A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.
We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.
This is actually a book my oldest son suggested for me. I’m one of those people who is always a bit wary when it comes to science fiction books, because let’s face it, they can go wrong really easily because they expect you to complete throw all of your common sense away. However, this wasn’t an issue with this particular book. In fact, I found that I quite enjoyed it from the beginning.
I’ll admit, I figured out the truth about Sal from the very beginning. I hate to say it, but it was kind of an obvious thing and I wish it hadn’t been. However, since I’m someone who likes psychology, I actually found her point of view to be intriguing because she’s still “learning” how to be “normal.” At times she’s overly logical and misses obvious cues from those she’s interacting with. But then again, she’s genuine, but not in a overly perfect way. It’s kind of hard to explain why I liked her, because she’s not what I would call a very intriguing character. Maybe it stems to the fact I knew what her secret was. I spent the entire 502 pages, absolutely certain about something and on the very last two pages, I found out I was correct. Or at least I got the actual verbal confirmation at that point. Truth is, the book basically confirms in a little more than halfway through. Which means, this book was probably about 100 pages longer than it needed to be.
If there is one issue with this book, it would have to be the lack of action. Just because the main character is a work in progress, doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be something more in the story. While the idea of a sleeping sickness was intriguing, for the most part it was only mildly entertaining and the amount of occurrences that happened around Sal tended to come off as a little forced at first. But still, I felt I had a pretty good grasp on what was happening (aka the cause) even before they try to explain it in the book. So once again, this book suffers from being a bit overly obvious. Which is not something I would normally say about science fiction.
Still, I really found myself intrigued by the story and even if I’m not entirely sure I’ll continue on with the series (I’m not sold this should be a series), I appreciate the creativeness that went into this. I’m not sure I would be sold on swallowing a pill that contains a tapeworm, but I know for a fact, there are people out there who would. So while I won’t swallow the SymboGen parasite, I definitely will be checking out the next book to see if the author can keep up the momentum.