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Parasyte: Volume 3 (Parasyte)


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A horror classic walks again in this eight-volume series originally published in the late 1990s by Tokyopop. Alien spores from space hatch into larvae, which enter the brains of unsuspecting humans. The repossessed individuals appear normal but can morph their heads into lethal weapons and slaughter other humans for food. Teenage Shinichi is infected, but the parasite takes over only his right hand. Dubbed Migi (right in Japanese), the parasite and Shin form an uneasy partnership to survive and ultimately protect other humans from Migi's more deadly peers. Later in the series, parasite-turned-scientist Reiko provokes the other parasites to split ranks for or against her ideas about peaceful coexistence with their human hosts. Ultimately, she becomes a tragic Madonna, as the series raises questions about the nature of humanity, the role of humans and human emotions in the global and galactic ecosystem, and the purpose of life, human and otherwise. Shinichi's romantic relationship is underdeveloped, and the art has a clunkiness that paradoxically heightens the unsettling content and gore-spattered action. Including translator's notes on cultural references; recommended for older teens and up owing to violence, strong language, and occasional sexual content.-M.C. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Grisly and surreal, this story of an alien invasion gives the phrase "talk to the hand" a whole new meaning. Alien spores roughly the size of tennis balls fall to earth one night; from within crawl sluglike creatures that burrow their way into the brains of humans, effectively killing them and taking over their bodies. Young Shinichi is wearing headphones when one tries to attack him, and it ends up taking over his hand instead. The hand talks to him-in time, he names it Migi ("right")-and begins devouring books to learn more about the new "host race." Meanwhile, other invaders are devouring people, touching off a worldwide string of horrid murders; the invaders can sense one another, and a clue in a late chapter hints at some sort of purpose for their trip to Earth. Violence is graphic and often shocking, depicted in a style reminiscent of western comics and H.R. Giger. The ordinary nature of the rest of the illustration gives the whole book an unsettling edge, a sort of subliminal "it could happen anywhere" vibe. A cult favorite manga, this was originally released in the U.S. by Tokyopop in the '90s, but Del Rey is presenting a new translation and it should find an eager audience. (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Gr 10 Up-An unknown number of tennis-ball-sized spores falls to Earth, each containing an organism intent on taking over the brain of a human being, metamorphosing its head into a mutable alien killer. Shinichi is attacked by one of these parasites but uses a tourniquet to stop its progress in his arm. The next morning he finds that his right hand has become a sentient creature that requires his circulation system to continue living. The creature is eventually named Migi and exists in a curious balance with Shinichi, as it needs him to survive but was originally supposed to kill him and use his body to kill still more people. Migi's partial possession brings Shinichi into contact with other parasites that have successfully taken over their hosts, and who are involved in mass murders of various degrees of subtlety. The light horror tone of the book allows for mild gore and successful suspense. The thoughtful plot developments are accompanied by workmanlike artwork, effective enough with the xenomorphic bits, but lacking flair in executing the more mundane situations. The closing preview for the second volume makes it seem as if the artist has matured, however, and the story's potential is likely to leave readers wanting further exploration.-Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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