Review: Symbiont by Mira Grant

10 December, 2014 Reviews 5 comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Symbiont by Mira GrantSymbiont by Mira Grant
Series: Parasitology #2
Published by Orbit Books on November 25th 2014
Pages: 608
Genres: Adult, Horror
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository



The SymboGen designed tapeworms were created to relieve humanity of disease and sickness. But the implants in the majority of the world's population began attacking their hosts turning them into a ravenous horde.

Now those who do not appear to be afflicted are being gathered for quarantine as panic spreads, but Sal and her companions must discover how the tapeworms are taking over their hosts, what their eventual goal is, and how they can be stopped.

**This review does NOT contain spoilers for Parasite.**

Imagine me standing in a hallway banging my head against a wall. Now picture my face, I’m weeping and mumbling something over and over again. I’m mumbling ‘read Mira Grant you fools, you fools, you fools’ in time to my head hitting the wall.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m desperate to understand why on of the best authors I’ve ever read seems so widely unread.

Symbiont is absolutely fantastic.

I get that books about what is functionally the zombiepocalypse outbreak (they aren’t technically traditional zombies but for all intents and purposes they act like them) aren’t for everyone but there is so much more going on here than some seriously bananas apocalypse business. This book is about what it means to be a person and what it means to be a monster. I’ve probably rambled about this before but one of my favorite things about mad science stories are the myriad of philosophical and ethical issues you can weave into them and Symbiont does not disappoint. The tone bounces from brilliant and insightful to snarky and cynical to horrifying and tragic and back again on a constant roller-coaster that had me highlighting damn near everything through tears.

The characters continue to be on of the best parts of the books. That said, while I like Sal (she’s grappling with a lot and doing her best), she’s somber in a way I don’t really respond to. I don’t want her to die or anything and I was deeply stressed out for her well being on a number of occasions, but I still haven’t fully bonded with her in the way I have with some of my favorite main characters.

Luckily, the rest of the sprawling cast makes up for my lack of Sal connection. The villains, the sidekicks, the villain’s sidekicks, the ethically questionable but more-or-less good guy mad scientist are all so vivid and interesting, I would gladly read an entire book of them bickering in an empty room. They all bring fascinating, distinct and oftentimes horrifying ideologies for the table all wrapped in their own unique personalities.

Because I do generally try not to be an asshole, I don’t want to spoil Parasite for you so I can’t tell you much about what happens beyond shit is going down. There is some intense and deeply creepy stuff in these pages and if you like fluffy, happy books this is emphatically not for you. While not necessarily overtly gory, there are a handful of scenes described with such chilling precision I was downright shaken and nauseous. Some extremely not nice things happen is what I’m trying to say. It was unpleasant and left me quite upset.

If I had to describe Symbiont in three words I would go with smart, clever and creepy-as-fuck (the dashes make that last bit one word, I make the rules, my call). Though I don’t think Mira Grant will ever top my beloved Newsflesh, I continue to be completely enthralled with her work and this book does not disappoint.


Meg Morley

Meg Morley

Co-bloggery at Cuddlebuggery
Meg is an all-around book nerd who just really wants to talk about books, preferably with other people but by herself will do. Find her on Goodreads.

5 Responses to “Review: Symbiont by Mira Grant”

  1. Sophia

    This book seems really good! I have Parasite on my shelf, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Maybe I will next!
    I love that element of sci-fi too that talks about moral issues; it makes the book more interesting and memorable for me. 🙂 Great review!
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  2. Shannelle C.

    Well, Mira Grant did creepy so well with Parasite. The amazing thing was all the detail she put in it. I’m so interested to see more of this “villain,” if there’s a new one. And I get what you mean by Sal; back in Parasite, she was a little far too sterile for me.

    Anyway, great review, Meg!
    Shannelle C. recently posted…My New Love for PodcastsMy Profile

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