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Series: Parasitology #3
Published by Orbit on November 24th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction
The final book in Mira Grant's terrifying Parasitology trilogy.
The outbreak has spread, tearing apart the foundations of society, as implanted tapeworms have turned their human hosts into a seemingly mindless mob.
Sal and her family are trapped between bad and worse, and must find a way to compromise between the two sides of their nature before the battle becomes large enough to destroy humanity, and everything that humanity has built...including the chimera.
The broken doors are closing. Can Sal make it home?
Chimera was an interesting conclusion to the Parasitology series. I spent a large majority of the time reading Chimera frustrated beyond belief. These characters are really dense sometimes! That being said, I did enjoy this final book in the series just not as much as its predecessors.
Chimera begins with Sal, pretending to be a resurrected Sally Mitchell, in USAMIIRD custody on her way to the Pleasanton facility. Along the way she meets Paul and Carrie, two non-infected humans who were rounded up in San Francisco, become Sal’s gen-pop housemates in the quarantine zone. Sal later uses Carrie to escape once again from the facility. After a car-chase and a run in with some sleepwalkers, the girls and their new chimera child, make their way to Dr. Cale’s bowling alley laboratory. Reunited with Dr. Cale, Nathan, Adam and Fishy – things seem quite peaceful. However, Sherman manages to locate them and capture Dr. Cale and her team. Sal and Fishy, and a few other supporting characters manage to avoid capture and decide to head to USAMIIRD to team up and take down Sherman. They also want Joyce – who might be a good match for Tansy who is in organ failure. These events lead up to the quick, but action packed conclusion of Parasitology.
One thing I’ve really loved about this series is the ambiguity in determining a true “bad guy”. Each major player has done something truly horrible/outrageous/extreme, but has also tried to contribute to the solution that the “sleepwalking” sickness has caused. The USAMIIRD in an attempt to create a quarantine safe zone for survivors, creates a survivor prison with limited resources and overcrowding. Solider’s shoot the inhabitants for disobeying the rules and living conditions are poor. Sherman, who infected the water supply with Sal’s tapeworm eggs, is trying to create the perfect race. He will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Symbogen and Dr. Banks – who we don’t see much of in this final installment – can probably take most of the blame for adding high percentages of human DNA to the tapeworms. And Dr. Cale for creating the overall formula. Each side has done something to cause this epidemic, but is also trying to rectify the situation.
There were lots of frustrating moments in this book. And I read a majority of it on the commuter rail to and from work, so I couldn’t chuck my iPad into the closest wall. Chimera started very slowly, but it definitely set the scene in how USAMIIRD was handling the situation and how very little they knew about the other players. I mean they had no knowledge of Sherman and the chimera squad?! They seemed to be more focused on just Dr. Cale. Plot wise this felt so rushed, especially the last half of the book. Grant spent a lot of time forging a relationship between Carrie and Sal and their escape and then Carrie just kind of disappears at the end? Also whatever happened to Anna – did I miss that? Also really didn’t like how “easy” Col. Mitchell gave over Joyce.
One thing I was really happy about was the lack of Nathan. Definitely my least favorite character in the series. Nathan is a stagnant character – he has almost no reaction to anything throughout the whole series. Was really glad that there was minimal involvement with him in this final installment.
There is a lot of things I felt had the potential to be really great that just didn’t get developed in time. I also could of done without the first third of the book constantly reminding me of what I already read in the first two. More on Juniper and how she came to be would have been nice. When Sal returns to the bowling alley compound Dr. Cale briefly mentions the depression Adam experienced when Sal and Tansy went away and I think elaborating on this theory would have strengthened my understanding of Juniper and Sal’s attachment. But she almost glosses over it and moves on. The whole Tansy/Joyce debacle felt rushed too. All in all, the last third of the book especially felt so rushed – at one point I remember having seventy-five pages left and knowing that everything was going to be over far too quickly.This also led to the ending/epilogue being very anti-climatic. While there is no resolution on the sleepwalker/chimera front the theme of can we coexist is so strong – especially in the scenes between Col. Mitchel and Sal. For me this was a huge plus and made up for other areas that I felt were lacking.
Overall, Parasitology is a fascinating series filled with a little something for everyone. Grant manages to create a full world in this series, with (some) vibrant starring and supporting characters that push the plot forward with plenty of action. The series is certainly entertaining, and while not as outstanding as other’s I’ve read, it is still a series worth reading.
And I am really going to need a full version of Don’t Go Out Alone. Creepy children’s books for the win!