The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld

The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

Strange things are happening: old friends disappearing, angels (or devils) clambering on the fire escapes of New York City. But for Pearl, Moz, and Zahler, all that matters is the band. As the city reels under a mysterious epidemic, the three combine their talents with a vampire lead singer and a drummer whose fractured mind can glimpse the coming darkness. Will their music stave off the end? Or summon it? Set against the gritty apocalypse that began in Peeps, The Last Days is about five teenagers who find themselves creating the soundtrack for the end of the world.

(Summary courtesy of Goodreads.)

Meh.  I don’t know what I was really expecting, but I guess I hoped that The Last Days would follow the end of the world more closely.  With all the suspense built up at the end of Peeps, I wanted to learn more about the coming worm apocalypse by seeing it through the eyes of someone in the Night Watch on the front lines.  However, the group of people we follow in The Last Days knows nothing of peeps or the apocalypse happening around them until the very end, so it was kind of disappointing.  This is more my fault than Scott Westerfeld’s because of my preconceived notions, but I definitely would have liked to hear more of how humanity fought the worms rather than just reading a past tense version of it in an epilogue.

Despite the fact it wasn’t what I expected, The Last Days wasn’t a bad book.  It took a more serious tone than the first book, but it suited the gritty background very well.  The characters were interesting and not exactly what you would expect in a YA novel, so there’s that.  Alana Ray was my personal favourite, but I can see where many people would identify with Pearl or Moz.  I would have liked the chapters to be a bit longer because at times it felt like head-hopping as each chapter had a different point of view than the previous one.  However, that’s more of a personal preference because I like continuity.

In The Last Days I just didn’t feel the same energy or enthusiasm as there was in Peeps.  There were some really slow parts where the book dragged on, but other parts were way too fast.  My disappointment is partly my own fault for starting to read it with lots of expectations, but I can’t help but feel it didn’t live up to its full potential.

I give this book 3.5/5 stars.

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