The Parasite


This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Parasite

Series: —–

Author: Neal Asher

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 134

Format: Kindle digital edition



Jack is a space miner and in the process of getting some space ice, gets infected with something. Something that heals him, makes him stronger, makes him smarter but also something that will control his reactions in dangerous situations. Problem is, the parasite thinks thatany fear from Jack is a dangerous situation.

Jack was supposed to go into quarantine, but the head honcho didn’t want the space ice to go into quarantine as well, so Jack walked free. Now the World Health is after him, as well as the Head Honcho trying to cover up his tracks. Because Jack is contagious, contagious beyond belief and people are dying by the bucketload.


My Thoughts:

This novella exemplifies everything I like and don’t like about Asher, all boiled down into one little story. On the hand, we have action and violence literally exploding everywhere. Asher does Ultra-Violence with a deft hand that while occasionally making me cringe never feels overboard to me, unlike say the Jack Reacher books. On the other hand, you get the interminable whining about Free Will from at least one, if not more, character.

For me, just because I am not choosing to make my heart beat but it does it on its own, doesn’t mean I don’t have free will. Non-Total Autonomy doesn’t negate Free Will for me. I suspect the differences we hold on Free Will boil down to our views and thoughts on God. Surprise 😀

On the story itself. If you’ve ever wondered about trying Asher but were intimidated by the 14’ish books divided up into sub series and so threw up your hands and never tried, THIS is the story to try to see if you’ll like him or not. It is self-contained but show cases his writing style and his ideas in one easy to digest sitting.

Glad I got around to reading this because I have to wait until March of ’17 for his next Polity book to come out.


11 thoughts on “The Parasite

  1. pcbushi says:

    I’ve been meaning to check out the Jack Reacher books.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cleo Ross says:

    Does the “free will” aspect go very deep, or is it simply touched upon? I would not have expected philosophy is a book like this one. I’ve liked the Jack Reacher movies, but I think that I’ll skip the books …..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      In this short one, it is only touched upon. But in his Polity series, Asher grapples with what it means to be human and even more so with Free Will. It is not the main part of his books, but it is very present and talked about in the plots. Asher’s “Future” is messy, with humans, amped up humans, androids, cybermen, AI’s, etc and where the boundaries from one to the other begins and ends. When a human personality/consciousness can be stored in a crystal for a thousand years and then put into a golem [android], is that golem human, or not? Total speculation but I find it fascinating 🙂


  3. Transhaan says:

    Hey, I’d like to think that we do have free will regarding the heart since we can choose how fast our heart can beat and if it should beat (a little drastic, but still!). 😀 Although the very idea that it beats is the decision of our parents… Okay, I might be going off-topic here. Great review anyways!

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Asher is one of those authors I want to try out – and you can count me in the list of those “terrified” people who have taken a look at his book list…
    I find it interesting that you say this shorter work showcases the best and the worst from the author, and therefore makes (or breaks) a potential reading “relationship”. Good to know, and thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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