Saturday, March 6, 2010

PEEPS by Scott Westerfeld

*cover art varies*
Okay, I'm supposed to be on a writing break here, because I have Tendonitis and I'm in the final stages of revising my own novel for launching into the eeevil purgatory known as Queryland.  However, I had to tell you about PEEPS.  Briefly, 'cause my hands hurt.
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You all know how I love scientific explanations for old monsters.  There was XOMBIES by Walter Greatshell (the second in the series is out now) with that nassssty virus which changed menstruating women into raving lunatics, you know, kinda like real life, only they turn blue and bite you a lot more.  And then there was THOSE OF MY BLOOD by Jacqueline Lichtenburg in which the vampire myth was founded by aliens.  Those blood-suckin' aliens!  I knew it!  I knew they were aliens.
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Anyway, in PEEPS, its a reeeelly icky parasite.
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I'd just started LEVIATHAN by Scott Westerfeld when I happened upon PEEPS and quickly dropped the New Release, which is awesome in its own right, because it's the closest published novel I've found to my own unpublished novel.  There's even a character with a fascination for action figures, Elvis Presley action figures, this PEEPS case.
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Cal was a good ol' boy from Texas who got lucky right off the bus in New York City when he started college.  Unfortunately, the chick gave him a sexually transmitted disease.  Unfortunately, the disease wasn't as benign as, say, AIDS.  Well, okay, it's about the same.  With this disease, I mean, parasite, it takes a couple of centuries or so to die.
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But, Cal got a little bit luckier because he didn't turn into a full-blown PEEP, a blood suckin' mostly dead guy.  He's just a carrier of the parasite.  It gives him super-human strength and senses, but he keeps his own brain and most of his sanity.
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PEEP is short for 'parasite-positive' and the 'v' words is generally not used, but PEEPS are orginators of the vampire myth in this universe.
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About six months after getting chomped, Cal learns all the girls he's kissed since have gone nuts.  He's recruited by the Night Watch to hunt down and capture full-blown PEEPS, starting with his ex-girlfriends.  The story opens with him capturing his first real girlfriend, Sarah, whom he's still a little in love with.  It's a great first chapter, because it offers a visual and emotional "Show, Don't Tell" of the beartrap Cal has gotten his hiney stuck in.  Metaphorically speaking, of course.
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After that, he reports back to base because Sarah was the last of his ex-girlfriends he needed to capture.  Next, he's supposed to go after the chick who infected him in the first place.
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The Night Watch is really cool with all sorts of gadgets and Dr. Rat who has a funny fascination for the rats which follow PEEPS around and the five hundred year old Shrink who tries to figure new recruits and such.
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So, Cal goes searching for the chick who infected him and gets real close and meets Lace, a really pretty, really smart girl he really wants to mate with a lot.  Unfortunately, if he even just kisses her, she'll turn into a PEEP.  Okay, so he makes up his mind to stay away from her for her own protection.  Unfortunately, she's a journalism major and just can't keep her nose out of why there's remnants of blood on her apartment wall and a rat population explosion under her building.
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Poor Cal.
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Would tell you more, but my hands are killing me.
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Pop over to the author's website to learn more-
http://scottwesterfeld.com/blog/books/peeps/
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If you like PEEPS, be sure to check out XOMBIES and THOSE OF MY BLOOD too.

4 comments:

Bebedores do Gondufo said...

Good.

Kimber An said...

Yeah, and kinda icky. He goes into detail about the real biology behind everything, which some readers might not like. However, I think his unique voice will carry most readers-who-don't-like-biology through that.

Yunaleska said...

I love his Uglies series, and Leviathan. I think I might give this one a miss though. Glad you reviewed it :)

(Get back to that hiatus! Rest those wrists/tendons)

Kimber An said...

I'm the opposite, Yuna. I just thought UGLIES was okay. Didn't like it enough to review it here. Not enough running and screaming, I guess.
;)

I am really looking forward to LEVIATHAN though.