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Peeps (Peeps Series #1)

Peeps (Peeps Series #1)

4.3 216
by Scott Westerfeld

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A year ago, Cal Thompson was a college freshman more interested in meeting girls and partying than in attending biology class. Now, after a fateful encounter with a mysterious woman named Morgan, biology has become, literally, Cal's life.

Cal was infected by a parasite that has a truly horrifying effect on its host. Cal himself is a carrier, unchanged by the


A year ago, Cal Thompson was a college freshman more interested in meeting girls and partying than in attending biology class. Now, after a fateful encounter with a mysterious woman named Morgan, biology has become, literally, Cal's life.

Cal was infected by a parasite that has a truly horrifying effect on its host. Cal himself is a carrier, unchanged by the parasite, but he's infected the girlfriends he's had since Morgan. All three have turned into the ravening ghouls Cal calls Peeps. The rest of us know them as vampires. It's Cal's job to hunt them down before they can create more of their kind. . . .

Bursting with the sharp intelligence and sly humor that are fast becoming his trademark, Scott Westerfeld's novel is an utterly original take on an archetype of horror.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As with So Yesterday, Westerfeld creates an engaging conspiracy set in New York City, filling his novel with provocative facts, this time about parasites. Right after Cal Thompson moves from Texas to New York for college, he loses his virginity and become infected with the parasite that causes vampirism. Fortunately, Cal is "partly immune," so while he is parasite-positive, or a peep, he only experiences some effects, such as night vision. The 19-year-old works for Night Watch, the city's ancient peep-hunting organization. As Cal begins to track Morgan, the woman who infected him after a drunken one-night stand, he stumbles upon a mystery that eventually makes him question the very organization for which he works. He also finds a love interest in the strong-willed journalism student now living in Morgan's old building, but because of the disease he cannot act on his feelings. While they may have trouble making sense of all the pieces, readers will enjoy the scientific reasoning behind vampirism, and will likely get sucked into the conspiracy with Cal. The book brims with great details (Cal can make himself fake I.D. cards and, like other government workers, spends a lot of his time filling in forms), and he faces off against other victims and encounters plenty of rats. Alternate chapters about parasites provide compelling (and appropriately disgusting) details about their small but powerful world. This is definitely a story to get the brain working. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.\
One pictures a high school science teacher looking out at a bored class and thinking, "Hmm . . . how can I make the theory of evolution interesting? I know. I'll write a novel about vampires!" This author, however, has a long list of SF novels behind him and found his author calling in infancy, so the potential use of this book to teach Darwinian theory is perhaps a happy coincidence. "Peeps" is short for parasite positive, the "preferred" term for modern vampires because, yes, vampirism is the result of parasitic infection, with which the world abounds (as Westerfeld happily details in quirky but factual even-numbered chapters). The super powers (strength, the ability to leap tall buildings—but no flying, come on!—the uncanny sense of smell, the desire to eat meat, the horniness, the hatred of mirror reflections) are only resulting symptoms. Nineteen-year-old Cal arrives in New York City to attend college, but is seduced by too many Bahamalama Dingdongs into sex with a black-haired stranger and becomes a carrier of the parasite, making him the perfect vampire hunter because, like Typhoid Mary, his condition is rare. It may be hard to imagine from this plot summary how the novel demonstrates the theory of evolution, but it does, and entertainingly. Even non-vampire fans will like this one. Readers know they are not in standard vampire country when Cal makes his first capture by pasting pictures of Elvis on every door and window to prevent escape. KLIATT Codes: S*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students. 2005, Penguin, Razorbill, 320p., Ages 15 to 18.
—Myrna Marler\
Children's Literature
