I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Symbiont by Mira Grant
Series: Parasitology #2
Published by Orbit on November 25th 2014
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-fi, Zombies
Source: the Publisher
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Also by this author: Feed, Deadline, Countdown: A Newsflesh Novella
THE ENEMY IS INSIDE US.
The SymboGen designed tapeworms were created to relieve humanity of disease and sickness. But the implants in the majority of the world's population began attacking their hosts turning them into a ravenous horde.
Now those who do not appear to be afflicted are being gathered for quarantine as panic spreads, but Sal and her companions must discover how the tapeworms are taking over their hosts, what their eventual goal is, and how they can be stopped.
Yep. I gave a Mira Grant book 2 stars.
It pains me to do so, it really does, but this series, in general, has not impressed me at all. Parasite/Symbiont was intended originally to be a duology but it has now transformed into a trilogy with Symbiont becoming nothing more than a seriously massive tome of filler. It was a huge undertaking to get through this (a total of 23 days which is fairly unheard of for me) but there’s no denying that it definitely lacked direction.
By now we’ve had our fair share of romances between humans and well, non-humans. All members of the supernatural (vampires, werewolves, fairies and even zombies) and while I’m all for diversity in romances, I’m not sure human and tapeworm were ever on my wishlist. When news of this series first came to light, I was definitely intrigued. A tapeworm named The Intestinal Bodyguard is the answer to anything from allergies to colds, yet it does much more than anticipated when the tapeworms learn how to overtake their human bodies and claim them as their own. The transformation process went differently for some. Sal, a chimera, developed a personality and even formed a romance with Nathan, the son of Dr. Shanti Cale the co-creator of the original tapeworm. Others weren’t so fortunate and now infect the streets of San Francisco in search of sustenance (basically a zombie, but they’re called sleepwalkers). The inclusion of the romance angle was a bit far-fetched and I felt that there were enough interesting aspects of this story going on that it didn’t need to be included. Plus, it’s kind of gross, but who am I to judge I guess.
One of the main issues I had with Parasite were some various plot holes that could have swallowed a building. Most specifically was Sal’s fear of cars that supposedly developed after her car accident, however, she was still human at the time of the accident. Her tapeworm didn’t take over her brain until following the accident. It never quite made sense that she took on her same phobia yet none of her memories or anything else. There was a clumsy attempt to backtrack and explain this, basically, the phobia was ingrained into her during counseling sessions when she was still at SymboGen, and while this would explain it it was far from a sufficient justification because huh? Why would the scientists trouble themselves with making sure Sal remained scared of cars? Baffling.
The conclusion of Parasite left off with Sal just barely escaping SymboGen, but unfortunately, her ‘tapeworm sister’ Tansy was captured in the process. A chunk of the novel is spent on finding her location and concocting a dangerous rescue mission just to get her back. The rest of the novel involves other dangerous acts that constantly put the characters in unnecessary danger in a failed attempt to generate an enticing intensity. First, there was the foray back to the horde infected streets of San Francisco because, whoops, we left the dogs at home! Then there’s the medical condition of Sal’s that naturally can’t be treated in the lab so another trip into the city is required. Then Sal gets kidnapped a few times by various individuals. There’s a lot happening within these 500+ pages but it’s all inconsequential stuff that doesn’t need to be happening if that makes sense. It was all entirely too tedious for my liking. I’ll likely pick up the final installment Chimera since I’m already so invested, but my expectations are near rock bottom at this point.