27. Chimera – Mira Grant
It’s the end of the trilogy and Sal has finally realized that being afraid of cars is a learned behavior she shouldn’t have had. Finally. Geez. It took enough pages. I don’t recall anyone gaslighting her about cars in the first one, just her reacting to them- so, not signposted and I feel right for being annoyed the whole time. Also noticed by me – she lost her concern for her collection of carnivorous plants at some point. And I thought she and her boyfriend were compassionate.
Anyway, she has turned that lost compassion for plants into compassion for a zombie-child that read to me like a distraction for the sciencey parts and brought another confusing character relationship to the forefront. Sherman? When did Sherman not just seem like surface-level manipulative about “loving” Sal? Why does he love Sal? Why is anyone even interested in Sal beyond her tapeworm being skilled, again?
So, Sal finds a kid and goes on a post-apocalypse road trip and makes bad friends and bits of her have been put into the water supply by Sherman while he giggles like a maniac but also tries to present himself as a viable love interest. Yep, that’s a run-on, but, so’s the plot.
Thankfully, Tansy aka Foxy from Newsflesh part deux, doesn’t say anything in the entire book. Instead, the role of warped person who makes functional suggestions and does the heavy work is taken by Fishy, a guy who pretends to be in a video game. Actually, Fishy reminds me a lot of Shawn from Newsflesh. I feel like everyone in these two series is basically recycled somehow. But Georgia wasn’t as boring a narrator as Sal. Yeesh. Both, however, are diseased, broken, apparently good looking women. Okay then. I’m sure all the characters in both series would have a hell of a brunch together, although it might devolve into carnage if the cold cuts tray wasn’t re-stocked a few times.
“Seriously? No luncheon meats? None?” Thaddeus is shocked. Shocked, I tell you.
4. Symbiont – Mira Grant
Problematically, in the second book of this trilogy, Sal does not magically become more interesting. Damn it. Grant also gives Sal a blank-as-hell brother character and a Harley Quinn-type that pops up to be confused, crazy, beloved by the other characters, and cause some trouble. I am honestly quite annoyed at how closely Tansy of the Parasitology trilogy, a fresh take on the zombie apocalypse… resembles Foxy of the Newsflesh trilogy, a fresh take on the zombie apocalypse. It just makes it seem like not enough time was taken in between writing these trilogies. Parasitology should not be Newsflesh take two, now with less incest and corporate instead of political intrigue. Barely anything happens in Symbiont, it feels like 499 pages of stalling when we could be on our way to a breakneck finish of someone helping Sal learn something while not driving too fast.
Grant’s books are very easy to read and involve some pop science and that’s how I will probably end up reading the last of the trilogy. I’ll be hoping for some of the characters to become realistic or fully fleshed out – three four hundred plus page books are enough space to flesh out characters, right? Right? This is probably another losing battle for me. Why do I expect fully fleshed out characters when I’m 1009 pages into a trilogy? WHY?
Murderface, displaying her level of plot-twist vigilance.
34. Parasite – Mira Grant
Mira Grant likes to write about what people are eating for breakfast. I noticed it in the Newsflesh trilogy, and I noticed it in Parasite. Also, she likes to include the possibility of cold cuts, luncheon meats as they are known in some circles, as a possibility for breakfast, which for me is as alien as the idea of eating a tapeworm to remain healthy…which is also a very basic way of describing the source of dramatic conflict in this book. The tapeworm has already been eaten, but, the person who ingested it has an entirely different personality than they did before the car accident that caused them to eat it for survival and indebted them to a giant, creepy corporation that wants everyone to have tapeworms. Gross. Post-accident Sal (nee Sally) is super scared of cars even though she doesn’t remember her accident. She also enjoys the luncheon meats and having other conflicts of personality that make her vacillate between being a super lame scaredy cat and an ingenious detective as a character. I had a hard time with this. I also had a hard time with many of the other characters. They felt manipulated to me- perhaps by their own tapeworms. Also, this book is, like, super long and it shouldn’t be.
Pammy and Thaddeus enjoyed a nice carrot, some pellets, and a helping of hay for their breakfasts. Thaddeus whistling for me to dish out said breakfast at 7:30 AM on days when I did not have to be up that early was more thrilling than the cliffhanger ending of Parasite.
13. Feed – Mira Grant
As I have mentioned before, I like reading about ladies who know things. The lead character of Feed, Georgia Mason, is definitely a lady who knows things about blogging, about how servers and websites work, and who can wield firearms and sunglasses simultaneously. She is definitely an impressive character. She does have a totally creepy relationship with her brother though. Do they really prefer to sleep in the same bed? Really?
I also think I read this book at the wrong time. Reading about newspeople following a political campaign after living in Iowa during several election years and kinda still watching The Killing regularly is like hitting yourself in the face and asking yourself to quit hitting yourself while listening to a recording on your answering machine of yet another ridiculous political message – convoluted, yes, but also basically an accurate depiction. Politics can be very not fun. And I’ve found that the more informed I am about what’s going on in my country politically, the worse I feel about the possibilities. Some people don’t want anyone like me to have a future because I’m a lady and I’m educated (but not in business, man, not in business) and I don’t care about religion. I care about respecting other humans more than I care about money or religiousness, even though I don’t want to care because I abhor working with the general public. Anyhoo, the political campaigns in Feed seem to be just as ludicrous as those in real life and that shit just got too real at times.
Also, I got tired of the jargon and the specifics of blogging. Sometimes when people do research on their topics, it’s easily integrated. Sometimes it’s not. In this case, it’s usually relevant information but that doesn’t make it any less boring for me to read. I read Moby Dick, I skimmed a tad of the whaling descriptions. This book calls for the same treatment if you aren’t completely interested in electronics, servers, and people being on their computers and capturing footage and uploading and whatnot. I usually look forward to the zombie apocalypse because I dislike the sheer amount of technology required to be a normal human these days. I’ve got a tape player in my car and I like it that way. I wish I could go back to having a landline and a handset heavy enough to kill someone with. Telling someone to “pick up the phone” has a lot more meaning with a handset (Andy D has been stuck in my head for days, damnit, Tina!) I had a rotary phone in college (well, it was my housemate’s, but I had access and was totally unable to “push one for English” when using it).
Baby Duncan does not have to vote or experience the zombie apocalypse and the apparently inevitable rise of the bloggers – she could start a zombie apocalypse, a small, furry one, and I would be glad to see her.
Filed under Books, Review