Goodreads Summary: Last year as college freshman, narrator Cal was infected by exotic goth Morgan with a parasite that caused following girlfriends to become vampire-like ghouls he calls parasite-positives "Peeps". A carrier without symptoms, he hunts his progeny for the centuries old bureaucratic Night Watch. But victims are showing more sanity, pretty human Lacey is pushing his buttons, and her apartment building basement houses fierce hordes of ravening rats, red-eyed cats, and monstrous worms that threaten all. Morgan has the secret to a centuries-old conspiracy and upcoming battle to save the human race.I have to say, there is just something extremely eye-catching about this cover. Even before I knew it was a Scott Westerfeld book, which would have made me want to at least check it out, the cover had me interested. The colors, the grittiness of it, the fact that the writing looks like it was spray-painted on...it grabs my attention every time.
My initial reaction to this book was that it was weird. Extremely weird. My secondary reaction was slight annoyance...for some reason I had it firmly in my head that this was a zombie book, I skimmed the synopsis before starting to read it and for some reason the "vampire-like ghouls" part didn't make me immediately think that they would be vampires...because zombies, in some cases, could totally be described as "vampire-like ghouls". Unfortunately, no, in this case by "vampire-like ghouls" they most certainly mean vampires.
Peeps takes the not-so-crazy-as-it-may-seem leap from vampirism being sexy to vampirism being a disease. A parasite to be exact. At first it might seem cause for a double-take, a few chapters in you're starting to wonder what you ever found sexy about the supposed blood-sucking fiends. The transformation is brilliant. I think what really helps the readers to go along with this shift in perspectives from the "norm" in vampire fiction is the short, usually about three pages, mini chapters that come along ever so often detailing the habits of a particular parasite in creeptastic terms. Educational and mind-blowing! Before too long you start drawing the connections and are completely grossed out by all of the parasitic happenings to boot.
It took a chapter or two for me to warm up to Cal, our protagonist, but once I did I really enjoyed his dry sense of humor and his way of explaining things. He was SO AWKWARD at times. And in some ways it was kind of adorable...like, he was just utterly out of his depth when it came to handling/dealing with people. And his fallbacks? If at first you don't know how to communicate, talk about parasites! Hilarious. And Lacey? Such a smart, awesome, kick-butt sort of girl. I loved how she just never gave up. And she acted on her own. And was always questioning everything around her. Girl didn't miss a beat.
As far as I know this scientific approach to vampires is a new one and its definitely something worth looking into if you're a fan of the popular paranormal creature but sick of the same ol' same ol'. Its utterly fascinating examining the characters through this different scientific lens, really breaking down the condition in true medical [as far as I know] fashion. The characters are a bit older, freshmen in college, but fascinating. The story is a bit slow to start but unravels in a compelling mystery. A little gross at times but definitely worth the read.