by Mira Grant


In a kickoff to a new series, Grant (author of the Newsflesh trilogy, which I loved) introduces us to a near future world where health care as we know it has been fundamentally changed by a company called Symbogen. They developed a genetically modified tapeworm (really) that folks take in pill form, which happily takes up residence in a human host and provides drugs, blood sugar regulation, anything else that is needed. They have managed to spin the ick factor and market their product so that the Intestinal Bodyguard is nearly universally used. We see this world through the eyes of Sal, who was revived from a coma after a car accident due to her Bodyguard. She's lost her memory of everything before the accident, so only has 6 years of knowledge to draw on as circumstances start making her think that Symbogen's motives may not be as humanitarian as they seem. People are coming down with a mysterious illness, and Symbogen isn't helping, even though they seem to know more than they're letting on. As a reader, you may figure some things out before Sal does, but overall I enjoyed this setup to a new series. Grant has a way of writing about science that makes it seem very believable, and you will certainly be left wondering what will happen next. Not for the squeamish.

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