Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Parasite Eve” as Want to Read:
Parasite Eve
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Parasite Eve

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  829 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
Filled with scientific acuity and existential challenges in the tradition of Ghost in the Shell and Frankenstein, this medical fantasmagoria is a disorienting look into the consciousness and will have you questioning the future of human evolution. New life begins at the cellular level, but when that cell contains restless mitochondria, it will aspire to be much more than j ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Vertical (first published April 1st 1994)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Norwegian Wood by Haruki MurakamiThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki MurakamiKafka on the Shore by Haruki MurakamiBattle Royale by Koushun TakamiHard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
Best Japanese Books
162nd out of 489 books — 2,225 voters
The Girl from the Well by Rin ChupecoBleeding Violet by Dia ReevesThe Icarus Girl by Helen OyeyemiThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly BlackThe Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson
Diverse Horror
15th out of 104 books — 36 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,973)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 08, 2012 Marvin rated it it was amazing
There are two things you will learn from reading Parasite Eve

1. How to do a kidney transplant. In fact, by the time you finished reading, you will likely be able to perform one on yourself. Wouldn't recommend you try it though.

2. Everything about mitochondria. I didn't know what mitochondria was. I looked it up. The information in the novel seems very accurate in the science department, although I suspect there is a lot of speculation about the evolution of both Mitochondria and human cells. But
Mar 29, 2014 Brandon rated it did not like it
My god, where do I even begin with this book.

Let's start at the top with this: This book is the WORST. Worse than Caliban Cove , which has now retroactively become a two star book. This book put me to sleep at least three times, though I had hoped my Australian girlfriend didn't notice. In fact, having someone you love read it to you with a cute Aussie accent is its one saving grace, and I can't imagine that's what Hideaki Sena had in mind so I refuse to give him credit for that. So what exactly
Apr 14, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008, 2014, 2016
Many people have complained over the years to the fact that movies and games that are taken from books almost never turn out to be as good as the original source. Happily, there are some gems that are hidden in the crowd of mediocrity. Parasite Eve is an older Playstation game that was actually the sequel to a popular Japanese horror novel of the same title. The book and game are tied tightly together, and they demonstrate that one really can have an extremely well done game based from literatur ...more
Leo Robertson
Jun 19, 2014 Leo Robertson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

I still kinda see this as the guide for optimum blend of hard science with fiction and suspense.

"Yes, there is a story to be told, but if I find a kidney transplant fascinating enough to describe to you in depth then I'm bloody well gonna do it!"
Oct 27, 2012 Dex rated it liked it
Si tuviera que calificar la pura historia tal vez si le hubiera dado cinco estrellas; sea por mi afición al género del terror ó porque simplemente me gustó (¿me aterró?) la premisa del libro.

Lo malo es que el ritmo, para mi gusto, está un poco fuera de balance. El principio es bastante lento y las descripciones médicas a veces detalladas en exceso. Por allá del 75% comienza lo interesante. Otra cosa que en lo personal me desagrada un poco es que abusen de las regresiones; está bien ir descubrie
Jul 30, 2015 LKM rated it really liked it
How to best describe this book? It was terrifyingly gross and pretty darn awesome.

Usually books that start heavy on the medical/biological aspect tend to bore me, and Parasite Eve starts a bit like that: Slow, full of details about biology (and further on, medical transplants) that you end up wondering if there was any need to read about at all, or if they were just there to either drag the story or prove the author could indeed write about it. Despite that I endured, because the writing style
Chris Salzman
Nov 09, 2014 Chris Salzman rated it really liked it
I'm squeamish and frighten easily. Not what you'd call a horror fan.

I picked this up because back in the 90s I'd played and remembered really enjoying the Parasite Eve videogames. Somewhere on the internet I saw mention that the story in the game was based on a book that had only gotten an English translation in the past decade. Needless to say, I was intrigued. Put it on hold at my fantastic library (AADL, represent), and had it in my hands within a week.

Only after getting into it a bit did I
Oct 02, 2013 Doug rated it liked it
When I had read enough of this book to know that I wanted to write a review of it, I had planned on opening said review with the line: Contains one of the ickiest rape scenes I have ever read, and having read The Bighead, I've been exposed to etc etc. However, I wish to rescind that as my opening and start with this new line:

This book contains two of the ickiest rape scenes I have ever read, etc etc.

