Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Parasite Eve Paperback – May 20, 2008

4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$87.49 $22.19

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“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.”
—Library Journal

Interested in the Audiobook Edition?
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vertical; FICTH edition (May 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932234209
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932234206
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #836,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marc Mckenzie on February 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having played the two "Parasite Eve" videogames, I was very happy to finally read the original novel upon which the games were based (the games are actually sequels to the book, taking place in the US and involving new characters). Hideaki Sena's debut novel is a strong science-fiction horror story, but it might not be for everyone.

This is one horror novel that really gets under your skin, and the final third of the novel is filled with many graphic, scary moments. To put it one way, imagine if Dean Koontz and Michael Crichton decided to team up and write a book together.

Sena's background in Pharmacology is evident here--the scientific jargon is at times overwhelming (even to me, and I have a biology degree!). This fact will turn off some readers. As to the complaint that the book is too gruesome--come on! Are we forgetting about Clive Barker's early stories/novels and the splatterpunk craze?

If anything, PARASITE EVE's release in English is a welcome step into bringing over more Japanese literature to America, whether it is horror, science-fiction, or contemporary. It just seems appropriate since many American writers are translated into Japanese, but not vice-versa.

I enjoyed PARASITE EVE. It's a different kind of horror story, and kudos to Vertical for bringing it to these shores.
Comment 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
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 they receive most of their genes from their mama. What does manage to get through from the sperm is marked for termination and later destruction inside the embryo.

Imagine, if you will, a mitochondrion that goes wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong.

Toshiaki Nagashima has a job that he loves, as a research associate at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and a wife, Kiyomi, that he adores. Life is very very good. Until he receives the phone call telling him that his wife has been involved in a traffic accident, having run into a tree, and is feared to be brain dead. Kiyomi is on the list of kidney donors, and immediately matches are sought for her kidneys, so that the donees can be put on standby, prepared for transplant. One of these is a 14 year old girl, Mariko Anzai. Mariko had been a transplant recipient just a few months before, having received a kidney from her father. But it had not worked out, and she is back on the list. When the call arrives about the new transplant, Mariko doesn't tell her father about it, as if she doesn't wish to go through another transplant. But why?

All the tests come back that Kiyomi is indeed brain dead, as her husband and her parents wait for news.
Read more ›
1 Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
That's the main reason I did not give this a 5/5 rating is due to it's slow start. However, once it gets going, it is a good book. If you aren't much of a romantic though, it's not really for you because it is somewhat of a romance/sci-fi novel. Quite a well thought out story if our Mitochondria could actually do that...
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I was a young lad, I played parasite eve for the original PlayStation. The game was thrilling, interesting, and above all, terrifying. When I saw this novel, and realized it had been the basis for the game, I bought it without a second thought. Thats where my excitement ended. I started with high hopes. I waited for the characters to stand out. I waited for the horror to start. I was mostly disapointed. The characters remained bland, and frankly, ridiculous, throughout the entirety of the novel. The author repeated ad nasuem the moral quandry regarding braind dead individuals and organ transplants. The mediocre parts far outweigh the interesting portions, but there are moments where I found myself horrified and sickened at the unnatural scenes unfolding, which is really what I expected throughout. The novel partially redeems itself in the final quarter, but overall, I would not reccomend the read. Perhaps my expectations were based too largely on my nostalgia for the game, but in the end, the book left me feeling bored, more than anything else.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book, Parasite Eve, pulled me in immediately and I read with wide-eyed upsetness. The story begins with a car crash. The lovely Kiyomi appears to be dead. How will her loving husband cope? How will this biologist possibly keep at least a part of her alive?

Yes, this is pretty icky in spots, and it has the pacing that is usual in translations of Japanese novels. That is, it appears slightly off to the western reader. But, guess what? Some of us find that very appealing in a thriller.

I found the idea of mutant mitochondria excellent (always thought that would be a good idea, and there are several other science fiction writers that have tackled that possibility very well). The writing was strong enough to make my heart break for the husband, Toshiaki Nagashima, and for Kiyomi's parents.

I didn't expect the end of this book to play out as it did, and that is always a plus for me, too. The writer kept me engaged and surprised clear to the end.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?