Parasite by Mira Grant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Summary: 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.
Just a three star read for me. This was on my TBR pile for quite a while and finally, I picked it up from the library. A story about research medicine and Big Pharma gone wrong (and by wrong, I mean to the detriment of human beings globally) sounded like it would be a fun read but alas, this was middling at best. I enjoyed the scientific research parts but I truly felt the story lagged and lacked in the characterisation and plot pacing departments. At times it felt terminally boring but there was enough intrigue that I kept pushing myself to continue because just enough crumbs of promise had been lain down for me to keep following through to the end. I wanted to love this book, I really did. Sadly, the characters all felt a bit like ciphers with no more depth than minimally required to serve the plot. I wanted to love Sal and Nathan and root for them hard core but in the end, I just had a general malaise where they were concerned. Like, I'll root for them because they're all I've got and they're supposed to be on the right side of this crazy train. And Beverly and Millie, I'm rooting for them because really, the dogs deserve better. I did find Dr Cale the most interesting in the bunch but given the pool here, that's not exactly anything that gets my fangirling heart to flutter.
The denouement was so heavily telegraphed early on that I admit to being disappointed that I'd been right all along, in addition to being glad that I'd slogged all the way through. Overall, I think this story could have been told in 100 fewer pages. I have the second book already but I won't be reading it right away (if I ever do, to be honest). The second book is going right back to the library unread and perhaps I'll check it out at another time because right now, I'm just not in the mood for any more of this. Bye, book.
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