Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book 16 of '11 Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

Dust Jacket Description:

"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. . . .

Bursting with the sharp intelligence and sly humor that are fast becoming his trademark, Scott Westerfeld’s novel is an utterly original take on an archetype of horror."

Characters: Cal Thompson is the kind of male protagonist I love reading about in YA fiction. He's intelligent, funny, and his life story is really interesting. His narrative is freaking fantastic. The way Westerfeld illustrates it is not only entertaining and fascinating, but a little gross. That's the appeal of this book.

Not a lot of time is spent on characters in Peeps. I will say that I felt lead on surrounding the amount of importance Morgan's character had in the novel. I kept on expecting her to have this awesome villainous scene, and she never got any real page time. This was disappointing, when I had gotten excited about her.

Lace was a light and fun love interest for Cal. Although I have a habit of getting annoyed by characters who expect the protag to tell them everything about a complex underground universe, Lace was still charming and funny.

The characters are not what make Peeps such an enthralling read, but they were aesthetically pleasing vessels for the story to play out through. 4 flowers.

Writing: Westerfeld's juxtaposition between well written, plot heavy chapters and conversational science lessons about parasites made it very difficult to put down. Throughout Peeps, readers begin to vividly imagine the world of parasites, which is not a level of the food chain we think about often. It may be disgusting, but it's also very intelligent. Parasites work as exceptionally good metaphors for human consciousness. 5 flowers.

Plot: Here is where Peeps shines. How Westerfeld weaves the back story on his vampires made me laugh in excitement. He makes former myths relevant to his own world building, and the cleverness made me gobble the book up in only two days. It's so intelligent that it takes a lot of energy to follow along, but it's so enthralling you can't help but turn the pages. 5 flowers.

End: The last action scene verged on campy for me, but the last chapter is written wonderfully and the ending is satisfying. 4 flowers.

Dust Jacket Description: An archetype of horror? Really? That's dramatizing the scare factor of this book a few degrees. I wish they mention something about Lace. 3 and a half flowers.

Cover: There are other much better covers for Peeps, but the one on my used copy has faces on them, and I don't like it at all. 3 and a half flowers.

Overall: If you want an incredibly intelligent and funny take on the overused vampire trope, you HAVE to pick this book up. 4 and half flowers.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for reviewing this one! I've been looking at it off and on to read, but just never got to it. It's one that now I'll need to push to the top of the pile.

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  2. I have to say, I'm personally insulted by a villain named Morgan who doesn't get enough page time. If I ever stop twitching over vampires, I'll be sure to pick this up.

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