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Parasite Eve

review by John Szczepaniak - June 2013

This is not a review for the book, but rather the first 75 pages of 300, which are so nauseatingly boring, so filled with banal tedium, that the book is best described as unreadable trash. The Prologue and Part I have been read, and I cannot stomach even a single sentence more from this wretched coma of a novel.

First, the technical problems inherent in the translation. Someone needs to inform translator Tyran Grillo that if the subsequent word starts with a vowel it should be "an" and not "a" - ergo "an ultraviolet light". Also, the word "data" in some contexts is plural, so it should be "there was data on file", not "there were data on file". This doesn't even touch upon the awkward sentence structure and prosaic prose used throughout.

Even ignoring the botched job of bringing the book to an English audience, author Hideaki Sena cannot remotely be described as a good writer. He should stick to his qualified profession of pharmacology and leave the typewriter to those who know what they're doing. It's utterly baffling how this book has received so many positive reviews, because the author has zero comprehension of pacing, how to structure a story or even the basic elements of what constitutes a good novel. This first 75 pages are an excruciatingly slow and methodical description of a kidney transplant, in painstakingly asinine detail. A seemingly endless cascade of medical explanations, none of which can possibly be relevant to the storyline. Several pages alone are dedicated to examining Japan's cultural reluctance to accept transplant organs from brain death patients; three paragraphs describe the intricacies of the box which carries a transplant kidney. It is so excruciatingly uninteresting that an actual medical textbook, detailing the correct procedure for kidney transplant, is not only a shorter read, but is wildly exciting by comparison.

This is not a horror novel, or a "romance" as some reviewers claim. It is a slow, winding shuffle through the dilapidated hallways of a very, very boring pharmacology graduate's mind. For those who played the Parasite Eve video game which was supposedly based on this book - stay far away. The first Parasite Eve game was a masterstroke of fast-paced storytelling and tension. Within the first 30 seconds an entire opera house audience had burst into flames; within the first 10 minutes there were multiple exciting gun battles, and two horrifying transformation sequences. From the moment the game begins players are hooked and desperate to find out what's going on. For Hideaki Sena's original book, the only desperation is wanting to consign it to the bottom of your waste paper bin in apathetic loathing.

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Quick Info:


  • Hideaki Sena


  • Tyran Grillo


  • Vertical


  • May 20, 2008


  • 320


  • 1932234209


  • 978-1932234206

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