The Last Days (Peeps Series #2)

The Last Days (Peeps Series #2)

by Scott Westerfeld


$11.04 $16.99 Save 35% Current price is $11.04, Original price is $16.99. You Save 35%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595140623
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/07/2006
Series: Peeps Series , #2
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

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

Read an Excerpt

The Fall

I think New York was leaking.

It was past midnight and still a hundred degrees. Some kind of city sweat was oozing up through the sidewalk cracks, shimmering with oily rainbows in the streetlights. The garbage piled up outside the restaurants on Indian Row was seeping, leftover curry turning into slurry. The glistening plastic bags would smell jaw-droppingly foul the next morning, but as I walked past that night, they still gave off the perfumes of saffron and freshly thrown-out rice.

The people were sweating too—shiny-faced and frizzy-haired, like everyone had just stepped out of a shower. Eyes were glassy, and cell phones dangled limply on wrist straps, softly glowing, spitting occasional fragments of bubblegum songs.

I was on my way home from practicing with Zahler. It was way too hot to write anything new, so we’d riffed, plowing through the same four chords a thousand times. After an hour the riff had faded from my ears, like it does when you say the same word over and over till it turns meaningless. Finally, all I could hear was the squeak of Zahler’s sweaty fingers on his strings and his amp hissing like a steam-pipe, another music squeezing up through ours.

We pretended we were a band warming up onstage, slowly revving the crowd into a frenzy before the lead singer jumps into the spotlights: the World’s Longest Intro. But we didn’t have a lead singer, so the riff just petered out into rivulets of sweat.

I sometimes feel it right before something big happens—when I’m about to break a guitar string, or get caught sneaking in, or when my parents are this close to having a monster fight.

So just before the TV fell, I looked up.

The woman was twenty-something, with fire-engine red hair and raccoon eyes, black makeup streaming down her cheeks. She pushed a television through her third-floor window, an old boxy one, its power cord flailing as it tumbled toward the sidewalk. The TV clipped a fire escape, the deep ringing sound swallowed seconds later by the crash on the pavement twenty feet ahead of me.

A spray of shattered glass skittered around my feet, glittering and sharp, tinkling like colliding chandeliers as shards rolled and skidded to a halt. Fragments of streetlight and sky reflected up from them, as if the television had split into a thousand tiny screens, all still working. My own eye stared back at me from a Manhattan-shaped sliver. Wide and awestruck, it blinked.

The next thing I did was look straight up. You know, in case everyone was throwing out TVs that night, and I should roll under a parked car. But it was just her—she was letting out long, wordless screams now and throwing out more stuff:

Pillows with tasseled edges. Dolls and desk lamps. Books fluttering like crash-landing birds. A jar full of pens and pencils. Two cheap wooden chairs, smashed first against the window frame so they’d fit through. A computer keyboard that sent up a splash of keys and tiny springs. Silverware glittering as it tumbled, ringing on the pavement like a triangle when dinner’s ready . . . a whole apartment squeezed out one window. Somebody’s life laid bare.

And all the while she was shrieking like a beast above us.

I looked around at the gathering crowd, most of them getting out late from Indian Row, addled by curry. The rapt expressions on their upturned faces made me jealous. The whole time Zahler and I had jammed, I’d been imagining an audience like this one: flabbergasted and electrified, yanked out of the everyday by their ears and eyeballs. And now this crazy woman, with her rock-star hair and makeup, had them mesmerized. Why bother with riffs and solos and lyrics when all the crowd wanted was an avalanche of screams and smashed Ikea furniture?

But once the shock wore off, their rapture faded into something uglier. Soon enough, people were laughing and pointing, a gang of boys shouting, “Jump, jump, jump!” in rhythm. A camera flash popped, catching a satanic flicker in the woman’s eyes. A couple of faces glowed with blue cell-phone light—calling the police, or nearby friends to come and join in? I wondered.

One of the spectators slipped into the impact zone, running half-crouched to snatch a black dress from under a rain of computer cables and extension cords. She backed away, holding it up to her body as if she’d pulled it off a rack. Another ducked in to snag an armload of magazines.

“Hey!” I yelled. I was about to point out that this wasn’t exactly Dumpster diving—the woman might want her stuff back after this psychotic meltdown was over—but then the CDs started flying. Glittering projectiles spattered on the street like plastic hail, each one impelled from the window by a shriek.

The looters retreated—the woman was aiming now, and the CDs were deadly. I mean, compact discs don’t hurt much, but these were still in their cases, giving them extra weight and corners.

Then I saw it: the neck of an electric guitar emerging from the window, then the whole instrument—a mid-seventies Fender Stratocaster with gold pickups and whammy bar, a creamy yellow body with a white pick-guard.

I took a step forward, holding one hand up. “Wait!”

The madwoman glared down at me, mascara smeared across her face like black blood, clutching the Stratocaster to her chest. Her hands found the strings, as if she was about to play, and then she let out one last terrible howl.

“No!” I shouted.

She let the guitar drop.

It spun in the air, delicate tuning hardware glittering in the streetlights. I was already running, tripping on smashed plastic and tangled clothes, thinking that there were four hundred bones in my two hands, wondering how many of them that lacquered hardwood would break after a thirty-foot fall.

But I couldn’t just let it smash. . . .

Then the miracle: the guitar snapped to a halt in midair. Its strap was caught on a corner of the fire escape, where it hung, spinning perilously.

I skidded to a halt, looking straight up.

“Over here!” someone shouted.

I glanced down for a split second: a girl my age, with short black hair and red-framed glasses, yanking something big and flat from under the clutter, sending silverware scattering in all directions.

“Watch out,” I said, pointing up toward where the Strat was untangling itself. “It’s about to fall.”

“I know! Take the other side!”

I glanced back down at her, frowning. The girl was holding two corners of a blanket she’d rescued from the pile. She unfurled its plaid expanse toward me with a flick, as if we were making a bed. I grabbed for the other corners, finally understanding. We stepped back from each other, pulling the blanket taut, looking up again. Above us, the guitar spun faster and faster, like a kid unwinding on a swing set.

“Be careful,” I said. “That’s a nineteen seventy-three . . . Um, what I mean is, it’s really valuable.”

“With gold pickups?” she snorted. “Nineteen seventy-five, maybe.”

I looked down at her.

“Incoming!” she yelled.

The guitar slipped free, still spinning, hardware glittering, strap flailing. It landed heavy as a dead body between us, almost jerking the blanket from my fists. Its momentum pulled us both forward a few skidding steps, suddenly face to face.

But there was no awful thud; the Stratocaster hadn’t struck pavement.

“We saved it!” Her brown eyes were glowing.

I looked down at the guitar, safely swaddled in plaid. “Whoa. We did.”Then the fire escape rang out again. Both of us flinched as we looked up. But it wasn’t more stuff falling—it was a pair of human figures, six stories above, descending toward the crazy woman’s window. They weren’t climbing down the metal stairs, though—they were practically flying, swinging from handhold to handhold, graceful as headlight shadows slipping across a ceiling.

I watched them, awestruck, until the girl next to me shouted two terrifying words:

“Toaster oven!”

It was tumbling out the window directly over our heads, glass door hanging open, scattering crumbs. . . .

