The Last Days
by Scott Westerfeld
Review by Harriet Klausner
Razorbill Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 159514062X
Date: 07 September, 2006 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Maz tells Pearl that he plays guitar with his friend Zahler; Peal gets the two boys to join her at her home. She decides they need a singer so she calls on her friend Miranda, who like so many people, is sensitive to sunlight has enlarged canine teeth and eats raw meat. Her singing in a language nobody understands makes the band even more special and when they add the homeless woman Alanna who uses paint cans for drums, the group thinks they have a very good song. Minerva infects Maz in the subway tunnels where they see a creature being taken out by the angels. After they sign with a record company, they give a performance and a creature crashes through the floor. The angels kill it and take the shocked and, frightened band members away to prepare them for their role in the upcoming war.
The Last Days contains a different take on the vampire legend, which hooks readers from the moment that we realize a spin has occurred. Adding to the overall effect is that though the audience is well aware of the fresh radically different slant on the vampire mythos, Scott Westerfield slowly reveals the why and what. Thus the impact on fans is to keep reading to learn more of what is going on in this world in which angels, vampires, and other supernatural creatures walk and fly.
The characters especially the Fab Five have their own personalities with their own back story that is kept short but is cleverly interwoven into the prime plot. As individuals these five musicians feel overwhelmed by all they see particularly when the angels snatch them, but banded together whether to play music or to fight, albeit reluctantly, as warriors they are becoming a force to be reckoned with as they prepare to battle against mankind's ancient enemy.
The author skillfully imbues a sense of foreboding into the storyline and sprinkles clues throughout the plot as to what is happening. Readers have some ideas that something apocalyptic is about to occur but the reason for the vampire metamorphosis will shock the audience. In his sequel to PEEPS, Mr. Westerfeld has written a very hip, new age entertaining horror story that will really creep the reader out. This is a fast paced action oriented tale that adults will enjoy even though the prime target audience is obviously teens. Readers will thoroughly empathize with the characters who slowly realize they are called to be heroes, a position they never wanted.