Parasite by Mira Grant book review

Mira Grant’s zombie novel Parasite is believable, disturbing and only the beginning

In 2027 the world’s a healthier place, thanks to the Intestinal Bodyguard; a parasite living within humans to boost the immune system. Cue disaster…

Inserting a living organism into the body is never going to end well in the world of sci-fi, and Parasite’s no exception. As the ‘worms’ get restless, the ‘sleeping sickness’ takes over. Initially, the infected’s eyes deaden and they adopt a drowsy dawdle, but as more become ill, violence ensues.

Lead, Sal, awoke from a car crash six years ago, with serious amnesia and no recollection of her previous life, which you’ll be thankful for, as her alter ego sounds massively unappealing. Sal, however, is a likeable lead; a believable balance of determined – through her commitment to getting involved – with dependent – relying quite heavily on boyfriend, Nathan.

Jumping straight into action, the introduction flashes forward to the infected attempting home invasion. Unlike many zombie narratives, however, Parasite focuses on the cause before the effect has reached its peak. Although this slows the pace slightly after initial chapters, the intrigue and suspense – aided by the inclusion of journals, interviews and biographical articles – is enough to keep pages turning.

Scientific explanations, at times, get a little heavy for bedtime reading, but undeniably aid authenticity, making the concept feel unnervingly believable. The disturbingly realistic plot, coupled with interspersed events of hostility from the infected, make for a suspense ridden read.

It’s a shame the ultimate twist is predictable; rather than conclude on a cliff-hanger, the ending’s somewhat unsurprising and abrupt.

Nevertheless, you’ll still be excited for part two.