Specials by Scott Westerfeld

(Cover picture courtesy of Regular Rumination.)

Tally thought they were a rumor, but now she’s one of them.  A Special.  A super-amped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

But maybe being perfectly programmed with strength and focus isn’t better than anything she’s ever known.  Tally still has memories of something else.

But it’s easy for her to tune them out—until she’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 heart-beat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete.  Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.

For all of Scott Westerfeld’s amazing writing talent, I did not enjoy Specials nearly as much as I enjoyed Uglies or Pretties.  It was not because it lacked plot—it actually had an excellent plot—but I found that I really could not relate to Tally anymore.  I related to her as an unsure ugly and an airheaded pretty, but I could not relate to her as a cruel special.  True, her mind has been altered along with her body to become more predatory, but practically nothing of the old Tally remains.  Despite all of her faults, I understood and empathized with the old Tally.

Aside from Tally’s completely 180, Specials is not a bad book.  The plot zips right along at a consistently quick rate and the stakes are higher than ever before.  Tally has to make incredibly difficult, life-changing decisions as she tries to fight the new lesions that control her mind.  Friends turn into enemies and the walls of deceit that were built up through the centuries begin to crumble in the last book in the Uglies trilogy.

If you have read the other two books, then you will likely enjoy Specials.  It’s exciting and Tally does great things, but there is also a lot of tragedy, especially near the end.  I actually liked the ending and it leaves a lot of room for readers’ imaginations to take flight without completely leaving them hanging.

I give this book 3.5/5 stars.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble

Leave a Reply