Those who assume I am being facetious for some humorous purpose are incorrect in their assumption
Julie Hayes
Aug 01, 2010 Julie Hayes rated it it was amazing
Mitochondria are specialized subunits of those cells which contain nuclei, or eukaryotic cells, whose basic function is to provide energy for the cells with which to do their thing, as well as in assisting with other functions, such as controlling the cell cycle, the cell growth and the cell death. The word mitochondrion comes from the Greek words for thread and granule. Mitochondrial genes are not inherited the same way as their nucleic brethren. Basically, mitochondria are matrilineal, meaning ...more
Jinny (Lost-At-Sea Book Reviews)
I became interested in this book because I had heard of the video game of the same name. I never played the video game but I had a general idea of what it was about. For those of you who, like me, have also heard of the video game, I’ll just tell you now that the game is based off of the book, but the plots are very, very different. As different as they are, the book is pretty good, in my opinion.

In Parasite Eve, a woman named Kiyomi dies in an automobile accident. Her husband, a mitochondria re
Oct 02, 2010 Nick rated it it was ok
Parasite Eve is a different kettle of fish than I'm used to reading. It is a horror novel, though pretty tame, and in my opinion more of a thriller. It starts off very slow; indeed, a key criticism of the novel would be how 70% of it is devoid of action, and centres instead on fairly technical scientific dialogue. That said, Eve eventually picks up the action, the premise is unique and fascinating, and I learned a fair bit about bio-chemistry and molecular biology just by reading this puppy. Mor ...more
Timothy Frederick
Oct 26, 2012 Timothy Frederick rated it it was amazing

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I'll be checking out Hideaki Sena's other works down the line. I only played the game for a few hours a long time ago but after reading this, I feel like giving it another shot.

One thing that is common for writers is to "write what you know". Hideaki did just that. Some of the more casual readers may find the constant medical and biology jargon a bit headache-inducing but guess what? There's a glossary of sorts in the back of the book.

The pacing was excellent.
Ami Iida
Nov 13, 2015 Ami Iida rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
the author is a Japanese pharmacologist, professor and novelist.
the novel is the collaboration of the thriller and science fiction.
This book, though short, took me a while to get through.

I just wasn't impressed with most of it. It started somewhat slow and almost seemed weighted down with all the medical/scientific language (more than once I felt amazed that someone had translated such heightened language from Japanese). It really wasn't until the last third of the page that I "got into" the story and was pulled in.

There are multiple adaptations of this story in other mediums, I'm somewhat interested in seeing the movie but
Oct 26, 2015 Philipp rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, japan
One fun thing about our existence is that there's an unspoken truce we have with our body - our organs, our immune system, our endosymbionts, they're all keeping us alive without any contact between "us" and "them". It just works! And you're reading this while a few phagocytes kill off a parasite in your eyes, they just saved you from going blind, and you don't even know.

Parasite Eve fits a bit into the body horror genre (more famous for Cronenberg movies) - mitochondria aren't "the powerhouse o
Apr 07, 2014 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sena's Parasite Eve is a thrilling horror novel that won't make you jump out of your seat, but more puke out your lunch. This book, for a start, is not for those coming from the game' solo king for some answers. The games were based off this book, but feature a different ensemble of characters entirely. As such, I suggest you clear you mind of everything you know about this book before reading it.

Sena describes characters and settings beautifully and really adds a unique sense of horror that rea
Feb 12, 2014 David rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
[Overall, I would not recommend unless you're interesting in biological horror, or want some background for the PlayStation games]

I picked this up because I played Parasite Eve when I was younger, and thought that before I pick it up to play again on PSN, I should read the book, to which the game is considered a sequel.

Overall I think the concept is really cool, and I admire Dr. Sena for breaking new ground in fiction. I have a background in biology, though not in microbiology or cell biology. T
This book was a brilliant combination of science and horror. I played the computer game Parasite eve 2 back in the early 2000s and really enjoyed it. In the UK the first game was not released so unfortunately never got to play that. Well I found my stash of ps1 games whole tidying up after moving back into my house and I felt like trying to play some of my favourite games. As soon as I started playing parasite eve 2 I ordered the book to read ! Well I enjoyed the book a lot, some of the science ...more
Apr 23, 2015 Dhanliza rated it liked it
Beginning was good, but in the middle I felt like I was reading some script straight up from a movie, and it wouldn't let me imagine things. It was like there's a big screen in front of me and this book is being played. I know, I just know what was going to happen, and then I felt that the translator/writer themselves lost interest in actually finishing this piece. So yeah, the events leading to the *removed because of spoilers :P* were heavily anti-climactic.

