Rock ‘n’ Read: Peeps and The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld

One of the reasons I started writing Kitty and Cadaver is that I love books involving rock and roll and monsters! If, like me, you think there should be more books like that, here are some suggestions to get started.

Last daysIf there is anything I love more than a book about rock and roll and monsters, it is when the monsters are vampires. I love those books. I love them with a fiery passion.

I picked up The Last Days at a second hand bookstore in a little country town because it was a vampire novel, and I’d heard good things about Scott Westerfeld. I didn’t realise until later that The Last Days was actually a sequel to Peeps (also known as Parasite Positive, which I think is a terrible name, but there you go). Luckily, The Last Days stood perfectly well on its own.

In my Goodreads review, I said:

“Something sinister from deep underground is corrupting New York (and by implication, the world). The rats are coming up, and seem to be in league with the cats. A disease is spreading among the humans, leaving them repelled by their former lives, by their own reflections – leaving them with very sharp teeth and a worrying hunger. In the midst of all this, Moz, Pearl, Minerva and Zahler just want to be rock stars. This would be easier to achieve if Minerva wasn’t infected, and the world wasn’t ending.”

I mean, where can you go wrong with a precis like that? The answer is that Westerfeld couldn’t. The Last Days rips along at great speed, with energy and playfulness and some surprising turns. The chapter titles are taken from real life band names too, which is fun whether or not you recognise them.

peepsHaving thoroughly enjoyed this, I hunted down Peeps for the preceding story, about the band Morgan’s Army. In this first book, Cal Thompson loses his virginity to Morgan Ryder, who infects him with the parasite that normally turns people into flesh-eating, demented victims who are the source of most vampires/zombie myths in the world. There are some, though – including Morgan and Cal – who carry the parasite without much ill effect.

Of course, I say ‘much’ because, since it spreads through bodily fluids, the parasite makes Cal both constantly aroused and constantly vigilant so the he doesn’t infect any more people than he already has. This makes his love life problematic, all the moreso when he meets Lace. Cal, recruited by the mysterious Night Watch, is trying to track down Ryder, prevent the further spread of infection and sort out his private life, and eventually discovers there are things The Night Watch is failing to share with him.

This is another fast-paced, fresh story full of music, danger and fun facts about parasites – both good and bad. I learned entirely too much about parasites, to tell the truth.

So – how do ancient strains of parasites, rock music and terrible threats to the Earth intersect? Well, you’ll have to read the books to find that out.

(And yes, I’ve reviewed these arse-about. It’s how I read them, damnit, so you’re as stuck with this as I was.)

Have you read this book? What did you think? Do you have any other recommendations for books about music, magic and monsters? Leave a comment below!

New to Kitty and Cadaver? Find out about the project in About Kitty and Cadaver or start from chapter one at Read the Book.

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