(also released as Parasite Positive
) is a novel by Scott Westerfeld
, which concerns Cal Thompson, a carrier for a parasite which turns people into "peeps" - monstrous anti-versions of themselves, repelled by anything they once held dear. Recruited by the Night Watch, he's on a mission to capture the girls he has infected. However, it turns out there is more going on than he suspected; with things under the earth starting to stir...The book had a companion book, The Last Days
, published in 2007.
This novel provides examples of:
- Bacon Addiction: Lace quits being a vegetarian because bacon smells good.
- Beneficial Disease: While being a full blown peep sucks, carriers of the disease get the perks of super strength and agility, night vision, and extended lifespans without becoming cannibals. That's not to say there aren't significant downsides to being a carrier.
- Big Eater: Cal, and any other peeps or peep hunters, to feed the parasite.
- Celibate Hero: Cal, not that he wants to be.
- Fat Cat: Corny.
- "Friends" Rent Control: Lacey's apartment, and all the ones in her building, have weirdly low rent. She tags along in part to understand why, and how she can keep it that way.
- Gay Bar Reveal: Dick's Bar, the one and only home of the Bahamalama-Dingdong. With such fruity drinks and even a very telling name, this isn't much of a surprise. It's also worth noting that they served Cal booze when he was at least two or three years underage.
- Innate Night Vision: Part of being a Peep. Also how Lace confirms that Cal is a carrier
- Our Vampires Are Different: Peeps are not vampires. But since most people are fairly fond of light, they do tend to dislike it, and favor the night.
- Stages of Monster Grief: Before the story starts, Cal was in denial about his status as a carrier. Namely, he thought the Atkins diet was giving him night vision and the fact that every girl he kissed went insane was a coincidence.
- Swarm of Rats: The rat carriers of the parasite in the basement of Lace's building.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Cal and Lace.
- Was It All a Lie?: Lace feels hurt that Cal didn't mention that he is a carrier for a disease which prevents him from being romantically involved with anyone, but still spent most of the novel flirting with her.