Tag Archives: X-Files

Parasite “King of the Worms” – Mira Grant

“All scientists are mad scientists.” – Parasite, Mira Grant

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  • Title: Parasite
  • Author: Mira Grant
  • ISBN 0451239253 (ISBN13: 9780451239259)
  • Series: Parasitology #1
  • Published: October 29th 2013 by Orbit
  • Format: Audio-book/Purchased
  • Genre/s: Fiction
  • Print Length: 504 pages
  • Source: Library
  • Rating: B+

Science is in equal parts miraculous and terrifying, to me it is more than plausible that in our “quick fix” loving society, a drug that would eliminate the majority of health problems, like diabetes and heart disease and would be welcomed. By simply ingesting a tablet, the active ingredient being an intestinal parasite, maladies such as allergies would be eradicated. Ten years from now in this world, a woman who was declared brain dead after a serious car accident mysteriously recovers with full cognitive function albeit with no memory of her past.

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A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives…and will do anything to get them.

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As her family was contemplating removing her from life support Sally inexplicably regained consciousness. Six years later Sally, “Sal” as she is called now is still an anomaly, perfectly healthy but memory of the years before the accident are still beyond her despite the rigorous testing on the part of the Symbogen Corporation. She leads a relatively normal life after having to relearn everything after awakening from her coma. It isn’t until suddenly people are suddenly succumbing to the “sleeping sickness” in her immediate vicinity that she realizes that there might be more to her recovery than her mysterious benefactor the head of the Symbogen Corporation is sharing with her.

flukemanAs I listened to Parasite, I couldn’t help but be reminded of one of my all time favorite X-Files episodes “The Host” S2, E2. It is one that bears the dubious honor of being the episode that sealed my phobia of outhouses and also broke through my insistence on watching a series from the premiere much to my besties’ frustration, what can I say I like to know the whole story? As is the case with most of my preferred episodes of the phenomenally successful series The Host was a stand alone story separate from the continuing arc of Mulder’s search for his missing sister. The episode starts on-board a nuclear submarine, scary in and of itself, a friend recently referred to them as floating coffins, where a body is disposed of in the sewage system and the toxic combination results in the monster dubbed “Flukeman”. Gross as the plot is, it is also one of the more eerie episodes of the series.

Symbiont-Parasitology-2-Mira-GrantMuch of the plot of Parasite is not overly surprising, yet there are a number of truly frightening scenes, kind of like when you are watching Walking Dead and you know a zombie is going to come up behind them yet you still jump when it happens. Though at times I found myself saying “C’mon Sal, this should be obvious!” as she remained stubbornly oblivious to her part is this phenomena. It is truly as the saying goes, denial is more than a river in Egypt. However, the rest of the characters were diverse and reasonably well developed and the zombies properly “zombie-like” if you are a fan of the good ol’ medical thriller ala Robin Cook or Michael Crichton, Parasite is going to be your cup of tea. I for one will be following Sal’s story as it continues in Symbiont, Parasitology Book #2.

200xNxseanan_mcquire_bio.jpg.pagespeed.ic.0hdWk_-jdrBorn and raised in Northern California, Mira Grant has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead. In college, she was voted Most Likely to Summon Something Horrible in the Cornfield, and was a founding member of the Horror Movie Sleep-Away Survival Camp, where her record for time survived in the Swamp Cannibals scenario remains unchallenged.

Mira sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests that you do the same.

Mira also writes as Seanan McGuire.

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Colter’s Lady (Colter’s Legacy #2) – Maya Banks

If Colter’s Woman was naive in its execution, Colter’s Lady is a more realistic depiction of polyandry.

  • Colters Lady 72 LGTitle: Colter’s Lady
  • Author: Maya Banks
  • ISBN 1609280245 (ISBN13: 9781609280246)
  • Series: Colter’s Legacy #2
  • Published: June 1st 2010 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd
  • Format: Audio-book
  • Genre/s: Erotic Romance
  • Print Length: 330 pages
  • Source: Library
  • Rating: C

SSWhile I still maintain that Toni of Seducing Simon was one of the stupidest heroines I have ever had the misfortune of reading about, upon concluding Colter’s Lady Maya Banks has managed to convince me that her Colter’s are not living in Home, Pennsylvania the locale and title of the infamous episode of The X-Files. If you watched the series you will vividly remember the notorious inbred Peacock family.

The Peacock family was a family residing in HomePennsylvania that had lived on their own since the American Civil War. Their house had no running water or electricity and they grew their own food. It was also widely held that the family engaged in inbreeding for generations, resulting in horrific disfigurements and birth defects.

Though I must admit I do hear Johnny Mathis singing “Wonderful! Wonderful!” deep in my subconscious as I write this.

Thirty years after the conclusion of the first book in the Colter’s Legacy series Colter’s Woman, Seth Colter, Holly and the three Colter brothers eldest son, is volunteering at the local homeless shelter when he is immediately and powerfully attracted to one of their patrons. Truly, the reasons I listened to the book were twofold, I am still trying to determine the source of Ms Banks’ seemingly inexplicable (to me) popularity and this line that I read in the description on Goodreads in fact I would say mostly because of this line after which I giggle to myself every time I think about it.

