Thursday, 17 May 2007
‘Parasite Positive’ – Scott Westerfeld
This is another book from Orbit’s ‘Atom Range’ for young adults although you wouldn’t necessarily think it after reading the blurb on the back. Cal Thompson made the mistake of sleeping around in his freshman year and not only was he turned into a vampire parasite ‘carrier’ (by one of the ladies he slept with), he also inadvertently passed on the parasite to every girl he slept with afterwards. Employed by a shadowy agency, he now has to track them down before they create even more of their kind. Young Adult novel or plot for a 1970’s porn film? You decide…
The story begins with Cal just needing to find Morgan Ryder, the girl who infected him to start off with, before he can say that he has cleared up the mess that he made. Tracking down Morgan isn’t that easy though and in the course of his investigation Cal begins to realise that there is more going on than he has been told about…
At only 270 pages long ‘Parasite Positive’ is a very quick read and one that I really enjoyed. Westerfeld keeps the action ticking over but doesn’t rely on it to drive the plot, he also uses Cal’s naivety (about his condition) to throw a lot of questions into the mix and this is ultimately what keeps the pages turning. A character that is hamstrung by his constant sexual urges will strike a chord with the target audience and ring a few bells for those of us who are a bit older.
The only issue that I had with this book was that everything seemed to wrap up a little too neatly at the end. ‘Parasite Positive’ is the first book in a series and it would have felt better if there were a few loose ends to run alongside the main story arc. All in all though a very good read, if you liked Charlie Huston’s ‘Already Dead’ (and fancy some more of the same but lighter) then you could do worse than pick this up.
And remember kids, if you think she might be a vampire then the safest kind of sex is no sex at all!
Eight out of Ten