Series: Parasitology #2
Published by Hachette Australia, Orbit on November 25, 2014
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction
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THE SECOND BOOK IN MIRA GRANT'S TERRIFYING PARASITOLOGY SERIES.
THE ENEMY IS INSIDE US.
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.
Only Mira Grant could write a series about tapeworm horror, and make it compelling, intelligent, well thought out and absolutely terrifying.
The Parasitology series explores a world dominated by science, where people rely on tapeworm implants for perfect health and longevity. While Parasite explored how this technology was invented and how it was adopted across the globe, Symbiont explores the detrimental and disastrous effects of the implant, as people using implants become cold, empty shells – or zombies.
As an avid zombie fan, I’ve heard about diseases, bites and airbourne viruses causing the affliction, but this is the first time tapeworms have become the primary cause of death. It’s sickly fascinating, gruesome and unimaginable – but somehow, with the justification of science, it becomes believable in this dark and chilling world.
This was it: this was the moment where I would have to decide whether I wanted to be the girl I’d always been, or whether I was ready to become someone new. Someone who was brave enough to crawl into the dark alone, and see where the risk would take her. Someone who was going to survive.
I won’t provide any spoilers for Parasite, but Symbiont was as chilling and addictive as the first. As if the tapeworms and zombies weren’t enough, Sal experiences many dark and sinister situations totally out of her control. From being strapped down by a military organisation, to being operated on by scientists, to being held captive against her will by a sick man, I experienced complete and utter horror at some of these situations and the immoral and evil behaviour of people once the world goes mad.
Sal’s genuine, intelligent and inquisitive nature makes her a survivor, and I was proud of her leadership, strength and resolve no matter how dangerous the situation. While the events of Parasite left her reeling and unsure of herself, she really grows in confidence by the end of the book. Symbiont made me love Nathan more, in all of his geeky, scientific glory and his loyalty and love for Sal.
“You’re not answering the question,” I said. “People keep doing that to me. I don’t like it.”
We are introduced to some fantastic new characters, from Ronnie, the tapeworm assassin who is stuck in a man’s body, to Fishy, a man in denial who believes he’s stuck in a video game.
There are a few problems with plot continuity however, as without the kidnapping and saving, not much actually happened in the book. At over 600 pages, you’d expect more to happen outside of repeating the events of the previous book and having our character being thrust in a whole range of situations.
Symbiont is not just a book about tapeworms, or zombies, or even science. It explores the scary effects of a world relying on an untested technology, opposing views of different scientists and organisations, and the blurred lines between human, scientific subject and tapeworm. From tapeworms burrowing into our skulls, to scientists on the ruthless quest for knowledge to evil profiteering companies, there are so many terrifying situations in this book.
It also leaves us with the chilling notion – if we discovered an incredibly risky cure to all diseases, would we use it?
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Giveaway – Australians only
I have a spare copy of Symbiont, so I’m giving it away to my fellow Aussie followers.
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