Published by Orbit on Oct 29, 2013
Genres: Adult, Dystopia
Format: eARC from Netgalley
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.
We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.
But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives…and will do anything to get them.
This is a creepy and scary story where the danger comes from within. The idea of the parasites is incredibly creepy and makes my skin crawl. The fact that is seems plausible to me, both the science and the bad results, makes this a story that horrorified me.
The story itself had a few flaws. The twist at the end was super easy to see coming. There were few twists that I didn’t see coming, making the story fairly predictable. The ending was one big cliffhanger. Looking back, I can’t really pinpoint any part of the plot that was resolved in this story. It seemed like the book was more of one giant set up that simply stopped when things started to get interesting.
Offsetting the plots issues were the characters. Sal was easy to like and pity. Her family was not very loving or supportive. I understand that Sal was not the same after her accident as before, but I would expect her closest family to be more understanding of her situation and desire to get back to living. I liked how she was strong and determined not to let her situation and past rule her current life.
The craziest, and easily most interesting, character in the book was Tansy. She was insane but likable. I was impressed at how Sal treated her. She treated Tansy with respect, and tried to adjust her speech and actions to fit terms that Tansy would understand. It was quite remarkable, and very honorable of Sal, especially since Tansy was obviously unstable.
Overall, this was a creepy book that inspired the heebe geebees. The plot had some flaws, but the characters made up for it. This was a good start to the overall story, and I look forward to the next book. I just hope it resolves some issues, and doesn’t just create new ones.