I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my 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’m conflicted guys! One part of me wants to scream “I loves this book with all my heart!“. While another part of me wants to bang my head against a desk because Sally b.k.a Sal (our MC) is so dim. Then a part of me wants to stalk Grant’s twitter and website for info on book two! I’m a giant emotional mess!
I’m such a mess I don’t think I’m actually “qualified” to review Parasite. Seriously guys! I’ve written this review more times than I care to admit and not one of those “reviews” have come even remotely close to showcasing my feelings OR appropriately discussing the sick, twisted and absolute genius that was Parasite. I sort of want to just say “Go buy it now. No don’t go buy it. Yes buy it! Well maybe wait a bit. But definitely buy it.” See! I’m too much of a mess for this. I wasn’t prepared and now I’ve been blindsided by greatness/meh/twisted/genius. It just isn’t right!
So “Blown away” Octavia feels like the story was better than Ferrero Rocher’s (my all time favorite chocolate). She feels that Grant took such a complicated yet totally believable scenario and made it the stuff of nightmares. I, mean think about it. We, as humans are always looking for ways to eliminate annoyances. Common colds, sinuses, allergies. We strive and aim for ways to eliminate the big guys too. Cancer, diabetes, and anything that could result in daily medication. It’s totally plausible that in our pursuit to e eliminate these foes that scientist could, can and would develop a type of “tapeworm” that could do away with all of those. A tapeworm that could take it a step further and administer “natural” birth control, help with obesity and even be ingested into Fido and Muffins (Muffins is a cat name right?!) to help them too. The benefits would be incomprehensible but what would the consequences be? Which of those scientist would take a step back and say “Ingesting a living organism into your body in the hopes of curing sickness could lead to some pretty bad mojo”. The answer, my pretties, is none of them. This is the genius and sick part of Parasite! It shows you this reality, and then takes you through the evolution of what happens to these “Internal Bodyguards”. It was absolutely believable (from someone who is not a parasitologist) and I think that’s what freaked me out the most. Throughout history we’ve done the same things leading to the same destructions. These “worms” were just another example of humanity stepping on another race/culture/civilization and attempting to conform it to our wishes, and just like any other race/culture/civilization the worms fought back! Ah and it was a glorious fight! One the humans won’t even realize it’s lost.
But talking alongside of “Blown away” Octavia, is “frustrated” Octavia. I can’t help but nit pick just a bit with Parasite. I know it’s the first so I’ll try not to be evil but a lot of the stuff really just annoyed me to no end. For one I knew exactly where the plot was going from page 46. Page 46! May I remind you that this book is 504 pages long?! But I didn’t let that totally destroy the book for me. Grant was good at keeping me happy by developing the story at a pace that was slow but still gripping. What really threw “frustrated” Octavia into a fit was Sal. Our main character. Our innocent, sweet, impressionable, naive, and downright stupid at times main character. This could have been a case of “it’s not you it’s me” since I’m not exactly the poster child for innocent or naive. In fact I trust very few people, and I sincerely mean it when I say I will trip people in the event of a zombie apocalypse. I will lock people out of my safe-haven, and I will set up land-mines if it means that will protect my family. Some may call it ruthless and even inhuman but let’s be honest. If it came down to saving yourself versus the random chick with the horde of zombies on her ass, you’re going to pick yourself. It’s just in our nature. So now you can see why I didn’t enjoy Sal. She has this sense of helping the entire planet. This twisted duty to ensure that every single person is ok. Even when people were dead and gone she still had this desire to “save” them. How exactly does one save the dead? I respect her loyalty to certain people, I really do, but there comes a time when self-preservation should have kicked in.
I think all of these elements is why I wanted to write my review and THEN rate Parasite. I needed to see my thoughts and feelings written first, and then decide what I really thought. But this only put me in a tough spot. On the one hand I can’t give Parasite 5 stars. I just can’t. But on the other hand there is no way I can give it a “low” rating. The writing was too delicious, the concept too fresh and the potential for the books to come is overwhelming. Which leaves me with the only rating that comes close to encompassing all my emotions. 4 stars. It wasn’t perfect, but it gripped me, it kept me on the edge of my seat and most importantly it made me yearn for the sequel.