When police officer Seth Colter sees the delicate, shabbily dressed beauty in line at the soup kitchen where he’s serving, he’s gut shot over the idea of her being on the streets cold and alone.

Gut shot! Who could resist that? I know I mentioned this in my review of the first instalment in the Colter’s Legacy series but AGAIN on the cover is just one man and one woman which is extremely misleading when the focus of the story is a relationship that develops between three brothers and one woman. It seems that we can only imagine what that cover would be like…

Seth is convinced Lily is his. The problem is, when his brothers lay eyes on her, the same primitive instinct comes roaring to the surface. The Colters’ never imagined they’d follow the unconventional path of their fathers, but they can’t ignore their mutual need to offer Lily their protection and their love. But before Lily and the brothers can forge a future together, they must heal the deep wounds of her past.

If I thought the use of a homeless person as a romantic lead in novel was a unique plot device as evidenced in Poughkeepsie and again in Colter’s Lady. I have since come across similar plot-lines in at least two other stories not including Colter’s Lady. Clearly this trend is original only in my mind and perhaps other readers are not as concerned with the logistics of access to shower facilities as I am. Granted after Seth convinced Lily to accompany him home she immediately showered thus relieving my sensibilities somewhat about the realities of basic hygiene.

Lily and Seth experience not even twelve hours of idyll before Seth’s brother Michael arrives unannounced and upon spying his brother’s guest, he experiences the same powerful attraction to Lily as his older brother. What impressed me was Seth’s reaction, despite being raised with three fathers, rather than embracing the idea of sharing this new and intriguing woman he has met, he is possessive and grudging of the idea of not being the sole focus of her attention. A much more realistic reaction, in my opinion, than the naive seeming acceptance of the brothers in Colter’s Woman that they would just settle down with one woman and everything would be just hunky dory.

After some initial posturing on Seth’s behalf, Larry, Curly and Moe…wait no Seth, Michael and Dylan set themselves the task of convincing Lily to consider a future with all three of them. Lily accepts but only on the condition that they practice safe sex, not in fear of disease, but of pregnancy. Am I the only one who considers this strange, why a woman who is terrified of getting pregnant would choose to have intercourse with not one but three men increasing her chances of conceiving exponentially? Rather significantly I would think as the average healthy male ejaculate contains an astonishing 40 million to 1.4 billion sperm cells! Of course, as Murphy’s Law would have it, the first time Lily and the three brothers have an orgy, no I meant “make love” the condom breaks and she is so distraught that she is rendered almost catatonic by the prospect. I must admit at this point I was rubbing my hands together mentally in glee, believing that we were finally going to get to the good stuff perhaps some post-abortion or Münchausen by proxy syndrome alas I had forgotten for a moment what I was reading.

Colter’s Lady had potential, potential that unfortunately went largely unrecognized, when Lily’s secret from her past was finally disclosed it was strangely anticlimactic. While it is understandable that she would feel responsible for the circumstances that occurred in her past which were truly horrible. The extent of and her unwavering conviction, without any possibility that the fault was not solely hers was unrealistic in my opinion.

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Maya Banks lives in south-east Texas with her husband and three children. When she’s not writing, she loves to hunt and fish, bum on the beach, play poker and travel.

Escaping into the pages of a book is something she’s loved to do since she was a child. Now she crafts her own worlds and characters and enjoys spending as much time with them as possible.

Darkhouse Experiment in Terror #1 – Karina Halle

Here is a short list of places I am now scared to go, thanks to reading Karina Halle’s Experiment in Terror series: lighthouses, the New Mexican desert, old hotels…wait no, that was because of The Shining but I am sure if I wasn’t already afraid, I would be after reading The Benson. I suppose things could be worse and I could be afraid to go into my own basement as Stephen King is purported to be.

After reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer I realized that I missed the horror novels of my teenaged years. I discovered Darkhouse on my go to site for book discovery Goodreads and in doing so have rediscovered another significant love from my past The X-Files reincarnated in the characters of Declan (Dex) Foray and Perry Palomino. Dare I say that Dex and Perry are in their own way better than *gasp* Mulder and Scully. So much of the romance between The X-Files’ FBI agents took place off screen or was only suggested to the viewer and to a die hard romantic like myself it was just a tease. Despite the obstacles  between them the sexual tension is palpable almost immediately.

“There’s always been some­thing a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been deal­ing with a quarter-life cri­sis and post-college syn­drome like any other twen­tysome­thing, she’s still not what you would call “ordi­nary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pre­tend never hap­pened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. Luck­ily for her, that all comes in handy when she stum­bles across Dex Foray, an eccen­tric webcast pro­ducer. Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threat­ens her life and seduces her with a sense of impor­tance.

An abandoned lighthouse is the setting of Perry and Dex’s inauspicious first meeting. After Perry posts the footage from this terrifying encounter on her sister’s blog she sets in motion events that will threaten not only her sanity but her life as well.

Darkhouse was an eerie story rather than downright scary, that being said I did find myself putting down my trusty e-reader and turning in for the night more than once when I was alone in the house after an encounter with the ghostly occupant of the lighthouse. Karina Halle has expertly crafted a story with engaging characters that will bring readers back again and again.

AUTHOR: Karina Halle

RATING: 4 1/2  Stars

GENRE: Fiction

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