Get in meh brain: PARASITE by Mira Grant

Posted 31 March, 2014 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 17 Comments

Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira Grant
Science Fiction
504 pages, hardcover
Available now (October 2013)
Publisher: Orbit
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

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.

I had the heebie-jeebies the entire time I was reading this book. I mean, seriously? A “helpful” tapeworm implanted in humans to protect us from illness and other things sounds like a good idea. But I can’t help but think of that video in science class that we watched where a woman had a tapeworm in her stomach and they had to tease it out with food, catch it with tweezers and slowly wind it around a pencil to remove it. I was (and still am) traumatized for life. It took me a long while to get up the nerve to pick this book up.

Aren’t you happy I shared that image with you?

Here’s the question: if someone promises us no illness and a boost in our immunity but all we have to do is host some little worm that Big Pharma promises will be controlled, would we do it? I don’t know if I could get past my squeamishness but to not be sick, to be exceptionally healthy for my entire lifespan (no allergies, no asthma, no sinus infections, no flu…)…that’s mighty tempting. 

The story slowly builds as we meet Sally, who died in a car crash but was revived and repaired by her implant. She’s a completely different person — a better person — than she was before the crash, which freaks everyone who knew/knows her out. Then there’s Nathan, a parasitologist who doesn’t have the implant. And Tansy who, well, spoilers. Seriously, I can’t give too much (really, any) of the plot away because spoilers.

Mira Grant has the ability to make science fiction read like science fact, as if this type of medical procedure really exists. I had both a hard time reading this book and the freaky inability to put it down once I started it. But I snuggled my puppies close the whole time. Freaky, gross, creepy and so, so good.

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17 Responses to “Get in meh brain: PARASITE by Mira Grant”

  1. ZOMG. Now we’re both traumatized. Spread that misery around, LOL. However, I am also totally convinced that this book will be freaky, gross, creepy, and so, SO good. I’ll just have to make sure to read it in the middle of day. A sunny day. A sunny and warm day . . . *shudders*

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

  2. No Mary. No, I’m not happy you shared that image with us. *shudders* I can’t deal with the idea of worms or parasites in my body, even if they’re supposedly “helping”. I don’t know if I could do it! I feel like this book would horrify me (but in a good kind of way), so I have to admit to being tempted to read it even with my aversion to tapeworms:)

  3. I’m not sure I’d be able to get past this book’s creep factor. I sounds like it was a good read overall, but I don’t enjoy the heebie-jeebies, so I think I’m going to pass. Hehe I’m just a wuss.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

  4. As a general rule, not much creeps me out, but tapeworms would one of the things that does. I have this one and hopefully I’ll get to it soon!

  5. I could see something like that happening – where everyone trusts the newest and greatest drug to fix everything. But it sounds too reminiscent of science fiction – as it is in this book 🙂

  6. I totally got the audiobook because I think that is how I am going to have to tackle this book. However, I will be tackling it before book 2 is out!

  7. I’m avoiding this book precisely because of that not-so-lovely image… *shudders* I adore Grant’s imagination and writing, but it’s going to take awhile for me to pick this one up, I’m afraid. Wonderful review, Mary!

  8. This sounds amazing. But scary. I’m a chicken. And that image… thankyousoverymuch.
    I’m adding this to my TBR list, but I’m not sure I’ll ever have the courage to read it. Great review, Mary!

  9. That image is sure to stay with me for awhie, Mary. Yuck! But seriously, this has a ring of possibility to it, and I could easily see people willing to put the “helpful friends” in them. What scares me is the fact that the author says they want more than just a host. EeeK. This sounds like a book that compels you and scares you at the same time. Great review, Mary 🙂

  10. You have scarred me for life just thinking about you watching that video, imagine what would happen if I actually watched it! I also got MAJOR heebie jeebies reading this. I still haven’t really recovered. Glad you enjoyed it, and that you had puppies to curl up with and comfort you. 🙂 Lovely review!

  11. This sounds like a book I’d love – cuz I likes the creeps 🙂 Adding it to my reading list, and hopefully will get to it around that spooky month of October!!