Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Specials By Scott Westerfeld (Spoilers Included)

Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Pages: 372
Genre: Fiction (Young Adult)
Series: Yes (Uglies Trilogy Book 3 of 4)
Publication Date: 2006

Synopsis (From Inside of Book):
"Special Circumstances": The words have sent chills down Tally's spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were sinister rumor - frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breath-takingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their lives without meeting a Special. But Tally's never been ordinary.

And now she's been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.

Still, it's easy to tune that out - until Tally's offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she's programmed to complete. Either way, Tally's world will never be the same.

This is the last book in Tally's story and I am a little disappointed. Fist the good, by book 3 the slang is no longer annoying. The bad, Tally character is a lot weaker in this book. I can understand the reason behind her character flaw, but I expected her to deal with it better. Kind of like she did in the first two books, when she progressed. What connections I formed with her in "Pretties" were wiped out in this book. I did not care for her in this book (just like in Uglies), she was too much of a follower.

I also had a problem with how the ending was wrapper up too nicely. There is an art to wrapping up a story and Westerfeld did not do it in this story. I hate when a another wraps up all characters lives in the last chapter. I would rather be left guessing the what happens then to have a wrap up were an author basically states: so and so did that, and she does this. That is the formula that Westerfeld uses.

Even though I have one more book left in the series (Extras, which is sort of an epilogue with a new main character). I think this series as a whole would have been better if the author had done these things:
  1. Extended the time period. Yes, revolutions can happen fast but it takes longer than a year to fully contemplate there is a problem and then overthrow the system. Especially if you are 16. Westerfeld packed a lot for just one year. And it takes away from the believability of the story (and yes I know it is science fiction, but it could have been executed better).
  2. This series would have been better is the target audience had been adults. The young adult genre can be restricting. It has to be hard to try to convey emotions and concepts that are mature but keep them in a clean wholesome young adult reader format. It seemed that the Uglies "Trilogy" as a whole suffered from this restriction. The relationship that Tally formed with those around her would have been more believable if the reader did have to remind themselves that they were dealing with a 16 year old girl. Not a 20 something year old woman.
Pros: Not as slang ridden
Cons: Plot, Characters, Ending

Overall Recommendation:

I would only recommend this if you have read the other two books and have a desire to at least see how Tally Youngblood's story ends. It is a fairly quick read (like the other two), so it will not feel like a complete waste of time.


Library Challenge (10 out of 25)
Series Challenge (6 out of 16)

Other Reviews:
Becky's Book Review

If you have a review of this book or any other book reviewed on my site. Post a link to that review in the comment section so, I can link back to you.


  1. I just skimmed this post because I'm really, really planning on reading these soon. I'll come back and read your reviews carefully when I've gotten to the books.

  2. I wanted to stop by and let you know I gave you a blog award:

    Have a great weekend!