Title: The Last Days
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Genre: YA paranormal fiction
Publisher: Razor Bill
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: Ever hear this charming little rhyme?
After years of playing guitar together, Moz and Zahler have suddenly found themselves part of a band. The keyboardist, Pearl, is a musical genius. The drummer, semi-autistic Alana Ray, plays paint buckets instead of drums and has hallucinations that sometimes foretell the future. And Minerva, the lead singer, is a peep – a parasite positive, aka, a vampire. When the group plays, the ground rumbles – literally. Are they going to provide musical accompaniment to the end of the world – or be the cause of it?
I really enjoyed Westerfeld’s Peeps when I read it earlier this year, and, at the time, I didn’t realize there was a sequel. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I loved it so much – a YA novel that stands by itself! Only, it doesn’t – The Last Days is a loosely-related sequel set in the time shortly after Peeps ends. The main characters are different, though some familiar people make appearances toward the end.
Music is a main character in The Last Days. The story is told in alternating viewpoints by all the members of the band, and so it has a less cohesive feel to it than Peeps, which benefited from a wonderfully witty and sarcastic first-person narrator.
I had a harder time getting sucked into this one, and I think part of the reason is that there isn’t a strong main character. Also, the type of music the band plays is far away from the type I enjoy. I doubt that would be a problem for a reader in the YA age range it is intended for. While I didn’t love this book, I did enjoy reading the “end” of the story that Westefeld began in Peeps. If you enjoyed the first one, you should read this one, too, if only to discover how things turn out.