Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Review: Peeps (Peeps #1) by Scott Westerfeld

Synopsis (via Goodreads):
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....
My Thoughts: It took me a while to get into this book and I can't really figure out why since it's an interesting, well written idea.  I like Scott Westerfeld's writing style so it's not that.  I just didn't really connect with the characters until about halfway through.

It's highly possible that the biggest ick factor for me came from the in-depth descriptions of the different parasites that currently inhabit earth bound life forms.  That isn't even counting the Peeps parasite.  We're talking about lovely little worms and other assorted oddities that latch onto unsuspecting hosts and drain them dry, cause oozing blisters, make them go blind ... these things cause all manner of gross and disturbing things.  AND THOSE ARE THE REAL LIFE PARASITES!  I mean, uggh.  I have a really low tolerance for real life grossness.  I physically can't watch anything that involves plastic surgery.  Actually, just surgery in general.  Yet I love blood splattered slasher movies.  Because they're not real.  Unless, you know, it's a slasher that's based on something real.  Then I go all woozy and start to feel faint.  Seriously, the movie Wolf Creek made me a nervous wreck for weeks after watching it.  I was all... "Scary things live in the wilds of Australia!  I am so afraid!  Also, now I can never visit that entire country!"  It wasn't pretty.  On the other hand, the chick who was crawling all jerky like down the stairs in The Grudge freaked me out also and I'm pretty sure that's just a pretend movie.  Pretty sure.

Now that I've lost the entire thread of reasoning behind the above paragraph... Oh!  The real life parasites creeped me out way more than anything else in that book.  Way more.  I'm going to be all crazy cakes every time I think about hookworms and nasty other critters.  Which just goes to show you that truth is more horrifying than fiction.

Anyway.  I ultimately ended up liking this book.  It had the aforementioned ick factor.  It had parasite positive vampires who were a little tweaked from the usual type of vampire.  It had rats and cats and mountains of pigeon feathers, which will totally make sense when you read the book.  Cal was a pretty cool guy.  The way he and the other hunters go about capturing the Peeps and using things from their old lives to incapacitate them took some getting used to, but it was different and neat once I did get used to it.

So.  Good book.  Cool idea.  *thumbs up*

More books by Scott Westerfeld

Reading challenges: The E-book Challenge, The Vampire Challenge, The Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge, The Morbid Romantica Challenge, The TBR Challenge, The YA Reading Challenge


  1. I've yet to read any of his work, but you totally have me wanting to read this one! Awesome review! :)

  2. Hmmmmm, not so sure if I could handle this one. I'm a horror movie fanatic - the more blood and guts, the better! But when it comes to books, for some reason, I get way more creeped out. I might not be able to stomach the written description of grotesque, wormy, parasitic things. Yuck! But it does sound like an interesting read.

    Check out my Thinking on Thursday and Writing on Wednesday posts - I think you'll enjoy them.

    Mandy @ Embrace Your Oddities