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Friday, October 28, 2011

The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld


Yes, I know I need to stop spamming this blog with my SW obsession, however, I see no end to it. Just hear me out here, because I am about to inform you of a vampire novel I actually enjoyed! Plus, it takes place during the supposed end of the world! I'm all over that. The Last Days is a sequel to Peeps, a book I haven't read, but that was okay, I still got the jist of the story. Here, I made a summary:

It's the hottest summer New York has ever seen. The streets are filled with rats, weird black oil, and garbage. A mysterious epidemic is spreading. It seems that all hell has broke loose. But to Moz, Zahler, Pearl, and Alana Ray, all that really matters is their new band. With an edgy sound and tons of potential, they have a shot at stardom. They recruit Minerva (a girl who has the epidemic) to be their lead singer. She has been staying in her house ever since she got a craving for human blood.

The world is ending, the city is in chaos, and Peeps (vampires) are taking over. With the apocalypse drawing near, the band might just be able to battle back because they basically rock so hard, they can can stop Armageddon. Without knowing it, they create the soundtrack to the end of the world.

Pretty intense huh? In short, this book was pretty cool for a vampire book. And I am pleased to say it was published pre-Twilight movie hype. Plus, you don't become a vampire from getting bitten. No, you get blood-thirsty qualities from getting an STD. Cliche? I think not. It's written in this cool, creepy way. It's funny too. The five band members are strong characters, and they trade off narrating the story. Minerva's point of view was the most enthralling. As a Peep, she had some interesting thoughts. I think "Mustn't eat Mosey" was my favorite line from the whole book, in the part where she is trying not kiss and/or kill and devour Moz.

I enjoyed the end-of-the-world vibe to the book too. Westerfeld's version of the possible apocalypse is unique, and the way the band saved the world was all in all epic. Though it got a bit confusing to me at some points, I was always entertained. It was kind of bizarre, but as long as you aren't creeped out too easily, you'll like it. Lots of cool stuff is worked into the story. For example, every chapter name is also the name of a band. And each section of the book has a little write-up about plagues and apocalypses. Thanks to this book, I now know that when little kids sing ring-around-the-rosey, they are singing about a horrible plague that occurred in the Middle Ages.

The ending was brief, but well-written. This a clever book and totally not your average teenage vampire novel.

THE BOTTOM LINE:
About as cool as a book can get when it involves rock bands, sexually-transmitted vampire diseases, the end of the world, and (spoiler alert) gigantic black monsters.
4/5 stars

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