Spoiler Free Summary: Chimera by Mira Grant is the Last book in the Parasitology series. As the rise of parasite-controlled zombies increases, and the self-named Chimera are working to take over as the master-species on the planet, Sal is stuck in the middle, trying to return to her family and protect them. Can she find a solution that doesn’t end in one species eliminating the others?
Character: Sal is who got me interested in the series as a whole (I have read the whole series). She’s a very interesting character. I can’t say I appreciated every decision she made, but she’s a compelling character. She’s a solid example in how to build a first-person-narrative story around an interesting main character.
Exposition: I have to acknowledge that any first-person-narrative story is going to have more exposition than other stories. That said, as compelling as Sal is, I felt the story slowed down several times while Sal contemplated her place in the world and how humanity works. This created an odd sort of frustration for me. I enjoyed Sal, but I felt myself getting tired of her musings. I think the story would have moved a lot quicker if at least four of Sal’s inner soliloquies were removed.
Worldbuilding: This was well done. I’m not sure how solid the science is, but as a reader who’s not ever going to look up the data and compare for feasibility, I had what I needed: a reasonable set of rules that helped me reliably understand how the world worked. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “believable,” but if I shut off my logical mind, I was perfectly fine with a world where tapeworms can take over humans or create zombies. The in-world boundaries were consistent.
Dialogue: This fell a bit short for me. There were some parts where it really felt like each scene of dialogue were really just opportunities for each character to present his or her manifesto. It got a bit tedious for me. The conversations didn’t really feel natural. There’s one scene that relies heavily on Sal convincing another character to do something, and I just couldn’t buy it. This was because the character development wasn’t there for me any more than the dialogue.
Description: I got what I wanted out of this area. It wasn’t vivid, and it didn’t really activate many senses for me, but I could picture the settings and characters well enough.
Overall: This book is a great example of just how much I love character. I can’t say Sal was a “great” character. But she was good enough to carry a story that wasn’t as entertaining as others. It’s also a good example to demonstrate that an author doesn’t have to do everything well if she (in this case) does a few of them very well. The worldbuilding and character of this book carries the rest of the story. This was a decent ending to a pretty decent saga. I’m glad I read this book to see how it ends, and that ending was reasonably satisfying. l
Thanks for reading