When Dr. Nagashima loses his wife in a mysterious car crash, he is overwhelmed with grief but also an eerie sense of purpose; he becomes obsessed wiht reincarnating his dead wife. Her donated kidney is transplanted into a young girl wiht a debilitating disorder, bu the doctor also feels compelled to keep a small sample of her liver in his laboratory. When these cells start mutating rapidly, a consciousness bent on determining its own fate awakens, bent on becoming the new dominant species on earth.
Parasite Eve was the basis of the hugely popular videogame of the same name in the U.S. and has been cinematized in Japan.
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.