Author: Mira Grant
Date of Publication: October 29, 2013
Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: 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.
When I saw that Seanan McGuire had written more books under a different name I was absolutely thrilled to read them. I've never read a book by McGuire that I didn't like and I had a feeling that Grant wouldn't be any different. Even though I don't generally like books with more of a focus on the science than the fiction, I had a feeling that Grant would turn this novel into something I would undoubtedly enjoy. Unfortunately, I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would, in fact I disliked it so much that I read about half of it before I couldn't go on anymore.
The hardest part of reading this book was the pacing. For the first 150 pages or so absolutely nothing happened; we're introduced to the main character, Sal, and then we're given a play by play of her entire routine with no variation or excitement what so ever. Normally this wouldn't bother me but as the book went on even the moments that were supposed to be exciting were weighed down by so much science and the bland characters that I couldn't get caught up in what was happening. Maybe as the book went on the plot more exciting but I just couldn't force myself to read another 200 pages or so after reading, and being bored to death by, the first 250 pages.
After reading the October Dayes books and being introduced to a cast of beautifully developed characters with unique and striking personalities I expected the same from this book. However, Sal had a dry personality and lacked the spark that would have made her a relatable character. She had an interesting story but her personality just didn't do it for me. Likewise her boyfriend, Nathan, bored me to tears and I couldn't feel any chemistry between them at all. Maybe it was because the book started with them already knowing each other, so we never got to see the development of their relationship, but the lack of spark between them was driving me insane. The secondary characters, like Sal's family, barely stood out and I forgot about them almost immediately after being introduced to them. Characters are what make books worth reading and the characters in this novel just didn't have the personality needed to draw me into the story.
At the end of the day I'm sad to say that I can't recommend this novel. Bland characters and a slow moving plot made this novel impossible to get into and though Grant is a good writer this just wasn't one of her best. Fans of science and science fiction may enjoy this one but the technical descriptions, paired with the other issues, just didn't hold my interest.