We bundled the Stratocaster into its blanket and ran.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Last Days (Peeps Series #2) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 109 reviews.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Most everyone calls The Last Days a sequel to Westerfeld's novel Peeps. I suppose that, loosely, this is true. For my part, I think of this novel as more of a companion to Peeps because the main characters are completely different (don't worry though, characters from Peeps do turn up), the structure of then novel is different, and because the only way to get the most out of either book is to read the two of them together, back-to-back. So, this is a sequel in the same way that The Two Towers was (trick statement! Tolkien meant the Lord of the Rings trilogy to be one book but it was too long and written before the days of ginormous novels). Suffice it to say, The Last Days is a very different book from its predecessor despite continuing the same story. Most of these differences are structural. Westerfeld again employs first person narration, but this time he has five narrators. Each chapter is labeled with a character's name and told from his or her point of view. Writing a novel in this way is incredibly difficult because you have to take into account continuity while also making sure you don't get redundant and trying to make each character sound unique. Westerfeld does all of that. Perfectly. In this novel, Westerfeld's narrators are in the interesting position that they know less than the readers (this is why reading Peeps first is so important). The whole vampire thing is an unknown for everyone. As is the issue of a pending apocalypse. But that doesn't tell you much about the story. It all starts with a girl who wants to make a band. Pearl sees the weird things going on in the city. The sanitation crisis. The increasing number of stray cats. Then there are the rats that are slowly taking over the subway system. And Brooklyn. Then there's Pearl's friend, Minerva, who's been acting pretty weird herself. Pearl decides that the best way to help her friend, and maybe get through the craziness, is to start a band. Soon Pearl finds the perfect band members. And they're a great band. But strange things happen when Minerva starts to sing. Making everyone wonder if the band's music is the one thing that can stop the apocalypse. Or start it. There are very few male writers who can convincingly narrate from a female point of view. Scott Westerfeld is one of the few. Instead of making the novel seem choppy, or the characters under-developed, Westerfeld's split narration makes every character much more dimensional. The story is about vampires, of course. And music. But it's also about friendship and relationships. Westerfeld artfully describes the vicious cycle some friendships have when one friend is always taking whatever the other has to give. He also shows how, sometimes, you have to keep those friends even when it's the last thing you want to do. Like Peeps, parts of this book are a little gross. Raw meat does turn up on several plates. Some narrators are more "unique" than others. But taken as a whole it all kind of works to make a really fun, really exciting book. At its basic level this is a story about a band trying to make it big when everything else is falling apart. Along the path to fame, they just might save the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think if you read peeps and liked it you should read this. It ties up the story nicely in the end. I thought it was a great book, but my one complaint was that i expected more because i loved peeps so much. Dont get me wrong this book is a total page turner and is suspenseful read, but i was so impressed with peeps and it didnt quite live up to my extremely high standard for scott westerfeld. All of his books that ive read have been so good so i wanted more from th last days. I do think he had some very interesting twists and was very creative (like how all of the chapters are named after bands). Please though if you liked peeps this is a very good choice for you.
MangaFlower More than 1 year ago
When I picked up this book and read the back it sounded like the lamest story ever. Then I read a couple chapters and got sucked into the story right away. I've never read Peeps but The Last Days was amazing! Moz and Pearl are thrown together in a crazy event outside a music lover's apartment and, seeing the talent in eachother, decide to make a band. There's only one thought on their minds at first: get famous, but after bringing psycho, biting Minerva into the band as the lead singer fate takes a supernatural turn. Their band may be the only thing that can bring a happier ending to the end of the world. If you like music and awesome sci-fi, then you've got to read this book!
Desire- More than 1 year ago
The book I am about to review is called The Last Days by Scott Westerfield. I thought this book was very good and entertaining. My favorite character in this book was Moz. Moz is a boy who lives in New York and is in a band with four other people. Minerva, Pearl and Zahler are their names. Moz is my favorite character because he seems like an average teenager, he's very laid back. He was always trying to find people that would be good for his band when he and Zahler first started out. I liked him even more when Minerva passes a mysterious disease that is going around, to Moz. This turns Moz into a vampire. He is suddenly thirsty and hungry all the time. And not just for regular food. He becomes more rebellious and his personality gets a little darker. That's what I really liked about him. I can relate to many of the characters in this book, but the one in particular is Zahler. He is always trying to find ways to get money. I like making a little cash here and there too. I can also relate to him because he always feels like the odd one out. Many times I feel like this too. Zahler never gets in trouble either. My favorite part in the book was when almost everybody in the band goes to the record company. They all sit down and eventually get signed onto that label. The producer then gives them a mini concert to go to and perform at. One problem, the band doesn't have a name. So the producer leaves them alone to think about names. Still after 45 minutes they haven't picked a name. This was my favorite part because it shows just how much they procrastinate. I would recommend this book to anyone. I think anyone could easily enjoy this book a lot. This book would be great for people who just need something to read. It would even be good for people who like to read mystery stories, anything about music and giant worms. This book is great. I thought this book was very enjoyable and funny. In the future I will probably read it again. It was so good. My final opinion is that you should really get this book and read it because I guarantee you will like it as much as me!