This is an odd book. Fans of vampire novels will like it, of course, but it has an extra kick to it. "Peeps" is short for "parasite-positive," and the parasite in this case is vampirism. "Parasite" is the operative word here. You may think you know how parasites work—how they infect and kill their host species, how they get carried around by another species that will transmit them without being infected themselves—but Westerfeld tells us way more than we ever wanted to know, about more parasites than we ever thought existed. Cal Thompson, the narrator, is a carrier; he can transmit the parasite but is not a full-fledged vampire himself. He has many of the physical attributes of vampires. His senses of smell and taste and hearing are enhanced. He is also constantly horny, which means that when he walks down the street he has to look at the pavement rather than all the beautiful women. Cal is also a member of the Night Watch. This group of (questionable) police officers are trying to track down Peeps, and Cal needs to find the woman who infected him and the woman he infected. Are you confused yet? Just wait until cats get involved. Yes, both feral and domestic cats can carry the parasite. They can even be vampires. And there is Something living under the sewers, an evil Something that is just waiting for the right time so that it can take over. The Night Watch, the Peeps, and some "normals" form an alliance to defeat their ancient enemy. Very readable. Recommended for fans of the genre. 2005, Penguin Young Readers, Ages 12 up.
—Judy Silverman\
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Vampire stories are a staple of the publishing industry. They are usually romantic and sexy, steeped in a dreamy magic. Peeps is none of those-well, maybe a little sexy. Nineteen-year-old Cal, a Texas transplant, lost his virginity-and a lot more-when he first arrived in New York City. He became a parasite-positive, or "peep"-he prefers not to use the "v-word." Now he works for the Night Watch, a secret branch of city government dedicated to tracking others of his kind. Unlike the rare natural carriers like Cal, who has acquired night vision, superhuman strength, and a craving for lots of protein, most peeps are insane cannibals lurking in darkness. But now the teen has found the young woman who infected him-and learns that something worse than peeps is threatening the city, and he is on the front lines. Cal's voice is genuine-he's a little geeky, as evidenced by the intermittent discussions on parasites, and he laces a dry humor through this immensely reasonable biological vampire story. The evocation of NYC is exactly right, so that even the most fantastic elements of the plot feel believable. Much of the story is concerned with Cal's detective work and growing relationship with Lace, his "Major Revelation Incident" (he tells her his secret); toward the end, the action picks up in a race to reveal the horrors to come. This innovative and original vampire story, full of engaging characters and just enough horror without any gore, will appeal to a wide audience.-Karyn N. Silverman, Elizabeth Irwin High School, New York City Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.\
Kirkus Reviews
Both medical thriller and science fiction, this fast-paced, captivating modern vampire story is enriched with biology and history. Nineteen-year-old Cal is a hunter. He works for the Night Watch, New York City's clandestine organization to capture "peeps," "parasite positive" people infected with an ancient disease that causes vampirism. They're cannibalistic, violent and wildly strong. Cal tracks his line of contagion: an ex-girlfriend, whom he unwittingly infected, and then his progenitor, the girl who gave it to him. Yes, Cal has the parasite, but he's a carrier rather than a full-blown peep. Forced into secrecy and celibacy but possessing peep-like superhuman senses and strength, Cal simmers with adrenaline. He succeeds at his job in the dank, oppressive urban undergrounds, but he discloses secrets to an unauthorized, uninfected girl his age who becomes inextricably involved. Conspiracy issues arise; the parasite's centuries-long history holds a profound revelation. Westerfeld intersperses relevant chapters on how various real-life parasites operate in nature. Entrancing throughout-but squeamish readers beware. (afterword, bibliography) (Science fiction. YA)\

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Peeps Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Scott Westerfeld lives in New York, New York and Sydney, Australia.

