Monday, February 10, 2014


I finished Parasite by Mira Grant recently.  It was a struggle.  I've read a few articles lately that say the habit of finishing, despite not enjoying a book, is a particularly poor habit.  And it's a habit of which I'm guilty.  I always hope there will be something - some bit of cleverness - that I can point to as original, at least for me.  Parasite did not back up my hope that my habit results in an exception to the rule.

It was a bad book.  Many, many people like Mira Grant's books.  That's why I checked it out of the library. I thought, based on what I'd seen for Feed (a trilogy that was published prior to this book) that at least I wouldn't hate the book.  I even suspended my rule about unfinished series.  Fortunately.  It means I won't have any urge to read the rest of the series.  So when I finished Parasite I was confused.  Was it just me who hated the book?  I found it boring.  She reiterated the same information over and over and over.  And the main character...Sal who used to be Sally before she lost her whiny.  So brutally, boringly, whiny.  I'm Sal now.  I'm not Sally.  Why can't people just understand that?  I don't remember who I was.  That person is gone.  But people still treat me like that person.  They expect the same behaviors and memories from me.  Couple it with the reiterating and it's unbearable.  I GET IT.  And I get that a real person might rehash that aspect of their life over and over and over.  But this is a book.  Not real life.  And it's a science fiction (type) book, meaning some sort of pacing should be considered if you want me to have any sympathy at all for your character.

Additionally, quite often if an author has a particularly interesting take on an idea - science wise, philosophy wise - I'm willing to give some leeway.  Refer back to where I mentioned I look for anything clever.  But Parasite didn't have believable science either.  I didn't believe the characters.  I didn't like them.  I didn't like the science.  I didn't believe it.  It felt as though the science were being bent all over the place to accommodate the needs of the story.  That's fine too - but put in the effort to make the bending rock solid.

When I went out to Parasite's Amazon page, I took a look at her 1-star reviews.  I started to see many critiques that matched my own.  Tedious, even for sci fi.  Dull and boring.  Lazy.  Predictable.  Difficult to enjoy.

That prompted me to wonder whether I might like Feed better and it was the sophomore effort that was the problem.  But the one-star reviews for Feed mimic those for Parasite: full of minutia, sue her editor, pretentious, repetitive, frustrating, again and again and again.

In my opinion this is a lazy book for lazy readers (as a direct result of a lazy writer or lazy editor), and the consistency of feedback - no pun intended - around her other books leads me to a very specific conclusion.  I will never read one of Mira Grant's books again.

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