Peeps is a young adult, fantasy novel by Scott Westerfeld and the first of his many novels I read. I first read it as a recommendation from one of my friends who generally has the same taste in books as I do, a few years ago. Warning that this post may contain spoilers.
I usually start off by going straight into my review but I’m going to do things a little differently for this novel; I’m going to rant a bit. Although this novel is fiction, every second chapter is given as fact and there are ‘facts’ strewn throughout the book. A lot of these are incorrect. First off, evolution. Westerfeld pretty much says it’s 100% true and states that a scientific theory “is a fact”; WRONG! According to my university textbook scientific theory is “When an explanation has been supported by a large number of tests, and when a majority of experts have reached a general consensus that it is a reliable description or explanation.” According to this, evolution isn’t even a theory because you cannot test it. Also, evolution will only be generally accepted until another, better theory comes along. Then it will be discarded like the theory of spontaneous generation. I’m not anti-evolution, I’m just anti-factual inaccuracies. In one chapter Westerfeld also states that Wolbachia is smaller than a single cell. Seeing as a cell is the smallest living thing, that’s kind of impossible. In addition, some viruses are stated as being caused by parasites such a the rabies virus. So beware that not everything said to be fact in this novel is. Westerfeld likes to make out that he has a superior knowledge of science when he doesn’t. Rant over.
Now, to my review. Westerfeld’s writing style is very unique. He writes like he’s talking to you, it seems like he’s having a conversation with the reader. I quite like this because it adds humor without the need for jokes. The notion of the novel is good as well. Once again, I love the ‘weird things going on in our world that we don’t know about’ idea and the way that Westerfeld has tried to make vampires factual and actually possible is very interesting and actually seems plausible.
The mysterious feel of the novel is also great, I love the scenes where we are given lots of information about the history of the Night Watch and peeps. The book is a page-turner that always makes me want to learn more about what is actually occurring.
The ending is also pretty good. It doesn’t have a sudden death that isn’t explained or explored or a terrible fairy-tale style ending. I like it. The only problem is, is that it is a leading ending. It’s the kind of ending that makes you think that the story isn’t finished, that there is more still to come, so it’s a good thing that Peeps is followed by The Last Days. I haven’t reviews these two novels together (as one series) because they are such completely different books told from the point of view of completely different people and I thought they deserved to be reviewed as stand-alone novels.
Favourite character: Lace
Least favourite character: Morgan
Favourite scene: The swimming pool scene and when they first meet the giant worm
Least favourite scene: The factual inaccuracies strewn throughout
Rating; 4/5 stars