Saturday, July 25, 2009

Scott Westerfeld books

For books that are often enjoyable, sometimes insightful, you can rarely go wrong with Scott Westerfeld. Here, for your reading enjoyment are two of my favorites…

Peeps: A Novel by Scott Westerfeld

If you pay any attention whatsoever to teen literature, you’ll have noticed that vampire books are big right now. Sadly, most of them I find very boring and unoriginal. That’s why I was very pleasantly surprised when I found this one. Instead of the usual tormented vampire love story, this is a fascinating novel that uses the concept that there is absolutely nothing occult about vampires. It’s quite simply a disease, and a dangerous, fast spreading one at that. The main protagonist, a self proclaimed nerd named Cal Thompson, is infected with the disease himself, but is lucky enough to be a carrier only, someone who suffers none of the more common symptoms. Problem is, as a carrier he can still transmit the disease to others. Driven partially by guilt, he becomes a vampire hunter of sorts, tracking down those infected and bringing them in for medical treatment. And that’s where we meet him, attempting to capture one of his former girlfriends, a dangerous job considering one of the symptoms of vampirism is cannibalism. There is a feeling of constant suspense throughout the novel, as Cal tracks down vampires (or “Peeps” as they are more commonly known among the Night Watch, whom Cal works for), and more importantly tracks down knowledge, because there just may have been something different about the woman who infected Cal, and dark things are stirring in the depths of the city… One thing I absolutely loved about this book was that between every chapter Cal gives us a mini lecture on various types of real life parasites (something that ties in very nicely with the concept that vampires are simply infected with a nasty parasite), and although absolutely disgusting, it’s also quite fascinating… Considering the subject matter, this book is pretty gory at times. Also of note, there’s some bad language, sex, etc. so readers be warned.

So Yesterday: A Novel by Scott Westerfeld

In this very enjoyable novel, part action story, part mystery, and part satirical critique of current consumerist culture, this story is all about just what it means to be “cool”. Hunter is a seventeen year old trendsetter who actually gets paid to find cool innovations for the biggest names in clothes and fashion. And as an official trendsetter, his job is to observe the “innovators” (think the legendary guy who first wore his hat backwards), and to sport the latest cool trends, but not to get involved. But then he meets Jen, a very curious innovator who starts to change the way he thinks, and when Hunter’s boss goes missing, they most definitely get involved... Although at first Hunter sees it as fighting against the Jammers, those who want to bring down crass commercialism as we know it, as time goes by he questions more and more just who’s side he’s on… Gently funny, with joking avoidance of name brand dropping at every corner, and lots of cool shoes, this novel is very good light entertainment, with a premise that makes you stop, and think how truly ridiculous consumerism can be!

1 comment:

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.