen’s motives. When people with implants start turning into zombielike creatures, they know something alarming is going on. After Nathan experiences the death of someone close to him and Sal receives a mysterious message with ties to someone else’s past, the two start seeking answers. What they find is surprising and, for one of them, the end to a heartbreaking personal chapter. Grant’s fans are accustomed to her tackling unusual subjects, and this is no exception. Despite a great deal of silly melodrama along the way, and lots of rambling filler, the action moves at a good pace.

Readers with strong stomachs will welcome this unusual take on the future. The ending is a place holder for future volumes in the series.