Published November 24th 2015 by Orbit
Mira Grant – of Feed fame – has finished another wonderful science-fiction trilogy, proving again that she knows how to write good endings.
In the final Parasitology book, the tapeworms are spreading. Countless people are getting infected and turned into mindless husks, incapable of complex thought, ruled by their instincts. It is up to Sal and her friends to save the world – but the world doesn’t seem to want to be saved.
An issue that is incredibly prevalent in science-fiction is a lack of character growth and development. More often than not, sci-fi characters are mere sock-puppets, mouth-pieces for the author to express a certain message. Grant (the pseudonym of Seanan McGuire) takes a solid science-based concept, and combines it with characters that feel real.
At the core of the Parasitology trilogy lies the story of Sal coming into herself. She is the focus of the books, and Chimera shows the final part of her journey into accepting what and who she is, and finding her place in a broken world. Because so much careful attention is spent on Sal’s development, I felt that some other characters were done a bit short. I would have loved to read more from the points of view of other key characters – the short pieces of autobiographical writing at the start of chapters provided a welcome insight into their minds, but I was left wanting to know more.
Like all the other books I have read by Grant, the science in the Parasitology novels is sound. The fact that a character like Sal takes the spotlight does not mean that Grant lets the worldbuilding slide. Chimera is well researched, though the subject matter – parasites! tape worms! – might put people off from reading these books.
Chimera answers all of the questions raised throughout the trilogy in a satisfactory manner, and has all the elements I look for in a science-fiction. Grant has yet to disappoint me in anything she writes.
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?
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