terriko on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I enjoyed this, but I didn't love this the way I loved Peeps. It was interesting to see another point of view in that world, but I guess the parasitology and biology analysis of Peeps is what really drew me in. I was hoping that this would do something similar with the music, but it was more of a story in the same universe and less of a idea-building experience on its own. Don't get me wrong -- it's still good -- I just was hoping for even more!
ewyatt on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I know this book is a sequel, but I picked this title up at the book fair without reading the first. A rock band forms and harnesses the sound to summon underground beasts while dealing with the growing chaos and deteriorating in the world around them. An infection is spreading turning people into Peeps, vampire like creatures. The five different members of the band alternate narration duties within the chapters of the book. The characters were interesting and despite being a sequel, I was pretty much able to understand the book on its own. Although now I am curious about what happened in book one.
kpickett on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Great sequal to Peeps that stands completely alone! Just a few minor crossover characters. The story of a band that gets together and with their music they tame the vampiric plague sweeping America.
MeriJenBen on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Told from alternating viewpoints, a musical prodigy, a genius guitarist, a "special needs" drummer and a peep form a band amidst a backdrop of urban decay and apocalyptic signs. There music is raw and real -- and more powerful than they could possibly imagine. The sequel to Peeps.Moz (short for Mosquito) is walking home one night to see a crazed woman drop a vintage Stratocaster out of her bedroom window. This random event leads to 5 very different young people coming together to form a band. Pearl, a Julliard student, is the backbone of the band, the one who shapes the sound, and makes the raw power of Moz and his friend Zahler more than just random noise. She also brings in Minerva, a beautiful lead singer, whose recent illness has given her a taste for raw meat and an aversion to light and mirrors. They are joined by Alana Ray, a savant street drummer, who is able to see visions of the horrors the music might cause. As rats take control of the streets, and mysterious black water foams around the city, it becomes clear that the nameless band has an important role to play in the coming apocalypse.Readers expecting a straight sequel to Peeps might be surprised by what they find here. While clearly set in the same universe, this book diverges wildly from the scientific romance formula that Peeps took. However, interesting characters and the musical hook should keep kids interested. Those who have read Peeps prior to this are in the interesting position of knowing more than the characters in the book, which can drag, but Westerfeld keeps the pace quick and the narrative tight. A personal quibble is that we don't get to find out more about Zahler or Alana Ray, while much time is spent on Minerva, who I didn't find all that interesting. All in all a nice, tight teen read with lots of appeal.
arsmith on LibraryThing 7 months ago
not nearly as good as the first. more teenagery. more about a band and less about vamps.
TigerLMS on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Moz and Zahler have been playing guitar together for six years. One crazy, stifling night in New York City, a woman throws her stratocaster guitar-- and all her other posessions-- out her apartment window. Moz grabs for the guitar at the same time as Pearl, a gorgeous and-- he soon finds out-- incredibly musically talented teenager. Moz, Zahler and Pearl form a new band while the rest of the world seems to be falling apart around them. The subways seem to be alive, there are beasties under the city, and the rats and other spirits have taken over dark alleys. Told in the first person of each of the new band members on rotating chapters, this is a great stand-alone sequel to Peeps. Fast-paced, intense, and dark. A good companion to other high-school vampire type stories, such as Twilight.
warrior13mm on LibraryThing 7 months ago
The Last Days is a twist on all vampire stories. It was a good sequel to Peeps, but not as good. The characters were all band memeber who dream of becomg rock stars together. But their dreams are side tracked as they must battle something evil lurking underground.I like this book and recommend it to all music lovers and those who have read Peeps.
andreablythe on LibraryThing 7 months ago
The Last Days starts off just about the point where Peeps ended, though from the point of view of a new selection of characters. (You could read these books out of order, and it would still be fairly logical.) The Last Days days is told from the viewpoint of five characters, each a member of a band that is pulled together as New York seems to be falling apart. Trash is building up on the curbs, rats are running in herds, cats are behaving strangely, and people are going crazy (trashy their apartments, fighting family and friends, and other antisocial behavior like eating people). Not to mention that something else, something far more dangerous, is rumbling underground, spewing black water, and making the subways unsafe to travel in. Each character has a very clear unique voice. You would probably know who was talking even if the character name wasn't placed at the front of each chapter. Pearl is my favorite of the characters, even if she was a bit bossy. I don't want to reveal anything, but I hoped for a slightly different storyline for her. Zhaler is a bit whinny, but ultimately lovable, and Alana Ray the drummer is rather awesome in many ways. Minerva, the singer, is a creepy enigma, who you don't really know where you stand with -- she could be the enemy. And then there's Moz, the guitarist, who I'm not totally fond of, but accept as part of the group. I didn't like The Last Days quite as much as I liked Peeps (too many character viewpoints to jump through maybe), but it's nevertheless enjoyable, and a good followup. One of the things I was quite amused to learn, was that each of the chapters is titled after a band name (I love things like that), which is very appropriate considering how much the book focuses on the music and its effect on people and the world. You gotta love a group of people who are going to meet the end of the world with Rock & Roll.
KilgoreTrout on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Weak ending. Didn't like that the characters had changed from Peeps, or the multiple perspectives. Some inconsistencies in how the peeps change....but a quick and satisfying read overall.
bluesalamanders on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Not quite as good as Peeps, but a fun story with striking characters.
