Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Horror/Science Fiction
Length: 512 pages
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Parasitology series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. It was a very well done sci-fi/horror sort of story and I enjoyed reading it.
The main character, Sal, was in a horrible car accident, the only reason she survived is because of the giant tapeworm parasite that she had embedded in her intestine. The Intestinal Bodyguard is available from SymboGen and is designed to protect humans from disease, injury, and allergy. Sal is a different person than who she was before the accident and can’t remember any of her life before then. She has been under observation from SymboGen (the creator of the Intestinal Bodyguard) for six years now as they try to understand how Sal’s tapeworm saved her. Meanwhile a strange sleeping sickness is starting to plague humanity and Sal is getting deeply involved.
This was a creepy and well written science fiction/horror novel. Humans have started having tapeworms inserted into their body to help with disease and other disorders. As expected as more and more people start having these Intestinal Bodyguards implanted something goes horribly wrong.
This story was very well written. The story is all told from Sally’s point of view. In between chapters we get to read news articles and excerpts from pretend books and interviews. These news articles, interviews, etc do an excellent job of giving background on this world and on current events that directly concern what Sal is dealing with.
Sal is an interesting character. She has no memory of her life before her accident, so she kind of has a clean slate. For the last six years she’s been under the guardianship of her parents despite the fact that she’s an adult. She is naive, but smart. She is also a totally different person than she was. So she is stuck in a house with people who expect her to be different than she is. She has trouble knowing how to act in many situations because she doesn’t have a lifetime of experience to draw on. It all combines to make for a fascinating character.
Sal’s boyfriend, Nathan, is a parasitologist who has refused the Intestinal Bodyguard and has rebuffed numerous attempts by Symbogen to hire him. He has all the scientific knowledge to help Sal out and he meet her after her accident…so he loves her for who she is. Sal and Nathan have a solid relationship that was nice to read about; they go through a lot of very stressful situations but obviously love each other a lot.
The mystery and twists and turns to the story really make the story. You are constantly trying to unravel who is telling the truth and piece together what is happening. Things get creepier and creepier as more and more people come down with sleeping sickness and then they start to turn violent. Some of the scenes have a very “zombie attacking humans” feel to them…but with a twist.
Throughout the whole story you just get more and more uneasy. You read all the news articles and get bits and pieces of news through Sally’s perspective and you just know things are going to go bad. The tension is crazy and makes it hard to stop reading.
Like all of Mira Grant’s/Seanan McGuire’s books that writing is very easy to read and flows well. The story is complex and engaging, with characters that are easy to engage with and like.
Overall I really enjoyed the characters, writing style, and mystery behind this world/book. It’s an interesting idea and super creepy. The mystery and story are laid out really well and do a good job of building tension. There are a number of twists thrown into the story that are surprising. While I didn’t like this book quite as much as the Newsflesh trilogy, I still really enjoyed it and found it interesting and engaging. I will definitely continue reading this series. Recommended to those who like creepy science fiction reads.