Sunday, March 1, 2009

Review: Peeps and The Last Days

I don't think that I've given proper praise to a man who has become one of my favorite writers in the last year, Scott Westerfeld. Westerfeld writes young adult science fiction novels and is best known for the Uglies series (Uglies, Pretties, Specials and Extras), which is how I first heard of him. Since then, I've gone on to read just about everything else he's written that our public library owns (once again, yay for libraries!). I've liked almost everything so far but there are a few that I think readers other than teens might enjoy, so I will be featuring them here. To start, I present Peeps and its sequel The Last Days.

Peeps is about a young man who has become infected with a disease that causes its victims to become violent, light sensitive, strong and craving raw meat. Sure, you can call it vampirism, but it's not quite what you think of from Bram Stoker and the movies. Cal's one of the lucky few who isn't debilitated by his infection, he has been recruited by the Night Watch, a secret supernatural police force that has been keeping underground New York City under control for hundreds of years.

Interspersed with Cal's adventures, we get snippets of information about parasitology - the study of parasites and their effects. I know that sounds weird, but I loved how it grounded this dark fantasy in the real world. Truth is stranger than fiction and all that.

While The Last Days is a sequel to Peeps, it does not quite pick up where the last one left off. Instead, we meet a new crew of characters, all of whom are struggling to make sense with how their city is changing. Music is what brings these characters together, not the struggle (set up in the first book and continued here), but they are drawn in none the less.

As is frequently the case, I didn't enjoy the sequel quite as much as the first book. There were more characters to focus on, so I feel like I didn't get to know each of them as well. That said, the plot and pacing are great and the ending is really satisfying.

Peeps and The Last Days are enjoyable books -- I recommend them both to teen and adult sci-fi/fantasy readers.

Buy Peeps on Amazon.
Buy The Last Days on Amazon.
Visit Scott Westerfeld online at Westerblog.

1 comment:

  1. I have Peeps on my shelf as well as the first in the midnighters triology, so hopefully I can get to them soon!


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