Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Atom, an imprint of Little Brown Book Group
Review: Vanessa Finaughty
Published: Cape Times, February 2008
is a brilliantly dark tale filled with humour, fear and horrid diseases.
I loved this book and should the author ever decide to stop writing, I
may just have to hunt him down… Think King’s Misery!
In this book, author
Scott Westerfeld tells the unsettling tale of a young college freshman,
A year prior to the
start of this story, Cal was a typical teenager interested in nothing
much other than girls and partying. Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately?)
for Cal, he meets a girl called Morgan who infects him with a parasite
that turns most people into deranged, meat-eating, blood-sucking beings.
Luckily, Cal is not
“most people” – instead of succumbing to the parasite,
he becomes a carrier and inadvertently passes the parasite on to a number
of girlfriends. Cal, now working for an organisation – Night Watch
- dedicated to the eradication of the parasite, has to find those women
before they in turn can infect others.
When Cal meets the
attractive Lace, he has to be extra careful – just one kiss from
him will infect her. While Lace unknowingly aids him in his quest to find
the “missing girlfriends”, Cal worries that she will discover
his true nature. Can he hide it from her indefinitely? And, can he unravel
the conspiracy that he comes to believe exists within Night Watch?
Parasite Positive is
one of the more entertaining and captivating books I’ve read in
a long time.
I found the information
on parasites intriguing and relevant to understanding the story, and was
impressed with Westerfeld’s unique style of writing – the
man seems to have a knack for bringing a grin to my face while telling
me about the horrid things that any given parasite could do to me.
If you’re a hypochondriac
or prone to paranoia, I suggest you give this book a miss. If you enjoy
an entertaining, vaguely humorous and informative read, then Parasite
Positive is a “must buy”.