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Parasite

July 13, 2013

feedI love Mira Grant.  She does not want me to sleep easy at night though. I’m pretty sure it gives her little shivers of delight when a reader tells her that they have nightmares.  Well, you could follow her on Twitter and find out for sure.  She’s actually Seanan McGuire, urban fantasy novelist of some repute.  It’s funny, her urban fantasy books are actually probably darker on the whole, but they don’t give me the screaming heebie-jeebies like the books she writes under the Mira Grant pen name.

deadlineMy first experience with Mira Grant was the Newsflesh trilogy, which I have talked about a bit before.  That trilogy is comprised of Feed, Deadline, and Blackout.  The series takes place after we’ve more or less won the zombie apocalypse.  The zombies are still out there and they still want to eat all your tasty flesh, but we basically know how to deal with them.  The majority of people avoid them.  There are crazy safety measures in place to prevent an attack.  If someone even thinks you are infected it is their moral and legal duty to put you down.  Animals that are big enough to turn into zombies are more or less illegal.  It’s considered insanely dangerous and not a little irresponsible to own a large dog or work with horses.  People still do it, but the rest of society tends to avoid them.  blackoutThen there are the bloggers.  Back when the outbreak occurred it was the bloggers and other social media experts that got word out quickly and, to the best of their ability, accurately about what was happening and what you could do about it.  While mainstream media was still calling this a new type of flu the internet was using the word zombie and telling you to aim for the head.  That gives bloggers a major presence in the post-zombie world.  They can make major money and are providing a constant stream of news, action, and fiction to keep their readers tuned in.  Sean and Georgia Mason run a modestly important blog.  Then they win a contest to be the only bloggers covering Senator Peter Ryman’s bid for the Presidency.  They will accompany the campaign on it’s tour and stay with the senator all the way through election night.  Things quickly begin to go horribly wrong.
This trilogy will grab you with one hand on your heart and one hand in your brain and shake you.  And you’ll love it.  You won’t sleep very well, but you’ll kind of love that too because it’s more time to read.  I finished all three books over the course of a weekend and they’re not small books.  Then I read all the novellas available in the universe.  (There’s a new one coming out on Tuesday.  I have it pre-ordered.  It’s about Australia!)  Then I found out that Mira had a new book coming out called Parasite.  And I started my campaign to get an early copy from Orbit.  It worked and I devoured it in a day.  (Hee hee, I said I devoured a book about tapeworms.  I’m funny.  I’ve also had really a lot of coffee.)

parasiteParasite is a medical horror novel about what happens when we get something too good to be true.  SymboGen has engineered a modified tapeworm that functions as a secondary immune system.  There is no more diabetes.  There are no more allergies.  You don’t have to be obese, or worry about birth control.  Your designer implant will take care of all of that for you.  Great!
But what happens when those tapeworms wake up and decide they’re tired of taking care of everything for you?  What if SymboGen cut a few extra corners and spliced in a couple of extra genes?  What if those secrets let the parasites take over?

So, that’s my quick blurb suitable for things like the Indiebound newsletter and publisher marketing.  I actually don’t want to tell you too much more because, OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO READ IT!!!!!!!!!!
What I will tell you is that Parasite takes a giant thing and makes it mostly about a girl.  You have to have a girl (just ask Bioshock Infinite, which is also bouncing around in my brain and scrambling my thoughts right now.)  Without the girl everything is giant and scary and terrible, but it’s easy to push away.  Just look at the news.  Sally Mitchell was in a horrible car accident.  She shouldn’t have lived, but somehow, a miracle happened and she did live.  She’s a testament to the power of the Intestinal Bodyguard and something of a SymboGen mascot.  So she’s right in the center of things when they start going wrong.  You care about the girl.  You want her to succeed and be safe and happy.  You care.  And that’s how the author gets you.

 

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