Saturday, March 19, 2016
Chimera by Mira Grant
If you like: tapeworms* family * the lesser of two evils
Chimera is the third book in the Parasitology series. (Click to see my reviews of Parasite and Symbiont.) Leaving behind Nathan, Dr. Cale, and the rest of the team, Sal has agreed to work with Col. Mitchell in the hopes that it will allow her family to survive. While this is going on, Sherman has released a new strain of parasites that invade humans, sleepwalkers and chimeras. The remaining refuges of humanity rapidly begin to fall apart, and Sal realizes that she must change her plan of action in order to protect herself and her family from these new threats.
What I liked:
I really enjoyed the final step in the evolution of Sal. During the first book she was just learning who she really was and spent most of the story living in the fog of the lies she had been told. In the second book she spent much of her time reeling from the stress of learning she was not who she had been led to believe she was, and evading capture by those who wished to dismantle or control her because of her unique position as a natural chimera. In the third book, Sal must move past all that. She learns to embrace her combined abilities of her human and tapeworm selves. By combining them into Sal, she is able to achieve much more than she could have otherwise. Once she learns to embrace her nature, she becomes a much more powerful protagonist. No longer needing rescue she is able to take matters into her own hands and escalate the battle on her own terms.
The new wave of tapeworms expands the future of Parasitology. By bringing the majority of civilization to its knees, it allows Dr. Cale and her team to do what they do best: solve problems. Sometimes, it is only in a moment of desperation that a compromise can be reached. In order for the government, scientists, and chimeras to come together it will take nothing short of a miracle--even if that miracle comes in the form of a disaster. Sal could easily become a tool for someone to use against the parasitic invaders, but instead she positions herself as an asset to work with rather than to use. Her pheromones could be used for mass control, but instead she is able to use her “brain” and help come to a solution that allows hope that her family can survive past the end of this outbreak. There is no coming back from the near extinction level event, but that doesn’t mean there is not a future.
If you feel who you really are wriggling around inside, read Chimera.
Grant, Mira. Chimera (Parasitology). Orbit, 2015. Kindle Edition.