Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire) seems a little bit like Midas to me. So far everything she’s written – whether it’s urban fantasy, superhero, apocalypse, or something else – has hit the mark and become gold. Symbiont, the second book in her Parasitology series, keeps up the excellent writing and the interesting plot. In some ways it feels like it will be more of a bridge between the first and (yet-to-be-released) third books than a full stand-alone, but that didn’t bother me because I was so invested in the characters after reading the first in the trilogy, all I wanted was to find out more of what had happened, was happening, and was going to happen.
The first book, (Parasite), establishes that medical science and in particular one corporation have changed the way the world works by using parasites modified in particular ways in order to fix a myriad of ills with the human body. Nearly everyone has one of these “medical devices” although the quality may differ depending on when you got yours and how much money you had available at the time. The fact that the medical aspects are so believable is what makes the rest of the series so exciting and horrifying and, well, interesting.
The second book goes beyond the first’s revelation (which I’m purposefully not telling you because everyone should be reading Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire all the time and NOW), and enters into some philosophical territory as well as exciting twists and a few escape/chase scenes. I’ve read criticism that this book loses its way a bit and perhaps doesn’t advance the plot as much as some critics might wish, but I’m a reader before I’m a critic, and I enjoyed this book thoroughly. There was enough plot advancement to keep things going, and the depth of the characterization within the book is extremely satisfying to someone like me. I want to know the characters and I want to know the world, and Mira Grant achieved both of those things with this book. Could it have been a bit more tightly written? Eh, maybe. Do I care? Nope.
This is a good book that is part of a good series, and if you enjoy science fiction and horror and flights of terribly possible fantasy, then read this.