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Peeps (Peeps Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 217 reviews.
troutperson_13 More than 1 year ago
Peeps. Thus far, it is the only work of Vampire Fiction I've been able to find that approaches the phenomenon from a scientific perspective. And really, that's something I'm aching for; in this last decade, where vampires have broken out like a plague and spawned hundreds of thousands of novels (starting out with that-which-shall-not-be-named which features terribly bland heroines and sparkly vampires), and each and every one of them centering around some cobbled-together cheesy romance, there hasn't been the imagination nor the interest in a more realistic view to the blood-suckers. I happen to liken this book to the Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks - giving life and realism to another part of the horror genre. Bringing it down to actual factual possibilities (while, of course, keeping it engrossed in the world of fiction) and branching a story from that starting point. There are only a few problems that I have with Peeps, and none of them are very large; the token female says 'Dude' so much you actually hope you'll get a nickel every time she says it (by the end of the book, you'd be filthy-stinkin' rich); the great big evil at the end is kind of a let down (giant worms, anybody? C'mon.); the whole done-before secret agency (for VAMPIRES. ooh, spooky.);and the main character himself was kinda boring ('what's he like?' 'well, he's from Texas.' 'anything else?' 'not a d**m thing.'). The positives, however, largely outweigh the negatives: the plot is fascinating, the vamparasitic explanations amazingly real, the pace is well-done, style beautiful, wit is just sly enough to be charming. The parasite-filler-chapters are just icing on an already very tasty cake. The way Westerfeld weaves together biology, historic illnesses, and myths dating all the way back to the Egyptians in order to bring his vampires to life is nothing short of astounding. Five out of five, definately a keeper.
willman2121 More than 1 year ago
Peeps was a very interesting book. It takes place in New York City which is the perfect setting due to the fact that rats are a major part of this book. The rats are infected with a parasite which can infect people, and New York City is full of people. Cal, the protagonist goes through a series of problems that he must solve in order to save the human race from being 100% infected. Scott Westerfeld did a great job connecting the problems of the characters to real life dilemmas.
alga More than 1 year ago
I finished this book in about 2 days and it was pretty good. At first its kind of hard to keep up but once you get the hang of it you will love it. It was really interesting and surprising because well here's 2 things about me 1- I hate Science and 2- I hate rats, but this book actually got me interested in Science (rats are another story)! I know weird right, but it is pretty interesting. This gives you a new perpective about vampires (a more believable one). I actually found this a very good book even when at first you know I was disgusted by the details about parasites and skin mites etc. But then you know I found it very interesting and could actually see this happening I mean it's not like I'm entertained by the end of the world or diseases but this made me realize how exposed to disaster our society is. I really recomend this book even when it will gross you out at first but then you understand the cycles explained here and you are actually entertained by the weird situations. I saw lots of similarities with twilight (and I'm not talking about how they're both about vampires)- the inner conflict between Cal and himself is similar to the one Edward has and also how Cal wishes he were normal so he could be good enough for Lacey is how Edward feels about himself. But even non vampire fans will like this one cause it very different from other books (more believable). Makes you think if there really could be a disease like this going around.
PrettyGurrl More than 1 year ago
Peeps is a great fiction book for any reader, especially the vampire fans. Scott Westerfeld does a great job at making a descriptive plot for the readers. He also does a good job of explaining to the readers the history of vampires and the parasite that started it all. Westerfeld has written many great books but this is my favorite. It got me interested in science, in general. Cal Thompson moves to New York for college. Within the first few weeks, he gets infected by a parasite known by many names, one of which is vampirism, if that gives you a clue. Cal is recruited to work for an unknown group of psych specialists, called the Night Watch, which hunt down vampires. In the process of finding and putting an end to Morgan, Cal's infector, he meets a girl that he really likes but can't do anything about, because if he "messes around" with a girl... You'll just have to read it to find out. Westerfeld makes it seem like vampires are real by giving a few scientific explanations for the beginning of the parasite, and he goes all out to explain it in an understandable manner. I think that the book meets the purpose of entertainment, but you would have to read it to find out for yourself. Peeps is a great book for any reader, but mostly vampire fans. Westerfeld is an amazing writer and makes all of his books good ones. I would recommend this book to anyone really. It is mostly directed at ages 12 and up, though. I hope that you will love this book as much as I did. It has an interesting story, and can really get you thinking.
Dieagraph More than 1 year ago
This book is so amazing. It kept me interested the whole way through. Scott Westerfeld has a way of writing so nothing is boring. The chapters about parasites, which I thought would leave me bored, only left me wanting to know more. I only wish he would write a book fully of parasites. Not to say the story its self is not amazing. The characters are very lovable. I love this book.
aznlily95 More than 1 year ago
This book is UNFORGETABLE!!! It makes me laugh cuz I sorta have a thing for freeky, shiver when its like 90 degrees and laugh at the irony tht I find the book funny. PLUS, Westerfeld is one of my favorite arthors and the narrative was INCREDIBLE and sarcastic and funny and real to life and he seems like someone I would LOVE to meet in real life!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I chose the book, Peeps by Scott Westerfeld, because my best friend read it for her English class, and she told me it was very interesting. I also like a few of Scott Westerfeld¿s other books, so I thought I¿d see what this one was about. Peeps is basically about a guy named Cal who was infected with a parasite that makes its host somewhat cannibal-like. Since Cal is only a carrier of the disease he doesn¿t go around killing people, but he has to capture the ones who do. I liked this book because it has humor, keeps the reader interested, and I learned some interesting facts about different parasites.
What I really noticed about Peeps was the structure of its chapters. It was almost like when you watch a movie on TV; there¿s the actual movie and every once in a while it cuts to a commercial. In the book the main story was in segments, and there were brief chapters in between in which Cal, the narrator, tells about some particular parasite. These brief little chapters were good because they tell you things about parasites that you may not have known before, and they can help your mind settle down after a dramatic event in the story. Overall this was a pretty good book and Scott Westerfeld wrote a sequel to it that I have yet to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who has any interest in science fiction or parasitology, and who would like to have something to read just for the enjoyment of reading.

