So first let me say that I hate this cover. If I hadn't read Peeps and loved it, I would NEVER pick up this book based on the cover. And yes, I know they say we're not supposed to do that, but you do it all the time and so do I.
So. . . Peeps captured my attention with the parasite angle. The Last Days is set in the same world, occurring after Peeps and telling the story of different characters. Cal and Lace from the previous book do make an appearance, but it was small. The Last Days follows five separate narrators who are forming a band as civilization is ending. Moz - lead guitarist; Zahler - 2nd guitar; Pearl - keyboards; Alana Ray - drummer; Minerva - vocals. Each chapter is told from a new point of view and each voice is distinct and individual. Music is the hook here, and it works well. Westerfeld weaves music into each scene just as the characters do when they play, describing it in a visceral, fascinating way.
I love Westerfeld's concepts, and his Armageddon concept doesn't disappoint. I would recommend reading Peeps first, but a warning: this book is not for the squeamish! While The Last Days doesn't get into parasite description as much as Peeps, The Black Death is discussed at length. I found The Last Days entertaining and intelligent.