Humans no longer have to worry about illness or disease, immune systems are boosted, and designer drugs are easily pumped through our systems. The lack of these worries comes with an unseen consequence. Science came up with a parasite – a tapeworm, also known as the “Intestinal Bodyguard” worm – which fights off any maladies. The bad news is the tapeworms seem to be fighting for a life of their own and given they live inside humans, the end results are terrifying.
Mira Grant’s most recent book, Parasite, sets forth this scientific nightmare. The human population willingly ingests a tapeworm all in th
e name of no longer getting sick or some type of disease. There is a very small number who don’t have the parasite, choosing instead to take daily pills in order to stay healthy, but they are the minority.
Sally Mitchell, essentially “brain-dead” after a car accident (science can stop disease but not broken bones, internal injuries, etc.), is surrounded by her family who are just about to “pull the plug”, when she suddenly opens her eyes. Sally is alive. So begins Sal’s story.
Sal has spent a majority of her years after waking up at Symbogen Corp, the company that created the intestinal bodyguard. The first year was the most difficult. She had to learn how to do everything again, from talking to walking. Her family has been told she is no longer the person she was and will never be that person. Lately Sal has become wary of Symbogen and wants to break free of the regular checkups and tests she has to go through. She just wants to have a regular life with her doctor boyfriend and at her job at the pet shelter. Then odd things start to occur. People start to act oddly. Sal starts to see people change – they get a far away look in their eye, gloss over, and start to attack the people they are with. Some even say Sally’s name – terrifying in its own right. Along with her boyfriend Sal starts to investigate what could possibly be behind these people getting sick. The truth is far more disturbing than anyone could think and has the potential to change the fate of the human race forever.
This is the first book in the Parasitology trilogy and I thought it was fairly enjoyable. The book had a fast pace and appeared to be well researched. There is a lot of medical and scientific terminology, most of which was well beyond my ability to determine if accurate or not – I’ll put my faith in the author’s researching ability. The one thing I found disappointing was the “big reveal”. It wasn’t too surprising, in fact seemed fairly obvious from early on. Not sure if this was intentional on Grant’s part or not. I’m hoping it was intentional and the next two books don’t have more of the same obviousness. Now to just wait for the future books to come out.