Sunday, January 18, 2009
Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
When I signed up for the Scott Westerfeld challenge I just knew Peeps would be the first book I read for it. After all, it is no secret that I enjoy reading books with vampires in them. And people have been recommending it for ages. What IS surprising is that it took me so long to get to Peeps, which is unlike any other vampire book I have ever read. Really.
The Night Watch call these vampires parasite positive (hence, peeps). They have a disease – so they are not magical, they don’t fly, they don’t become bats, and are not dark, brooding, and romantic. They are, however, hungry all the time, and can become crazed zombies, dangerous to all around them. And Westerfeld even gives us reasons why these vampires shy away from a cross or hide from the light making it all seem so very believable. And then there is Cal, a carrier (so he doesn’t have many symptoms), who has the unfortunate task of tracking his ex-girlfriends, who he turned into peeps, for the Night Watch.
Every other chapter is about parasites — tapeworms, guinea worms, mealworms, parasitic wasps, wolbachia — and you leave the book knowing far more than you ever wanted to know about them. And why you shouldn’t ever pee in tropical rivers — ever. Haunting.
This totally disturbing book should not be missed as Cal tracks down his ex-girlfriends, finds out about the unusual cats in the area, meets a girl called Lace, and realizes how much he has been kept in the dark about the changes to himself.