Japanese pharmacologist Sena's biochemical horror novel, which won the first Japan Horror Novel Award, has lost something in translation. Notwithstanding the many academic footnotes, the author fails to suspend disbelief in the book's outlandish premise;that mitochondria, subcellular organelles, have secretly evolved and developed an intelligence superior to Homo sapiens. Alternating between past and present, the story opens with a car crash that imperils the life of Kiyomi, the wife of scientist Toshiaki Nagashima; that "accident" sets in motion the mitochondria's elaborate scheme involving a parasitic kidney transplant to inherit the planet. The plot reaches almost farcical levels when the cell component manipulates organic matter to form podlike human simulacra, complete with fake genitalia. Readers expecting the thrills or suspense of Curt Siodmak's classic Donovan's Brain or even Michael Crichton's Prey will come away disappointed. (Sept.)
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“Comes just in time for summer getaway reading…
Oozes with enough violence and sexual perversity to make Caligula blush.”
“Hideaki Sena, a pharmacologist, microbiologist and now pop icon, knows all too well how to combine the scientifically plausible with the psychologically unimaginable… Have fun with it, by all means, but don’t keep it on the bedside table.”
—Susan Salter Reynolds, L.A. Times
“Parasite Eve combines Michael Crichton’s scientific cutting-edge plausibility with David Cronenberg’s abject flesh/sex horror. Throw in Frankenstein and The Blob, synthesize, and enjoy.”
“Sena’s work in pharmacology and microbiology lends this Japanese import a sense of discovery and fear that resonates when new science is not fully understood. SF and horror fans who liked Suzuki Koji’s Ring…will find Parasite Eve a chilling tale on a cellular level; recommended.”