“Hey, do you know you're carrying vampirism? What's up with that?”
Synopsis: The book centres around Cal Thomson a nineteen year old Peep hunter. Peeps or parasite positives are basically vampires except there is no sexual or magical element to it rather they are just people were infected with a parasite. Cal himself is carrying one of those people who carries the parasite and can infect others but is immune to its maddening effects. He is on a hunt to find his 'progenitor' Morgan, a one night stand he lost his virginity to. In her old apartment he finds Lace, a tough journalist major and a new love interest.
Review: Okay what can I say about this book apart from I freaking love it. I mean seriously I don't remember the last time I was drawn into a plot line. It's a short read, I finished it within a couple of hours but I could not put it down. This book re-vamps vampires simple as that. Instead of sparkling or sexy vampires Westerfeild shows vampires as nothing more than victims of a parasitic invasion. He clinically explains the entire symptom of being a vampire. Photosensitive, Staurophobia (the fear of crosses) and even the need to bite someone is explained.
While the idea of using science to explain Vampirism is not unique per say Westerfeild's use of parasites is entirely refreshing. If you don't mind a bit of science with your super horny carrier (the parasite makes the host horny so it can transmit sexually) then this book is for you.
I loved Cal, as a protagonist he was likable and strong minded but you can't help but feel sorry for the guy who lost his virginity to the queen host of parasite positive. He is brave and smart all the things that make him a likable character but also has the lazy air of a nineteen year old which made him believable. Lace, as love interests go was a very good character. She is not the typical wimpy heroine but tough and intelligent. One thing I felt this book lacked in terms of Cal and Lace's relationship was emotions. At times I felt Cal did not think past her 'Jasmine smelling hair' otherwise they are a very good match.
I am especially a fan of Westerfeild's deviations. Every other chapter Cal takes time to tell us about some crazy, unique and somewhat morbidly fascinating fact about a chosen parasite. It might sound boring but it was written in a way that made it totally engrossing. I am also a massive fan of this edition's cover. When I saw it on the shelf at my local library I instantly wanted to read it.
There are a couple of things that bothered me about this book. First I would have liked a more descriptive details about the Night Watch, I felt like it was left a name rather than a real tangible place. Second while I loved Lace as a character she said Dude too many times for my liking (I guess that's one word I will be chucking out of my vocabulary this week). And lastly I feel like Cal accepted the surprising change too fast, there was no sense of betrayal just simple acceptance that seemed a bit unrealistic especially since he spent an entire year with Night Watch,
So here comes the verdict
I loved every minute of it. Westerfeild has succeeded in creating a world where supernatural powers are explained by scientific realism. This book might not be for everyone since it centres its explanation around evolution and scientific discoveries but as a fellow biology major I totally fell in love with it.
I give this book a 4.5 out of 5. It was brilliant, funny, intelligent and totally unique intake on vampires.
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (2007)
Author's Website: www.scottwesterfeld.com