Parasite – Mira Grant

The first in a new series called Parasitology. I was recommended this book by i09 and it wasn’t at all what I expected. I was thinking something like the Scott Sigler books (which I’ve read and loved) or John Ringo’s Under a Graveyard Sky (which I really REALLY loved).
Instead, the socio-political effects of the parasite infection (infestation? I’m not sure what it counts as when the parasites themselves have been introduced in a population by the population themselves) aren’t examined in this story as much as the personal issues of one particular person. Sal Mitchell wakes up from a coma and doesn’t know who she is. 6 years later, she’s got a life back, but from all accounts, it’s nothing like what she had before. New boyfriend, new job and a completely new attitude. Sal has trouble dealing with endless check ups from SymboGen and people who don’t keep their hands on the steering wheel, so when hordes of people start turning into ‘sleepwalkers’ she will do anything to find out what is happening before it happens to her.

But what if it already did?

This is the account of what happens when a major pharmaceuticals company and the American government are fighting over the best way to approach a deadly outbreak. Except Sal just wants to move in with her boyfriend, walk their dogs and have people stop killing each other. But when what’s in your head may be the key to solving the outbreak (or making it much much worse), people tend to not want to let you go.

This book was easy to read and had enough suspense that I didn’t want to put it down. The ‘sympathising with parasite’ angle is similar to the Host by Stephanie Meyer (yes, I read a Meyer book, once), but in this case the parasite isn’t entirely convinced she’s a parasite until the end of the book, even though it’s glaringly obvious to the reader after chapter 2. The inter-personal relationships and the angst and joy they cause are all well developed and although Sal is a dull character, her dullness doesn’t make for terrible reading because you’re aware of why she is the way she is. I like the many layers the book presented, knowing a little bit about parasites and hosts helps the reader discover hidden gems in the text. I’m hoping the next one comes out pretty soon!

In the meanwhile, I’m counting down to Raven’s Shadow Book 2 – Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan. Seriously, the book can’t come soon enough, I read the first book, Blood Song, in what seems like seconds and I’m so hungry for more. It’s so hard to find decent fantasy these days, so waiting in between books is so hard – I also just finished the Two Stormlight Archive books and the thought of waiting up to 4 years for another one is making me sad all the way to my toes.

What are you reading today? Got any epic fantasy recommends for me??

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