I was looking to have the shit scared out of me, not slowly bored out of me with a blunt instrument. Maybe this is just a case of going into a book with the wrong expectations and finding myself disappointed. I expected scary, I got slow-going lecture on pharmaceutical laboratory tests, kidney transplants, mitochondria that ended up with a lot of running around after a slimy monster with tentacles.
The premise sounded interesting with the idea of genetics, transplants and the make up of life. I did actually enjoy the more technical scientific bits that talked about the make up and origin of mitochondria cells but it went down a rather generic, unimaginative route. I haven’t read a lot of horror, but if I was going to choose a stereotype for this genre, this book would fit right in.
The idea that mitochondria – something that lives in each and every one of our cells, that is passed down from the female side has been waiting for a time to evolve and take control isn’t actually quite a bad idea, it’s just that for most of the book, nothing really happens. Mitochondria just becomes some weird monster who can possess and control other people and has been living in Dr. Nagashima’s wife since her birth.
The story goes back and forth between Nagashima’s experimentation on his wife’s liver cells, her past when she first started becoming aware of the parasite eve living within her, and the transplant patient Mariko. None of it really gets beneath your skin or makes you think of what’s lying in your body. Turning Eve into some generic monster feels like a cop out especially when her one motive seems to be the good old “take over the world", destroy humanity” kerfuffle we’ve all read or heard about before.
Maybe I just have an unrealistic expectation of horror. Maybe this wasn’t even horror. Maybe I just read the wrong book. I dunno. The only good thing I think this book has achieved is remind me that I want to re-read Jurassic Park, which is actually a good book that gets you wondering and thinking about whether it could happen, and should it happen.