The apocalypse is nigh.
And the band played on.
Scott Westerfeld follows up Peeps, his bestselling vampire story, with The Last Days. I thoroughly enjoyed Peeps, and when I discovered that there was to be a sequel, I was very excited.
The Last Days was quite different from what I expected. Instead of following the typical sequel format and employing the same main characters and same narrative style as the first story, Westerfeld opted to introduce five new main characters, each of which shares his or her view of things in alternating chapters. While Peeps falls into the category of dark comedy and seems more controlled and steady, The Last Days is an apocalypse story which feels more dystopic and chaotic.
The tale begins innocently enough: Best buds Moz and Zahler have been fooling with guitars for years now but never really had a serious band. All that changes when they meet Pearl, a musical genius who brings serious talent to the group. She also brings along her friend Minerva, whose very prescence simultaneously unnerves and intrigues the boys. The band is rounded out by Alanna Ray, a paint-can drummer with an inner metronome and hidden afflictions.
Minerva is inflicted herself, being a peep who has struggled with the disease and spent months locked up in her room, cut off from the world. It is with Pearl's help, then that of the band, that she re-connects with the world; it is due to her peep status that the book begins to tie-in with its predecessor.
When Cal, the protagonist of Peeps, finally showed up, I cheered out loud. The action kicks in, the beasts are unleashed, and the ultimate showdown between good and evil becomes more dependent on music than violence. An interesting tale - though I must admit, I prefer Peeps.
More Westerfeld reviews and news at Bildungsroman:
Interview: Justine Larbalestier and Scott Westerfeld
Book Review: Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
Book Review: The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
Book Review: The Midnighters trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
Book Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld