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The Last Days

Review

The Last Days

The apocalypse is coming, so Pearl, Moz and Zahler do the only logical thing they can think of:

They form a band.

Pearl and Moz never knew each other before a parasite-positive, or a "peep" --- a person who carries a parasite that can best be described as vampirism --- threw a 1975 Fender Stratocaster with gold pickups out a third-floor window. Pearl turns out to be a talented keyboardist, and Moz, who plays guitar, invites bass player Zahler to join them. Moz recruits Alana --- their bucket-percussing homeless schizophrenic drummer --- from her regular street-corner gig in Times Square. Minerva, the lead singer, is an old friend of Pearl's. But Minerva hasn't been the same since she became afflicted with some kind of weird illness that causes her to hate the things she once loved, crave a lot of raw meat and gain a rather strong attachment to her cat.

Black water is flowing from fire hydrants over streets piled with garbage. Cannibals are in charge of record companies. The Night Mayor, first seen in Scott Westerfeld's PEEPS, knows that time and technology have come together to form the perfect environment for a pandemic. The worms that haunt the subway tunnels of New York are getting stronger and more numerous. Homeland Security can't do anything about the spreading of the parasite that infects Minerva, but the Night Watch --- the organization working to stop the parasite's rapid spread --- can. They're going to attempt to use the band's unearthly melodies as a weapon against the killer worms and paranoid peeps.

If you haven't already read PEEPS, you'll want to do so before starting THE LAST DAYS; even though this gruesome, terrifying and amazing sequel can stand on its own, you'll understand it a lot better if you read its predecessor first. This is not one of those vampire novels with a lush setting and lots of forbidden romance, but that's what makes it such a great read. Westerfeld's vampires are gritty and nasty, dressed in rags, and sweating and screaming amid sewer rats. They will keep you up late biting your nails and hoping they make it through the impending apocalypse just because you want to see more of them in a future book.

Reviewed by Carlie Webber on September 7, 2006

The Last Days
by Scott Westerfeld

  • Publication Date: August 2, 2007
  • Genres: Horror, Supernatural
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • ISBN-10: 1595141286
  • ISBN-13: 9781595141286