Series: Parasitology

Book Review – Symbiont (Parasitology #2) by Mira Grant

Posted December 20, 2014 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 / 2 Comments

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.

Book Review – Symbiont (Parasitology #2) by Mira GrantSymbiont Series: Parasitology #2
on November 25th 2014
Pages: 528
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository



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.

Parasitology series

Early Review – Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira Grant

Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira Grant {PurchaseMy Review}

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.

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Early Review – Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira Grant

Posted July 26, 2013 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013 / 2 Comments

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.

Early Review – Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira GrantParasite by Mira Grant
Series: Parasitology #1
Published by Orbit on October 29th 2013
Pages: 5112
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher

Also by this author: Feed, Deadline, Countdown: A Newsflesh Novella


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.

“There’s one more good thing about being the girl who lived because her genetically engineered tapeworm refused to let her die: I lived. That made everything else possible. Everything else in the world.”

In the not so distant future, SymboGen Corporation has developed a genetically modified tapeworm that is designed to replace your daily medications/vitamins and keep you healthier than normal. SymboGen’s marketing of the tapeworm has been so successful that almost every single human on Earth has one. When a sickness begins to spread rapidly, it becomes clear that the tapeworms are no longer performing their assigned duties… but what is to blame?

“Human and implant fit together like they’d been designed for one another. In a very real way, they had been.” – Dr. Steven Banks

What worked really well in Parasite was the obvious research behind parasites and the science regarding them that was conducted. It didn’t always make complete sense and I’m not positive that all details were completely accurate but it felt for the most part legitimate. It started off feeling very sci-fi horror and was definitely creepy unfortunately did come off in the end like a cheesy sci-fi movie but it was still well done.

What ended up being a big disappointment were the various plot holes and inconsistencies that I noticed throughout the novel.

“We’ve been over this before. I have no memory of the accident itself. The first thing I remember is waking up in the hospital, surrounded by strangers.”

The main character Sal was involved in a car accident and after 10 days she woke up from her coma yet those were her first memories. She couldn’t remember being involved in the accident, she couldn’t remember her own name, she even had to relearn how to speak and write and understand English. She was practically a newborn baby.

Major Plot Hole: If she doesn’t remember anything until she woke up in the hospital, that doesn’t explain why does she have such a strong fear of cars? She was involved in a car accident so any normal person waking up would have developed this fear but she stated several times that her first memory was waking up in the hospital. Her fear is far too great to have simply been a byproduct of what someone told her happened to her.

I had a few other examples but I felt they were too spoilery to be included. I will say, one in particular was given a single sentence as back-story to explain which I didn’t feel was sufficient information and it seemed too coincidental.

Parasite is incredibly similar to Mira Grant’s other popular series, the Newsflesh Trilogy. Usually I would follow that up with “fans of Newsflesh will love this” however, I found this to actually be a fault as the similarities between the two were just too similar. The plot: simply exchange zombies for parasites/tapeworms and you had the same premise. Also, the Newsflesh trilogy dealt with corrupt politicians where Parasite dealt with corrupt doctors, scientists and greedy corporations. The ending also felt fairly similar in scope but obviously I won’t go into detail regarding that.

In regards to the ending, this was my biggest issue. The story builds in intensity and you’re left anticipating a spectacular ending, however, the ending ended up being something I had figured out from the very first chapter so it was a huge letdown more than anything. (And I don’t think I made a lucky guess, I thought this was something that was fairly obvious from the very beginning).

While Parasite was exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat, there was an absence of consistency and the writing felt stilted and choppy. There was a much-needed flow that this was lacking and I think it attributed to the plot holes. I believe maybe too much material was trying to be covered that necessary answers weren’t given when they should have been. Of course I read an early version of the book so I can only hope that maybe it gets a bit more polished before publication.

While Parasite didn’t capture my heart like the Newsflesh Trilogy did, this is still an entertaining and horrific sci-fi read that will leave you squirming.