Sunday, July 11, 2010
Peeps - Scott Westerfeld
A year ago, Cal Thompson was a college freshman more interested in meeting girls and partying than in attending biology class. Now, after a fateful encounter with a mysterious woman named Morgan, biology has become, literally, Cal's life.
Cal was infected by a parasite that has a truly horrifying effect on its host. Cal himself is a carrier, unchanged by the parasite, but he's infected the girlfriends he's had since Morgan. All three have turned into the ravening ghouls Cal calls Peeps. The rest of us know them as vampires. It's Cal's job to hunt them down before they can create more of their kind. . . .
I have to say this new fad of vampires has really fed me up with literature lately. Luckily, I read Peeps before Twilight, otherwise I would NEVER have picked this book up. If you are looking for sexy vampire love, don't look here. No sparkly vampires appear in this novel - vampirism is painted in a totally scientific light. Vampires are people who are infected with a parasitic virus. This is a totally new take on vampires and I love how it alternates between what is going on and descriptions of parasites. A chapter is devoted to the story line and characters, and then the following chapter juxtaposes this with a description of a parasite and how it works. This only emphasizes the scientific nature of vampirism and allows the reader to understand how the relationship between the parasite and the human interact. Although some readers may find this distracting, I liked how it was not incorporated into the story, allowing the reader to focus solely on Cal's life and the drastic changes he is going through as well as allowing the story line to build tension and anticipation as we discover why this outbreak has become so prevalent in modern times.
No matter how scientific the material can get, Scott Westerfeld manages to keep the story line from being bogged down and become stagnant. As always his prose keeps things humorous and filled with drama. An excellent read.
Anyone who likes drama will like this, and while the typical sci-fi reader may not enjoy this, it will spark the interest of those who enjoy biology. Anyone who has read Westerfeld's other series (Uglies, Pretties, Specials) will enjoy this series. Specific audiences targetted: Chick lit (although the focus is not love, there is enough drama involved and some minor love scenes that chick lit readers should enjoy this) and teen readers with a selection of sci-fi readers.