Thursday, June 12, 2014

Parasite by Mira Grant

by Mira Grant
3 stars - predictable, but fun (until the total 2 star ending, ugh).
ALR Green - nice black lab in a supporting role and a cameo by a bulldog

Suppose I told you that you could swallow one pill and be free of almost every malady known to man. Yup, never get the flu, no more diabetes, cholesterol in check, the works. You'd say, "yeah, baby, bring it on," right?

Well, what if I told you that the pill just happened to contain a genetically modified tapeworm? But don't worry, the worm only lives a couple of years and then it dies and after a simple procedure, out it comes and you take another pill and you are good to go.

Feeling a little squeamish? Don't. After all, this protocol was invented by SymboGen and they tested it totally and there are no side effects and just look at all your healthy friends who already took the plunge. Gosh, don't you wish you could be more like them?

I have no doubt that the pill popping public (at least in the US) would totally be taking this miracle cure like you read about it. After all, it has to be safe or the FDA wouldn't have approved it. 

Yeah, well, doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that maybe that little tapeworm isn't really as symbiotic as advertised. Maybe it really is still a parasite as in it is to totally going to take more than it gives and perhaps even turn you into a throat crushing, neck biting "sleepwalker." Uh oh.

The book is fun, but kind of obvious right from the start. That's OK. I don't always have to think deep thoughts. The narrator is Sally, a young woman who suddenly awoke from a coma with no knowledge of her previous life whatsoever. That's OK too. Her parents have room to take her in and she meets a handsome doctor who totally wants to be her boyfriend and then she adopts a black lab (awesome).

Of course along the way there are those pesky sleepwalkers who seem to be getting a bit more abundant and more and more is revealed about the actual development of the miracle worm and there is danger and blood and stuff. It's all good.

About 50 pages from the end I started to get a bad feeling about how things were going to conclude. Unfortunately I was right. These things happen.

I labeled this as "science fiction" because that's where the library filed it, but honestly it seems a bit arbitrary to me. Plenty of books in the regular fiction section with far less plausible stories, but what do I know?


  1. Black Lab is good. Bad ending: not so much. Nightmares about giant tapeworms eating the world? Probable. But, yeah, I could see people lining up to get tapeworms so they wouldn't be fat or diseased, and who cares about a little vampirism?

  2. As a librarian, the lines for deciding mystery, sci fi, etc are always sketchy. I try to err on the side of putting it where I think it will be found by readers who would enjoy it. Also, some libraries make those decisions on the basis of the review in library publications, without book in hand, which further confuses things.

    Heidi, Daisy's mom.

  3. I read her book "Newsflesh", which was also about zombies (this basically sounds like zombies mixed with the vampires from the movie version of "I Am Legend") -- it was okay, but not so good that I've felt the need to pick up the sequel. Anyway I definitely wouldn't take that pill!

  4. No thanks on that mystery pill! But you've piqued my curiosity just a bit. I'm currently reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and even though it's been a little predictable so far, I'm really enjoying it!