cover image Chimera


Mira Grant. Orbit, $27 (496p) ISBN 978-0-316-38103-1

The intense final volume of Grant’s Parasitology trilogy (after Symbiont) explores the outer limits and devastating effects of pharmaceuticals. The SymboGen Corporation creates tapeworms that are embedded in human bodies to enhance physical capabilities. After years of dormancy, the tapeworms are waking up in their host bodies, wanting to assume their own identities. While some humans are left as zombie-like sleepwalkers, others become chimera, their tapeworms fully integrated with their host bodies. Such is the case with Sally Mitchell, whose tapeworm, assuming her identity, wrestles with questions of humanness and loyalty while attempting to stop her brother, Sherman, from claiming the rest of humanity for his own. Grant’s plot is a zombie apocalypse writ large; her prose is invigorating, and the world she creates is brutal and unforgiving. Her narrative style, with the tapeworm as the central character, is original and enjoyable. This mid-apocalyptic breath of fresh air keeps the reader engaged while undertaking a meaningful exploration of some deep, dark questions. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (Nov.)