I read this ~1995-1997, and I think it was new. For whatever reason, my school library had a copy. The story was about the few survivors of post-apocalyptia. Alien slug-like creatures had managed to take over and kill almost everyone. The slugs (silver colored, as I recall) could control their victims, but were sensitive to water and possibly fire. Because of their water sensitivity, most people tended to dwell in the sewers.
We find out that the slugs have been biding their time to invade the sewers and rid the world of the last of humanity. We also learn that all survivors have some form of mental psychosis which prevents the slugs from being able to control them effectively.
I can recall a few scenes:
- In the beginning, the protagonist is going scrounging through a building and has to defend himself against a wave of the creatures.
- Among other things, he finds a picture in a frame. He heads to the sewers and trades it for ammo and food, because the picture frame has a thin edge of gold. He and the dealer share a wink at people who still think gold is worth something, which therefore means that they can both profit from the exchange.
- I think the narrator ends up falling in love with a woman who turns out to be under control.
- The narrator himself ends up being taken control of by one of the aliens who explains that they have found a way to control people who have psychoses. The narrator responds with something along the lines of "You want crazy? I'LL SHOW YOU CRAZY! HNNNNGGGGHHH" and that actually works.
- The last of the humans gather to fight against the aliens who have managed to combine masses into one giant creature, rapidly growing armor to protect itself from fire and water. Because flesh wasn't enough to hold the weight, I think they use the Statue of Liberty as a frame to build the flesh around or something. Honestly, at the time it sounded like something from Akira.
- The good guys win.
And no, this is not Puppet Masters. I remember thinking it was kind of fun shlock at the time. The cover, I can't quite remember. I think it depicted the scene from point 1 above, done all in dark blues/purples/reds.