Parasite Positive – Scott Westerfeld
(Or Peeps, depending on your country of origin)
Or rather, don’t have sex, you will catch a disease and turn into a vampire. Another thing I learned from this book: it’s very likely that the cats are planning world domination.
So, turns out, this book is super rare in the UK. I didn’t know this until recently. I decided when I was half way through reading Uglies that Scott Westerfeld was awesome and I wanted to read ALL THE THINGS. Then I saw that he had a vampire series and I’m kind of a *puts on sunglasses* a sucker for vampires,(seriously, if I could do this whole review in memes I would) so I had a look around for this and got quite excited to find it fairly cheaply on the internet. After having it sat on my shelf for ages I thought I’d read it and discovered that it’s insanely rare to find a copy in the UK and that it has so many different names depending on what country it was published in that I feel quite honoured to have found this at all.
Anyway, what’s it all about?
Last year as college freshman, narrator Cal was infected by exotic goth Morgan with a parasite that caused following girlfriends to become vampire-like ghouls he calls parasite-positives “Peeps”. A carrier without symptoms, he hunts his progeny for the centuries old bureaucratic Night Watch. But victims are showing more sanity, pretty human Lacey is pushing his buttons, and her apartment building basement houses fierce hordes of ravening rats, red-eyed cats, and monstrous worms that threaten all. Morgan has the secret to a centuries-old conspiracy and upcoming battle to save the human race.
I kinda loved this. It was a refreshing take on vampire lore which I liked A LOT. The thing is, vampires have always been linked to sex and lust, which was a thing that irritated me about Twilight because it painted vampires to be something a little different. I liked the idea that Westerfeld had about making vampirism an STI and I really want to get my hands on the rest of the sequel now. My version had a little preview of the second book in the back and now I’m itching to track it down!
Every even chapter is a little lesson on actual parasites which inhabit the world, so that was a little gross and I know some reviewers have moaned that it gets in the way of the story, I liked it though, I thought it gave an insight into Cal’s personality and how seriously he takes his job as a hunter.
Also, I have always had an inkling that cats were trying to take over the world so when Cal starts getting suspicious of the cats I was a bit like:
My own cats are a little bit too much like Pinky and the Brain for that to happen, but if the world is to be dominated by some sort of four legged creature, the cats are the ones that will do it. I think I would prefer a world run by cats than one run by like… Dogs. Though if I had to chose an animal to rule over humanity, it should be the llamas.
Getting back to the point though, this book was awesome, the main female protagonist was smart, funny, independent and kicked ass which I loved, she saved the main male protagonist several times and called him out when he was being an asshat. I think I’ve mentioned before how much of a feminist I am so I like it when things like that happen. Also, how could you not love a book that genuinely contains the line: “I lost my virginity to the apocolypse?!”
Basically, if you find a copy of Parasite Positive, Peeps, or whatever other bizarre name it’s found under, give it a go. Because it’s awesome. It also gets the Nick Fury Seal of approval who we haven’t seen in a while!