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First rule: Don't call them vampires. That's just a ridiculous term. The proper label is parasite-positives, or "peeps." Maybe some people think that peeps have a few things in common with vampires of legend, but New York City is a long way from the Carpathian Mountains.

Second rule: Whatever you do, don't forget the anathema, when peeps start hating the things they used to love. The anathema hurts, but in a good way.

These rules to live by are a part of Cal Thompson's daily life. Cal is a peep hunter, sworn to protect New York from the spread of the parasite that, well, makes people act like vampires, if you have to use that word. Cal himself was infected with the parasite, but on him it works differently. He has the superpowers and the urge to feed, but he can still live among those who don't carry the parasite. In a quest to track down the woman who gave him the parasite, he peels away the layers of a mystery involving rats, cats, writing on a wall, and a building with more than a health club in its basement.

Be forewarned: PEEPS is neither for the faint of heart nor for the faint of stomach.  But if descriptions of parasites and some truly disgusting life forms under New York City are what you live for, then pick up this book immediately. Westerfeld provides a fascinating, high-adventure look at the lives of parasites and ties it into a gritty urban fantasy with plot twists around every corner.


Reviewed by Carlie Webber on October 18, 2011

by Scott Westerfeld

  • Publication Date: August 25, 2005
  • Genres: Horror, Supernatural
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • ISBN-10: 159514031X
  • ISBN-13: 9781595140319