Review: Chimera

Chimera (Parasitology #3) by Mira Grant
Published by Orbit on the 26th November 2015
Pages: 496
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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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 excellent ending to the incredibly gross Parasitology trilogy (seriously – I couldn’t help but think about what it’d be like to have a tapeworm hanging around in my intestines, and the thought made me gag a little). One of the things that has made me love this series so much is Grant’s ability to blur the line between human and tapeworm – the tapeworms are not presented as the “bad guys,” as such – at least not uniformly. Both humans and tapeworms make questionable choices, do awful things. We are given multiple perspectives and in the middle is Sal, who is torn between her fellow chimera and the humans she loves.

Being a monster is not the same as being a bad person. It just means you’re willing to eat the world if that’s what you have to do to keep yourself alive.

Moreover, as disgusting as I find the idea of a tapeworm crawling around my insides, I really came to care for Sal, Adam, and Tansy. I feared for their lives and hoped that they’d all survive against the odds – particularly with Tansy. After the events of Symbiont, Tansy appeared basically in name only in Chimera (she was the tapeworm equivalent of comatose), and I missed her dearly.The only character I didn’t really come to feel anything for was Juniper – I understand why she was created, and what she represented for Sal; ultimately she didn’t add anything to the story for me because we spent so little page time with her. Also, I’m not sure if this is a problem that any other readers had during the series, but Dr. Cale strongly reminded me of Dr. Abbey from Newsflesh, and I found myself conflating the two, pretty much. There were also a few plot points that were introduced, but weren’t addressed or resolved satisfactorily.

Grant raised the stakes for her characters in Chimera – I was never certain that Sherman would be defeated or that Sal and her family would make it out unscathed. I felt Sal’s fear, her hope, and her desperation. For the first time in this series, Sal is actively making choices (and recruits others into helping her) rather than letting things happen to her.
Was this book a perfect book? No, but Grant’s abilities as a story-teller made me enjoy this book so much I was able to overlook the problems I had with it. I loved being a part of this world, and I hope Grant revisits it in the future (with a book about Tansy or Fishy, please).


Please note: this review originally appeared on my blog, What Kim Read Next. It has been reformatted and edited.


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