Author: Mira Grant
Genre: Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Reading Room
A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.Review by Nara
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.
Oh, God. What have we done
-DR. NATHAN KIMHOLY GUACAMOLE! The concept of this book is so flipping disgusting. The idea that you purposely eat a tapeworm and then it tampers with your body systems uggggh. Ever since watching a documentary where the presenter purposely ate a tapeworm egg and then purged it in order to show the viewer how fast a tapeworm grows, I've just been seriously creeped out by parasites. SCARRED FOR LIFE.
Despite the disgusting premise, I LOVED THIS BOOK TO BITS. Just...science! Glorious science! All of the sciencey bits were just so intriguing (yep, I'm a science nerd. DFTBA) and it was awesome because I actually knew a lot of the stuff they were talking about and the bits that I knew were actually accurate and so it seemed like the author had actually done her research and ERMAHGERD IT WAS THE BEST. The entire sci-fi aspect of the book was just so dang interesting!
Even if you don't like science, I'd still give this book a go. There were many other compelling aspects of the book- the plot, the characters, the suspense, the narrative voice- everything was just very well done. And main character Sal wasn't particularly an expert in science or anything, so most of the science is explained quite well.
The characters were pretty well developed. I loved the romance. It was incredibly realistic, without the annoying tropes like love triangles and overprotectiveness and whatever else. Nathan and Sal were both quite unique characters and their relationship was downright swoonworthy. Actually, make that Nathan being downright swoonworthy. He's nice and supportive and smart. He's also Korean and has glasses. I'm sold.
No one wants to set out to be a hero, and discover after the fact that they've been a villain all along.There is this twist in the book- revealed at the very end- which I must say I predicted, but that was only because there were so many hints throughout which foreshadowed it. I'd recommend reading this book relatively slowly/carefully because that way you can pick up on quite a few of the hints- basically just read between the lines and the twists are obvious (I think the author meant for it to be this way just because the sheer number of hints).
I guess in a way this book was a bit of a medical thriller. There's a weird disease rampaging through the city that causes people to become like zombies, and the mystery surrounding this disease is slowly unfolded as you continue through the book. A fascinating plot and realistic characters- grab this book ASAP.