-Jasmine E.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She flys in boredly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 I've read other Scott Westerfeld books and out of the ones I've read this is the worst by far. I had to force myself to read this book because he tires to tie in too much in the story. For example, he makes the character mentioned that the vampire was an ex on various occasions to the point where it was completely unnecessary. also Mr. Westerfeld attempted to make this book interesting but utterly failed by trying to add in too many factors. Such as trying to tie in rats in relation to the vampires. I love to read books but this book gave me various headaches until i made the decision to pause mid-book. If you are looking for a outstanding book about vampires try Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead,I really hope this helps and stops anyone from reading this book.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
So what to say about this one? Its a little different than some of the vampire series I read. I try to read more but there are some hit or miss. This one was good, weird but good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gorilla res ten
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every Scott Westerfeld book is amazing in its own right, but the way he writes Peeps is unique and exciting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amaz ballz such a fantstballz bookMUST READ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not one to read books but when my mom came home from the library and handed me this book (Peeps), I fell in love. I'm not big on vampires but I can't stop reading the book. I'm close to the end of the book and I don't want to finish it. I love how the author tells the story one chapter and then in the next chapter explains a parasite so that when you continue you get a good understanding to what the parasite is doing. GREAT book :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved Peeps it was able to keep me interested and constantly wanting to know what was going to happen next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Your turn
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This actualy a reslly good book. At firdt i thought it was gonna suck cuz my teacher assinged it to me but it turned out to be the kind of book i would read. ~Teensge book nerd
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 Peeps, is about a boy named Cal that goes to New York. He decides to go out to the bar for a little while and he finds a girl named Morgan. They start talking and then he goes to her house after they leave the bar. Then, Cal finds out that he was infected with the vampirism disease. As the story goes on he meets a girl named Lace and they become very close, and Cal finds out who he gets the disease from. I think the story is very exciting and believable because there are a lot of things that happen in the book that could happen in real life and you can relate to it very well. The book is very easy to get involved in if you are up for mystery and like to learn about diseases. I found that the characters in the book were very realistic, and you get involved with each new character because you want to learn more about them. You can picture the characters in your head because it gives you a good description on what they look like. The story takes place in Manhattan. The science content in the story is presented very accurately and you learn a lot about the different parasites in every other chapter of the book. The book made me want to learn more about the different parasites and what they can do to your body or animals. When you start reading the book, you can’t put it down because you want to know more about what happens to the characters. I would recommend the book to some of my friends because it was a very interesting book. I think middle schoolers/high schoolers would enjoy this book the most especially girls. I would give this book a 4 stars because I really enjoyed it and I think it is written really well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This books gave a big change to the whole storys that human beings have been saiding about ......vampires..after all .it gave it more an scince thing u know i live a long time aand see some humans come up with this anwers you could said .i really want i dont know.....more actions i was about to give up but then lace got me and knew she was going to be a geat deal that follows the next book