Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Young Adult vamps by Scott Westerfeld

 Peeps & The Last Days
PeepsPeeps by Scott Westerfeld is a whole new kind of vampires.  They do not fly or transform into bats or other animals.  In fact, they are rarely referred to as vampires. They are infected with a disease at a biological level and are called peeps.  Cal is one of them, sort of.  He is a carrier of the strain for “parasite positive”.  He has it, but he is not affected by it and does not display any of the symptoms.  Other than an insane appetite for meat and overly active urge to have sex, creating more peeps with past girlfriends, which he doesn’t want to keep repeating.  So, now Cal works for the Night Watch trying to find and treat peeps, not realizing there is a greater force at work than the peeps he is hunting.   There is something deep in the earth that is calling for more peeps.  Not only that, but Cal also has to find his progenitor.  The one who turned him into a peep carrier and his only clue is the…Bahamalama-Dingdong.  Yep, a drink, and it is from a nightclub that is just now back in business.  This leads him on an adventure looking for a girl he can’t remember…to find a girl named Lacey he can’t date…. to a building that’s not quite right….and cats that...the underground moving and …’ll just have to read it to find out… It is well worth the ride and will saturate your thirst, just stay above ground.  I think…
“We needed to become world-famous soon, while there was still that kind of world to be famous in.” ~Pearl, 

The Last Days  In The Last Days, sequel to Peeps by Scott Westerfeld, a group of teenagers work to create a band in a time when the world is quite visibly falling apart.  Kids are being kept home from school or those with money are moving away from the city as trash piles up in the streets as the rats and cats seem to be taking over.  Pearl meets Moz when a Stratocaster is thrown from an apartment window and they both join together to rescue it and they discover they are both interested in putting together a band.  Moz and his pal Zahler play guitar.  And Pearl, the brains and resources behind it all, has her friend Minerva (Min) for vocals.  Pearl rescued Min from her house where she has been locked up “recuperating” from what many others have been “taken” away from their homes, or ran away from, for having caught the disease.  The others sensed something was different about Minerva too, but they needed a singer and her original vocals pulled them all together.  Something that even drummer Alana Ray that Zahler brought in had noticed.  Together, they formed a band.  Would they be the band to make it, to have the secret weapon? The ground definitely seemed to tremble beneath them, when they played.  And what happens when they cross paths with Cal and Lace? Cal and Lace, whom by now are doing their jobs as dark angels caring away the sick peeps and training them to help fight the ancient forces underground.  Will the band still play?  Would the ancient force beneath the earth continue to stir? Would they end up helping the dark angels or the peeps?  Find out, one tune at a time in Peeps and The Last Days.

Scott Westerfeld has a unique way of creating a whole new language in the young adult genre in each of his books series and these are no exception.  In Peeps, we learn of the Bahamalama-Dingdong, which is a new type of drink from a bar.  In The Last Days he replaces the first letter of a word with “f”, one main one is cool, which becomes “fool”, still meaning cool.  Others are “fawesome” and “fexcellent”.  Some mention of credit is giving for this in his book.  He continues in this fashion in non-vampire books of his as well, practically creating a whole new language in the Uglies series from –wa and –la after one’s name.  The main character of that series becomes Tally-wa by her best friend’s calling.  It is Scott’s unique way of writing and biological take on vampirisms that makes for an original read in young adult vampires….I mean…parasite positives!  So take a peep at it, just be careful which band you join!

Happy Reading!

Shauna Leigh Kemp reviews for the Fresno Book Examiner and at her own blog READ WRITE REVAMP.  Look for her to regularly review young adult vampire titles at VampChix.  Welcome to VampChix, Shauna!


Mariana said...

I've read Peeps and I really like it. Scott doesn't even mention the word vampire in the book (ok maybe just once). I think his scientific point of view about vampirism and vampires is original and interesting.

Bye! :)

jenmoon said...

I LOVE Peeps. I sadly did not love TLD as much, since mostly it seems to be all about "Wow, isn't it kewl to be in a band!" more than anything else. (Also, "fawesome" long since lost its charm halfway through the book due to overuse. Sigh.)