Parasite is the first book in the Parasitology trilogy by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire). In the year 2027 humanity no longer deals with sickness and disease due the genetically engineered tapeworms created by SymboGen that everyone now carries. The story primarily follows Sally Mitchel who nearly died six years ago but was saved by the SymboGen tape worm. However, things are starting to go wrong with the tape worms and people are not acting like they should so Sally must figure out what is going on and her new place in the world.
The story starts out very interesting seeing how the world is different from today. As I don’t think there would very be anything that would convince me to carry a tapeworm. Sal, as Sally prefers, doesn’t remember anything from before that accident that nearly killed her so she is being treated as a medical miracle even years later. It’s clear that while she understand everyone want to find out how she survived and what happened she hates being treated like a child. As a sleeping sickness starts affecting people everywhere Sal and her boyfriend start uncovering secrets that will change everything and that puts them in grave danger.
Though I’ve loved many of Seanan McGuire’s other works there is an important plot twist about halfway through the book that completely lost me. Given that the science seems very sound in the rest of the book this twist seemed to come out of left field and didn’t flow with the rest of the story. Seanan McGuire’s endings though, especially in her science fiction horror books, feel like a gut punch or that didn’t just happen, did it? Its nothing that I ever expect and it always causes me to want to read more.
If you have any anxiety or fears based around medical events or parasites/bugs I would consider not reading this series. I absolutely loved the NewsFlesh series and have loved many of Seanan McGuire’s other work so I was expecting to love this book. Though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I was hoping with the ending I do plan on continuing the series but I don’t think I will have that high of expectations for the rest of the series.