If anything, this line interested m
Aug 05, 2012 Kara rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book that precedes one of the greatest videogames of all time. If you love biology and sci-fi involving biology, this book is one for you. Very detailed and makes you wonder about the abilities of our bodies beyond our control.
Apr 16, 2016 Nikmaack rated it liked it
Readable, a page turner, but simultaneously dull in places, the book is hard sci fi. That is, there's a lot of talk about mitochondria that is both way over my head and of no real interest to me. There's also a story embedded in the book, I saw it down in there, but in many ways it's science first. One page actually goes so far as to explain the publishing world for academic researchers.

Despite all the "smart" science, the story isn't all that smart. And the ending is pretty feeble. Some of the
Oct 07, 2014 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book... this book. How do I even begin? The first two thirds of it consist of a long, steady buildup. This includes background on the relationship between two of the lead characters, step-by-step instructions on how to transplant a kidney, a discussion of evolution, and lots and lots of scinetific jargon (Don't worry, a glossary is included).

Then, in the last hundred pages or so, the shit really hits the fan and it never slows down. The whole thing just gets rather gross and disturbing, and
Steven Shroyer
May 12, 2012 Steven Shroyer rated it it was amazing
Freaky and scary, this import is one of the most terrifying books I have read this year. This is a must read!
Feb 15, 2015 Douglas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I, like so many others, first found out about this book after having played the video game.

While this book is slow to get going, with most it's "action" taking place in the final third of the novel, it is an excellent read. The concepts involved are quite thrilling. It is hyper-technical in many places, even for someone like me that does have a solid understanding of a lot of the science involved. However, knowledge of mitochondria or cell study is not a prerequisite for enjoying this book. You
If Koji Suzuki is the Stephen King of Japan, Hideaki Sena would seem to be its Dean Koontz.
Feb 23, 2016 Kyle rated it liked it

Very slow plot development combined with a lot of biological science jargon kept me from liking this more.

As a medical thriller, it's interesting enough to keep pages turning through the slow bits and as a horror story it is gross as all hell. The latter parts of the story make Clive Barkers creatures looks cuddly in comparison. All at the same time it manages to ask some interesting questions about the nature of human evolution and to what eventuality we are heading toward as a species.

As a ma
Oct 16, 2015 Megan rated it it was ok
Oh boy. I want to give "Parasite Eve" a higher rating. I really do. It spawned one of my favourite videogames of all time (Parasite Eve 2; we didn't get the first instalment here in the UK), so I picked up this book looking to learn more of the back-story, and anticipated abilities at least reminiscent of Aya Brea's mitochondria powers.

What I got was a book that read at times - frequent times - like a technical or instructional manual. Granted, the passages on performing medical procedures and e
Johan Keller
First of all: this book is heavy. And it is so, because it features a lot of passages with extensive medical terminology and talk in general.

Personally, I quite like all of those passages, but I will admit that it sometimes felt more like non-fiction (which, in some ways, I suppose it was, since most of it's - to my knowledge - scientifically accurate). But this is perhaps just because it is Sena's first novel.

I'd also say that, although the book is labelled as horror, and while it does indeed u
Oct 07, 2015 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parasite Eve is a horror novel I won't soon forget. Its plot, while certainly scientifically implausible, was entertaining and made believable through Hideaki Sena's in-depth explanations behind the biological sci-fi. Unlike some of the reviewers here, I found the scientific jargon completely tolerable, and made much less confusing with the provided glossary. Part of it may be because of my familiarity (vague as it may be) with the function of the mitochondria and its relation with other aspects ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Crimson Labyrinth
  • Birthday (Ring, #4)
  • The Summer of the Ubume
  • Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse
  • Now You're One of Us
  • Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination
  • Hell
  • Naoko
  • Audition
  • Moju: The Blind Beast
  • Death Sentences
  • Disparitions
  • Autofiction
  • Woman on the Other Shore
  • Monkey Brain Sushi: New Tastes in Japanese Fiction
  • Masks

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“This was it. Kiyomi realized it now. This was what her heart had reacted to. Her heart thrilled to mitochondria.
But why?”
More quotes…