Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

(Cover picture courtesy of In The Next Room.)

Okay, let’s clear up some myths about vampires.  First of all, you won’t see me using the v-word much.  In the Night Watch, we prefer the term parasite positives or peeps for short.

The main thing to remember is that there’s no magic involved.  No flying.  No transforming into bats or rats either.  We’re talking about a disease.

After a chance encounter with a mysterious woman one night, Cal Thompson’s life is changed forever.  He’s been infected with an insidious parasite.  The good news: he’s only a carrier—still sane, without the worst of the symptoms.  The bad news: he’s infected all his former girlfriends—and now they’ve turned into what Cal calls peeps.  The rest of us call them vampires.  And it’s Cal’s job to hunt them down before they create even more of their kind.

I don’t consider myself a person who’s easily grossed out, but congratulations must go to Scott Westerfeld for managing to do just that!  He goes into incredible detail not just for the peeps parasite, but for many other parasites.  You see, every other chapter he describes a kind of parasite that is either good or bad and ties it into the story very well in the end.  That’s a lot of parasites to gross you out.  And the parasites are nothing in comparison to some of the disgusting situations Cal gets into.

In other words: Don’t read this while you’re eating.  Or before you go to sleep, like I did.

Scott Westerfeld’s sense of humour shines through more in Peeps than in his Uglies series because Cal is just that kind of character.  He’s snarky and sarcastic, but also wracked with guilt over spreading the peeps disease to all of his ex-girlfriends, making them insane.  Not only is the parasite spread through sexual contact, it can be spread by bodily fluids like saliva.  So you can imagine how scared he is when he meets Lace, who seems determined to interfere in his life and may even be falling in love with him.

The plot is quite fast-paced and Peeps has lots of twists and turns I never saw coming.  The best part is that it’s not your typical vampire story, so it’s pretty hard to get bored with the premise.  And the cliffhanger at the ending will make you want to read the next book, The Last Days because of the huge plot twist in the end.  I can’t wait for the next book!

I give this book 4/5 stars.

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