Symbiont will be released November 25.
If you like: chimeras * Candy Land * Newsflesh
Symbiont is the second book in the Parasitology series. (See my review here, and consider yourself warned that this post contains spoilers for Parasite.) Now that Sal knows the truth about who she really is, there are many changes to how she views the world. As she begins to accept her new reality, she also begins to find new strengths. She and Nathan, along with the rest of the group following Dr. Shanti Cale, try to understand just what the changes in the way the SymboGen implants are behaving mean, and just how much their genetics have changed. Without natural limitations, the expansion of the sleepwalkers and chimeras seems unstoppable.
The world is a very different place now that the sleepwalkers are surging in number. With people spontaneously converting all over the West Coast and beyond, society has ceased to function. There are small pockets of remaining electricity and supplies, but they are not safe. Sal discovers that hostility lurks around every corner when she has encounters with USAMRIID and Sherman. No one can be trusted. It is impossible to know if someone is a chimera, or if their implant could be the next to strike out on its own and take over. Becoming too attached to any one place or routine means trouble. Flexibility is the key to the future. When anyone could be someone else you have to learn to trust your instincts. Sal’s implant gives her a sixth sense of sorts, and, now that she is aware of it, she begins to learn just what the warning signs it provides are. Her survival may be dependant on just how much she manages to understand the signals she was ignorant of for so long.
Now that Sal knows she is a chimera, her entire world has changed. She never felt a connection to Sally, but knowing why changes her entire perspective on who she is and how she relates to everyone around her. The people who knew and loved Sally have always been skeptical of Sal, and now she understands why. She hasn’t just lost her memories, she is someone completely different. As she begins to discover just how much those who led her recovery knew, she learns that kind gestures and innocent seeming words have a much darker basis. She was a science experiment that began in the wild and moved to the lab. She was not someone to be aided, but a thing to be studied in the eyes of many. No matter what they believe, Sal now knows how to recognize this manipulation, and is no longer willing to comply. The duality of her nature and upbringing are a constant source of conflict for Sal. She was raised as a human, but knowing she is something else has changed her entire view. She is a chimera, with a strong bond to her chimera siblings and sleepwalking cousins. She has a deep connection to them all whether she likes it or not. Being a part of something greater makes it hard for her to be willing to take the actions needed to stop the sleepwalkers at times. With her heart in two places, she is constantly battling to find the right choice. This duality is a powerful resource for Sal and her allies, but it also leads to unpredictability. With new feelings and senses emerging all the time, Sal is often overwhelmed. If she wants to survive and help those she loves to do the same, she must learn to expand her abilities and use them to her full potential without letting them distract her from her mission.
If you have a feeling that someone is just around the corner, read Symbiont.
Grant, Mira. Symbiont (Parasitology.) Orbit, 2014. Review copy provided by Hachette Book Group.