Giveaway & Review: Symbiont by Mira Grant

December 22, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Giveaway & Review: Symbiont by Mira GrantSymbiont by Mira Grant
Series: Parasitology #2
Published by Hachette Australia, Orbit on November 25, 2014
Source: Publisher
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction
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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.

  • Over 13 years to enter
  • Winners will be picked at random and must respond within 48 hours
  • Winner will be announced on the rafflecopter form.
  • Happy Indulgence does not take responsibility for packages lost by Australia Post.
  • Fake entries will be disqualified from winning.
  • Entries close on 31 December 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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29 responses to “Giveaway & Review: Symbiont by Mira Grant

  1. OMFG tapeworms are seriously my worst nightmare. I heard about this mum feeding her daughter a tapeworm pill to try and keep her skinny for her beauty pageants. Seriously, WTF. It definitely takes a great author to take something so frightening already, and turn it into a heart-pumping novel that would scare the bejeezus out of the readers. I love zombies though, so I need to pick up the first one. Your review made me shudder, well done Jeann 😛

    • Hehehe it's good we don't encounter them in daily life then because they are so disgusting *shudders* although hey, that must make me weird for enjoying a book about them 😉 that is SO DISGUSTING. Yuck, who would do that? If you love zombies but not tapeworms, check out FEED by Mira Grant! So good.

  2. kezia1098

    Ahh glad to hear that it's as good as Parasite! Sometimes I feel like this series is just too smart for me because of those medical terms, but the plot is definitely amazing! And there aren't many geekily attractive boys like Nathan out there ;D

    Curse my curious self because I made the mistake of googling the creatures last year and I still can't get the disgusting images out of my mind *shiver*
    My recent post [Review] Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

    • Awww I love the medical and sciencey stuff in it but at least there\’s no info overload at times. Yes I do appreciate Nathan\’s geekiness hehe 😉 Oh my gosh you googled them! *shudders*

  3. karawrites15

    Great review! I have to admit that I'm probably not that much of a zombie fan… and I think it's because all the zombie books I've read just haven't been very good in my opinion. (With the exception of Warm Bodies–I did really enjoy that one.) However this series does look intriguing. I'll definitely have to read it someday! 🙂
    My recent post Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Santa Better Bring Me. Or Else.

    • Thank you Kara, I loved Warm Bodies as well! You do need to pick a good one because there are so many out there that are stock standard.

  4. Sam

    I haven't even read book one, but you totally hooked me! I mean, a tapeworm horror? Really? That sounds epic!

  5. This series is NOT for me. I am realllly scared of insects and all the weird squishy diseasy stuff and tapeworms have always scared the hell out of me. Or more like, made me feel sick! *shudders* An entire series that revolves around them is like my worst nightmare but but at the same time……it sounds so good.

    Life dilemmas. Maybe I could read it while constantly reminding myself it's not real? *hides*

    Fantastic review, hon! 🙂
    My recent post ARC Review: Transcendent by Lesley Livingston

    • Hahah I can see why, it definitely is squeamish at times! But I ilove it because it\’s so different and science and Mira Grant.

  6. I had to skim a little, as I'm reading Parasite over the summer on your recommendation actually. Tapeworm, even the thought makes me squirm. I really don't know how I'm going to handle this series, I'm a complete wimp when it comes to anything even remotely stomach turning. Wow, 600 pages is HUGE for a middle book, but a 4½ star rating, it certainly doesn't sound like it fell victim to middle book syndrome. Awesome review Jeann <3
    My recent post This Shattered World Blog Tour, Art and Giveaway

    • YESSS i can\’t wait for you to read Parasite, I can\’t wait to hear what you think of it! It is actually a bit detailed in some places, but man, the rest of it is fantastic. Thank you Kelly! Hope you enjoy.

  7. I've never heard of such a book, but it's pretty unusual yet unique and interesting that it's somehow about parasitology. 😛 Wow you're a lover of zombies? Hehe I know a lot of people who are as well ^.^

    It does take a talented author to write this. Thanks for sharing this!!! 😀
    My recent post Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

    • The series name is parasitology, how fascinating is that? It was really interesting and creepy. Thank you Jillians, I think zombies have become big again due to The Walking Dead!

  8. You're so right! It definitely takes a talented author to make a story, and an interesting one at that, out of something so gross as tapeworms. I know that this series was originally intended to be a duology, so I'm a little disappointed that it's 600+ pages, and dragged a bit. Isn't that the definition of filler? But, that minor complaint aside, I do believe I'll be reading this ASAP.
    My recent post Best Books I’ve Read in 2014