Mira Grant - Parasite (3 stars)

Mira Grant - Parasite

The first part in the proposed Parasitology trilogy is an above-average biological thriller

(Orbit)

For gruesome scares you can't go wrong with parasites, and Grant puts them to effective use in the first of her planned series of Parasitology thrillers. Drawing on fears of increasingly drug-resistant viruses and our unhealthy obsession with the War on Bacteria, she imagines a near future where humanity has turned in desperation to genetically-engineered tapeworms to stay healthy. Needless to say, things go wrong.

Caught in the middle of the escalating chaos is car crash survivor Sally Mitchell, now an amnesiac and a source of unwelcome interest to SymboGen, the organisation responsible for the worm in her intestine that apparently saved her life.

Parasite makes up for its more formulaic elements – the sinister corporation that will stop at nothing to protect itself, the phone call from the mysterious stranger promising answers, and so on – with interesting, morally ambiguous characters and some genuinely unexpected plot developments.

The result is an above-average thriller that mostly lives up to its intriguing premise: sometimes terrifying, sometimes a bit silly, but good enough to make the next instalment something to look forward to.

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