[ARC Review] Parasite by Mira Grant

(Parasitology #1)
Author: Mira Grant
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: October 29th, 2013
Pages: 608 (ebook)
Genre: Adult – Science Fiction

From New York Times bestselling author Mira Grant, a high-concept near-future thriller.
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 Intestinal Bodyguard worm 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.


Okay so this is the first time I have ever read an adult book, (a zombie one at that) and I must say that overall, it was a positive experience.

To be honest, the beginning was rough to get into and I felt confused reading this. There were like TONS of medical terms I don’t understand (mind you, I’m only 14) such as proglottids, anaphylactic, and parasites Latin names. ESPECIALLY THE MIDDLE PART, this book actually sounded just like my biology text book! I was like what what WHAT there were SO MANY words I even never heard before!

Our protagonist, Sally Mitchell had a severe accident when she was 20. The doctors had claimed that she was clinically brain dead, but Sally miraculously survived after a tapeworm was implanted in her body. Unfortunately, Sally lost ALL of her memories before the accident and she had to relearn everything again, including English. Now six years after that, Sally is still getting therapy and medical check-ups at SymboGen, her health is constantly monitored by the company and her parents. Everything is fine…until one day, some people start transforming into empty creatures (*cough* zombies *cough*) and lose their humanity.

At first I thought Sally was going to be the cliche protagonist when she starts comparing her appearance with her younger sister. But I was so glad cause there’s no physical appearance talk after that! One thing that I found weird was how she can speak so eloquently even though she has only been learning it for six years. I mean, recalcitrant? Altruistic? Indubitably? O_O Possibly because her boyfriend is a doctor or because this is an adult novel but anyways, this could be just my issue cause I’m not a native and therefore my vocab is limited.

The first half was all mystery, the plot moves slowly that I felt bored and I was getting more questions than answers. However, when you hit the second half, things start to make more sense (there are even more biological terms in this part, I tell you again) and the book actually gets creepier and creepier and OMG THERE’S A TWIST I NEVER SAW COMING!! Really, I couldn’t close my mouth for the next few pages!!

Leaving the scientific terms aside, I did enjoy Parasite, especially the second half – I was sooo engaged I couldn’t stop reading! Plus, it’s such a breath of fresh air to see a love interest that actually has brain. I assume medical students would understand this book better but really, anyone would die because of those crazy plot twists. Parasite was a darkly terrifying, eerie and incredible read, once you get sucked into the book, there’s literally no way out until you have reached the last page.

One more advice, DO NOT GOOGLE ANYTHING!!! I was so curious that I googled tapeworms and oh my god they were soooooooo disgusting I might have been traumatized!! Well, I have learned my lesson. (Silly me, WHAT DID I EXPECT THEM TO LOOK LIKE?)

Thank you, Orbit and Netgalley for the review copy, this doesn’t affect my opinions or review at all. 🙂

18 thoughts on “[ARC Review] Parasite by Mira Grant”

  1. I haven’t been seeing too many positive reviews for this, so I’m feeling kind of disappointed! I like the premise for this, and I’m glad that Sarah didn’t turn out to be your cliche protagonist, but I doubt I would understand any of the medical terms in there either! Plus, those plotholes would annoy me a little. Haha, thankfully I already know how tapeworms look like, and yeah, they are pretty gross! Thanks for such a helpful review, Kezia. I have this one in my Kindle, so I’ll be sure to go into it with slightly lower expectations!

    1. Actually, her name is Sally xD I’m quite the opposite — I have been seeing overall positive reviews for this one! But anyway, this book definitely worth the slow start. I hope you’re patient enough to bear it! xD

  2. This looks so cool! I don’t think the medical lingo is because you’re native to the language or because you’re a teenager, it just means the author has put too much medical jargon it it!
    The synopsis makes it seem really cool, glad you enjoyed it!

    ~Tilly @ Hardcore Heroines

    1. But seriously, there were quite a lot of tough vocabulary that I was holding my electronic dictionary while reading it O_O But you’re totally right, it does sound so cool! I think I might jump into the zombie bandwagon haha!

  3. Great review! I liked this book, but I also had some issues with it. Indeed Sally should act like a 6 year old, but her behaviour/speech seems to be normal for a teen.. The first half was indeed very slow, but after that it was very creepy:)

    Eveline’s Books

  4. Brilliant review, you’re brave for entering the NA world. When I read Slated I thought it was really well done because like in this because she had to learn everything all over again and the MC wording was always very childish which is appropriate to the circumstances. I understand what you mean because sometimes it becomes a little to unrealistic. I don’t think I could read this book though because of all the medical terms. I think I would just get bored and I would have to DNF it. Although I gotta say I love big twists!!! Haha I don’t think I would be disturbed because I have already looked at Tapeworms in science. They’re sooooo disgusting!!! My science teacher told me this teenager at one just so she could loose weight. SOME MESSED UP STUFF!!!

    1. Thank you, Francoise! 😀 Thankfully, there isn’t any…explicit scenes so I didn’t have anything to worry about!

      Slated sounds good! I think I saw a copy at the bookstore last time I went!

  5. Hahaha, I study microbiology, so I see those disgusting pictures all the time :p But I can see why you advice to not google it, haha. I thought this book was so well-done in terms of research and background story. I agree about the unexpected twist at the ending! I really liked that 🙂 I believe Sally learned those words because of her boyfriend.

    Great review!

  6. LOL wow I don’t know any of those medical terms either. While it sounds interesting (and I love how the 2nd half was much better) I think I’ll skip it. I hate biology & chemistry with a passion, so reading them in a book is like torture for me. Science and I just doesn’t click. Great review!


    1. Haha I totally understand if any of you would DNF it! I almost did too 😛 but I just kept reading while holding out hope that the second half would be better and it was! 😀

  7. Haha tapeworms are the nastiest! My friend showed me a picture of them and I think those worms you have to slowly pull them out because if it breaks then you can’t get it out of your body. *shivers* Anyways, medical terms just sound all the same to me! Argh they are just too confusing and stand for too many things! So being thrown with random medical terms seems…unnecessary. But that little zombie part…weird cause I had a zombie apocalypse dream! XD Haha, maybe it’s telling me to read a zombie book, recommend any?

    1. Haha! Actually, this is my first zombie book *GASPS* xD hmm the one I read last week — and I ended up putting it off cause it was soooo boring — was The 5th Wave…I wouldn’t recommend it if you ask me :/

  8. I love that you loved this book! This one was really awesome 🙂 I’ve never read much by Mira Grant but Parasite convinced the cynical in me. I do agree, though – don’t google the stuff! I did, and I regretted it. Haha. Lovely, fun review!

    Faye @ The Social Potato

    1. Thanks, Faye! <33 Your review was the one that convinced me to keep on reading and omg, I am sooo glad I did! 😀 I am interested in Mira Grant’s other books now! I heard they were also zombie books and I’m pretty sure they will turn out great 🙂

    1. Thanks, Sydney! ^^ This was my first adult books too! And what made me really glad was there weren’t any explicit contents in it — just loads and loads of medical terms.

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