tasha on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This was one of those books that made me dance with joy when I got it in on the library reserve shelf. Luckily I work with people who understand book lust, so they just humor me. Last Days is a sequel to Peeps, the amazing vampire novel that combined vampirism with communicable diseases. This novel takes us further into the epidemic occuring in New York City where all sorts of people are becoming peeps and the society is beginning to crumble due to the epidemic. The situation is seen through the eyes of five teens, who form a band together in the middle of the chaos, looking to make themselves famous before the end of the world. Westerfeld's writing as always is fast-paced, enjoyable, and consuming. His characters are individuals who make mistakes, find themselves caught in world-changing situations, but remain true to themselves. Recommend this to those kids who already love Westerfeld. For those who don't, make sure you start them on Peeps. Any kids who enjoy horror, apocalyptic fiction, or band fiction will love this. Don't you just adore books that sell themselves and get teens asking for more by the same author? And even better, Westerfeld has several series to get teens really hooked.
ToxicMasquerade on LibraryThing 7 months ago
The Last Days is the sequel to Peeps. Is it as good as Peeps? Definitely. Scott Westerfeld is a great writer. He puts a little of everything into his books, without having too much of one thing. Perfect balance. The Last Days isn't just based around one character, but a band of five. Each chapter is a one from the view of one of the five band members. I loved all of them in a different way. Looked forward to reading Uglies by him next.
flemmily on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This one was a slow starter; it took me a little while to get into it. The Last Days is written from the perspective of four different people, but ends up flowing together pretty seamlessly. I did miss the descriptions of parasites that made Peeps so interesting, I wish he had done the same thing with the plague (instead of the fictionalized short pieces). Another good book from Westerfeld.
Jenson_AKA_DL on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Something strange is happening in New York City and all over the world. Garbage is piling up, dogs are running away from cats (and rats) and people are being bitten on the subway by other people. Despite all this a band is born, hoping to break into the big time before civilization breaks down and there is no one left to appreciate them.For a sequel I found The Last Days to be as far apart from it's predecessor novel, Peeps, as it could be. That being said, I really enjoyed the story. That it's told from so many different perspectives would usually be confusing, but it seemed to work without too many misunderstandings (except at the very beginning when I thought Moz was a girl). This book was definately a stand alone and unique tale about the end of civilization as we know it, and the hopeful rebuilding in the aftermath.
paltner on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Aimed at the YA crowd but can be enjoyed by everyone.Strange things are happening in New York City. Stranger than usual, that is. In fact it is down right scary in a paranormal kind of way. Black liquid spurts out of fire hydrants; rats, more numerous than ever, are roving the streets; and people suddenly go crazy, like the woman who throws all of her belongings out her sixth floor apartment window all the while screaming about who knows what. One about-to-be-discarded object catches the attention of two teen onlookers. The crazy lady waves a mid-seventies Fender Stratocaster with gold pickups and whammy bar. Pearl and Moz, strangers until this moment, work together to catch this valuable guitar before it crashes to the pavement. A quick glance above and both glimpse human figures moving swiftly towards the crazy woman's window. Neither comments aloud on this phenomenum. Instead they excitedly talk about their passion for music and the possibility of forming a band.Pearl is a super smart multitalented gal who thinks Moz is really cute. She and Moz and his friend Zahler meet for practice sessions, and quickly realize they need a drummer and a singer to make their band complete. Street wise Alana Ray agrees to play percussion. She has the ability to see music with color and movement and is especially sensitive to these visions when Pearl brings in her friend Minerva to sing. A few months earlier Minerva suffered a mysterious breakdown. She now stays most of the time in her room, fights to contain the beast she feels inside her, and writes pages full of weird symbols that only she understands. At the first rehersal, when all five gather to play, Minerva singing blends with the music and evokes wonder and fear.As the story progresses the musical talent of these teens and the vampire powers of Minerva become paramount in fighting monsters that live far below ground and only surface every seven hundred years. The Last Days is a sequel to Peeps (pub, year) where the story of the vampires aka Peeps begins. Westerfeld's powers of description brings characters to life and immerse the reader into the world his vivid imagination has created.Sequel to Peeps. Razorbill, 2005
Joybee on LibraryThing 7 months ago
A band is formed when Pearl and Moz team up to rescue a stratocaster some crazy woman throws from an apartment window. Lots of people in the city are going crazy, parts of town are becoming waste lands because city workers no longer entering them. Meanwhile, Moz and Pearl want to become famous, they form a band that has 'the new sound' and strange things begin to happen when they play their music. A fun quick read, I like how Vampireism is a parasite that is passed through sexual contact and it is also tied into past plagues like the black plague. Also each chapter name is the name of a band. Even though this second installment of the series is not about Cal and Lace from the first book, they do make an appearance and this book takes on where the last book left off.
mermaidgirl on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I enjoyed Last days if I didn't think about it as a sequel to Peeps. I liked the dynamics of the band members..Pearl, Moz, Zahler, Minerva, and Alana Ray. I did like the alternating viewpoint chapters. The story was interesting, I just wanted to hear more about Night Watch from Cal and Lacey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Recalled this one being a lot better than the first one. Something about a band I think. Been a while since I read them. Like the writing style for these books and well from the books I read so far by the author. Really good sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was amazing !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago