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Symbiont by Mira Grant (audio)

Source: Public Library
Audiobook, 16+ hours
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Symbiont by Mira Grant, narrated by Christine Lakin, is the second book in the Parasitology series, so if you haven’t read book 1, stop here. Read my review for book 1, Parasite.

Our protagonist Sal Mitchell finds herself in the hands of the enemy more than once in this book. Upon escaping from her father’s government facility, she finds herself thrust in the hands of another enemy. Much of the book is spent unraveling the plots of the fully-functioning tapeworm humans (chimera) who want to rid the world of humans — naturally. Led by Sherman, her sometimes handler at SymboGen, Sal finds out that the tapeworms were not only engineered to help people with health problems, but they also seem to have specific skills.

Like any species that is evolving, there are those that have fully taken over their human hosts and there are others who act more like zombies and devour humans on sight with little cognitive function. Sal is frightened of all of the above because she is on the side of life — living in harmony. Is humanity ready to accept these tapeworm takeovers as people and are the tapeworms ready to let bygones be bygones and make peace with their creators? Even when she returns to Dr. Kim and his mother at their undisclosed lab location, the ethical lines of science are blurring further than she could imagine, especially when Dr. Stephen Banks enters the picture.

Lakin continues to narrate this winding and repetitive story well, but the repetition got to me by the end. Symbiont by Mira Grant, narrated by Christine Lakin, could have been a great middle book with better editing and less back-tracking over plot points established in the first book. Certain aspects of the backstory from the first book seemed to be too constraining for the author, who reinvented some of the backstory here to suit her needs. This middle book just seemed like one bad car chase after another toward the end, and Grant did herself a disservice in that. However, the cliffhanger at the end and the overall story mean I must see this one to its conclusion in Chimera.

RATING: Tercet

Other Reviews:

About the Author:

Born and raised in Northern California, Mira Grant has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead. In college, she was voted Most Likely to Summon Something Horrible in the Cornfield, and was a founding member of the Horror Movie Sleep-Away Survival Camp, where her record for time survived in the Swamp Cannibals scenario remains unchallenged.

Mira lives in a crumbling farmhouse with an assortment of cats, horror movies, comics, and books about horrible diseases. When not writing, she splits her time between travel, auditing college virology courses, and watching more horror movies than is strictly good for you. Favorite vacation spots include Seattle, London, and a large haunted corn maze just outside of Huntsville, Alabama.

Mira sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests that you do the same.

Parasite by Mira Grant (audio)

Source: Public Library
Audiobook, 16+ hours
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Parasite by Mira Grant, narrated by Christine Lakin, is another series of books in which the world has been turned upside down. Sally Mitchell was involved in horrific car accident and a genetically engineered worm is introduced to her body. When she wakes up, she has no memory of her life before and must begin again, learning how to walk, talk, and interact. In a world where germs are eradicated and worms are used in symbiosis with human bodies to ensure the immune system functions properly, it’s no wonder that things go haywire in 2027.

With only six years of life to build upon, Sal Mitchell must create a new life for herself and leave the old Sally behind. With her doctor boyfriend and continued checkups at SymboGen Corp., her life is pretty carefree, unless you like being poked and prodded. Her father, a general, works in a lab that keeps a check on the nation’s diseases and outbreaks, and her sister works there too as an intern. Sal may be a lab rat, but everyone around her seems to be a scientist. The entire world has bought into the Intestinal Bodyguard worm marketing of SymboGen, except for Sal’s boyfriend Dr. Kim.

Grant has become a go-to author for me when I want something fresh. Her books push the envelope of science as far as it will go to create a world that resembles our current reality but is horrifying. Her ability to create a believable world in which science has gone beyond the bounds of ethics and created something they can no longer control is nothing short of a miracle. You could step into these worlds and believe they are your reality. And that is very scary.

Lakin does an excellent narrative job as she voices Sal and the other characters, making each one distinct without making them sound ridiculously accented. Parasite by Mira Grant, narrated by Christine Lakin, is spell-binding and would be great for a book club discussion about medical and scientific ethics. This is book one, and you can bet I’m reading the rest of this series.

RATING: Quatrain

Other Reviews:

About the Author:

Born and raised in Northern California, Mira Grant has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead. In college, she was voted Most Likely to Summon Something Horrible in the Cornfield, and was a founding member of the Horror Movie Sleep-Away Survival Camp, where her record for time survived in the Swamp Cannibals scenario remains unchallenged.

Mira lives in a crumbling farmhouse with an assortment of cats, horror movies, comics, and books about horrible diseases. When not writing, she splits her time between travel, auditing college virology courses, and watching more horror movies than is strictly good for you. Favorite vacation spots include Seattle, London, and a large haunted corn maze just outside of Huntsville, Alabama.

Mira sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests that you do the same.