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Parasite Pig Hardcover – October 14, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up-Deliciously creepy and suspenseful, this sequel to Interstellar Pig (Puffin, 1995) will thrill science-fiction fans. In the first book, Barney joined neighbors in an oddly absorbing board game, only to find that it was real, that the other players were aliens, and that the fate of Earth lay in the balance. This book, set the next summer, finds the 16-year-old still playing Interstellar Pig with his friends Katie and Matt, but just as a simple board game. Or so he thinks, until Julian, a mysterious new player, turns out to be a disgusting, parasitic alien who kidnaps him and whisks him off to the planet J'koot. Matt, actually a nasty wasplike alien, grabs Katie and follows them. Once they arrive on the planet, the two teens are snatched by intelligent crablike creatures that imprison them in luxurious rooms and serve them heaping plates of delicious food. With dawning horror, the two humans realize they're being fattened up for the slaughter. Complicating matters is the manipulative parasite lodged in Barney's brain. The middle section, in which an imprisoned Barney begins to lose hope, does drag at times, but the teens' hazardous escape attempt injects renewed energy into the plot. Most readers will enjoy the high gross-out factor, especially the descriptions of Julian's home in the intestine of a large reptile and a scene in which Barney and Katie witness two other teens about to be roasted alive. Fans of the first book may enjoy this title more than newcomers will, but it can stand alone. This is a sometimes dark, sometimes silly, always entertaining read with a few twisty surprises thrown in at the end.
Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-10. Sleator has returned with a sequel to Interstellar Pig (1984) that is equally clever and engrossing, a puzzle that incorporates mysterious science fiction with a bit of health education and just plain suspenseful fun. Barney is back, this time inhabited by parasite Madame Gondii and forced to associate with his alien "friends" and a new round of bizarre acquaintances, including a parasitic worm hosted within a dinosaur and a huge wasp armed with her terrifying ovipositor. At least he has human companionship in his friend Katie, who unwillingly joins him on a dangerous search for Piggy on the planet J'koot, where the crab inhabitants consider humans the perfect gourmet treat. The years have not diminished the imaginative nether world of the game-playing teens or the aliens determined to destroy earth, all for a chance to capture the fickle Piggy. While readers will still probably want to read Interstellar Pig first, this sequel can stand on its own. Let's hope we won't have to wait quite so long for another installment. Frances Bradburn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 16 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 10
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1st edition (October 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525469184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525469186
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By sf reader on July 29, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
mr. sleator took all the old and new characters and changed them from the mysterious, playful, exciting first book to a slightly less interesting, depressing format on another planet. I especially did not enjoy how barney went from being a sweet innocent child in interstellar pig to a cold hearted killer in the sequel.I have questions as to how humans were previously on the planet of the crabs and by the end of the second book it was a little ridiculous that barney should be the only one to undersand the truth about the piggy seeing as how the piggy exhibits such consistent behavior.I felt that the book went from playful in the first book (PG rated) to the new book which could be rated R for violence. The ending was very violent and morbid. I really do enjoy mr. sleator's books since my own teen years but I felt the new book, although good, was too discordant from the first book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Fans of the author's prior Interstellar Pig will find Parasite Pig a suitable sequel: it not only adds action based on the original plot; it goes further in explaining the purposes and dilemmas of the Pig who controls other forces in the universe. Barney is grounded after his summer face-off with a dangerous space game; but when he's kidnapped by aliens, it's danger revisited in this absorbing story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 3, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Barney is out one night walking his dog, Chang, when he's abducted. Julian beams Barney into his ship to take him to J'koot to find the Interstellar Piggy so he can win the game. But Matt abducts Katie, Barney's friend , so he can get the piggy first. Once they reach J'koot Katie and Barney are captured by man eating crabs, who take them to Death Palace to pamper them. The crabs pamper and feed the two teens to make them nice and fat. But Katie doesn't fall for it, she cuts down on her meals for all of the meals are fatening. Barney on the otherhand eats like he's never eaten before, and becomes fat. Julian has a plan for them to escape, but it doesn't work because the parasite in Barneys brain ruins it. While Barney, Katie, Moyna, Jrlb, and Moyna are all disguised as aliens and about to escape out of the Death Palace, when Madame Gondii uses her hormones to make the disguise disapear. Katie and Barney escape from the crabs, lichen, aliens, and the piggy takes the parasite out of Barneys brain and puts it in a crabs body, Mademe Gondii can have her babies.Katie and Barney have the Intersellar Piggy and they get beamed into Julians ship when Soma,Matt, appears but it is too late the piggy has been dumped into a galaxy trash can flying faster than light. I recommend this book to Science Fiction fans who love page turners.

Madame Gondii is a very selfish parasite living in a cyst in Barneys brain. She wanted Barney to get eaten by crabs, so she could escape into the crabs body, take it over, and have her babies. Madame Gondii also didn't like Katie because she had an effect on Barney that made him listen to her instead of Madade Gondii's hormones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 24, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the sequel to Interstellar pig. With the same characters and exciting plot, William Sleator really makes this a fantastic story.

Barney and his friends play Interstellar Pig again, like last summer. Only this time, a new person joins in. A new holigraphic person, or worm. Barney's friends are suspicious of Julian, the new person. Later, they find out that one of their friends are creatures too. Barney and his human friend, Katie, begin to explore the new creatures and new worlds as the game begins again.

I think this is a great book because it's very exciting and fantasy filled. When you read the first page, you can't stop, the book is filled with action and mystery, making you want to finish the book in one day. I would definitely reccomend this book to everyone, especially if they like action filled stories.

--P.Z.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Koppel on March 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Barney, the sixteen-year-old star of Interstellar Pig, is back. He is playing the game with friends. The game is safe. It is not the real thing. But before he knows it, Barney is sucked into a real game once again.
This time he has a parasite living in his brain that can control his actions to a degree. The parasite and at least one of the aliens wants Barney to travel to a planet of man-eating crabs. To make matters worse, Barney also has to watch out for another player; a girl he really likes.
Barney must combat his parasite, escape from giant crabs, avoid being killed by other players, and somehow make his way home. But will the Piggy let him?
A very nice sequel that times up some loose ends from the first book. However, I would have liked some explanation as to how the Americans and Chinese got to the planet of giant crabs. That detail just stuck in my mind the rest of the book. But still, it was a quick-paces and enjoyable book. Certainly anyone who enjoyed the first one would enjoy this one as well.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Chronologically, this book continues where the old one left off, but steers the story in a new direction: Barney is infected with a parasite named Toxoplasma. Like its Earth namesake, it makes him attracted to animals that want to eat him. One unusual element of style in this book is that Sleator intersperses scenes told from the point of view of the parasite with the regular Barney narrative. Thus we know a lot more about what is going on than the protagonist does. But at no point does this lead to future events in the story being spoiled. The ending is neither a surprise nor is it easily predictable: it's just perfect. I'm rating the book five stars for being exciting enough to get me to read it all in one sitting while the plumber was drilling away next to me trying to fix my bathroom.
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