Review : Specials

Specials by Scott Westerfeld
Pages : 372
Genre : YA, Dystopia, Futuristic
My Rating :

SPOILER ALERT! I can’t summarize or review this book without spoiling it a little. Although I won’t be giving spoilers about the plot itself, if you haven’t read the first two books, this will be somewhat spoilery to you!

From the back of the book :

Tally thought they were a rumor, but now she’s one of them. A Special. A super-amped fighting machine, engineered to keep 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 that 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 heartbeat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete. Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.

As much as I loved Uglies, and even more Pretties, I struggled a little bit getting into Specials. Basically, the beginning is very similar to Pretties : Tally has a new identity, a new look, and she struggles through it. Except there’s a lot more to it than that, and it feels a little unfair to reduce the book’s beginning to these few simple points, but that’s just the impression it first left on me.

Fortunately, things picked up quickly and I was soon very intrigued by the story. Tally has been a complex character from the beginning of the series, and she is even more with this book. She’s thrown into the action very soon in the beginning and doesn’t stop until the very end. There is danger, and sadness, and much much more, but I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone so I’ll just say : ZANE!!!!!! And those of you who read it will probably guess what I mean by all that virtual yelling! Also, I loved Shay in this book too ; her character is fascinating for me, and I think her role is far more important than we first give her credit for.

All in all, I thought Specials was a strong ending to a wonderful series (Extras being, well, an extra book and not the “real” ending) Westerfeld approaches many issues in this book, and one I thought he tackled really well was the one of “cutting”. It’s not glorified or taken lightly, and yet it gives so much sense to the story! Environment is an even bigger issue in this one, and I loved the conflict Tally has between what she wants for the planet and what she wants for humanity. She sees both sides clearly enough, and I could understand her hesitations.

Which brings me to the very ending. It both made me mad and satisfied me! I could understand Tally’s final choice, although I really thought it was the wrong one. From her point of view, going through what she’d been through, it did make perfect sense. Still, I wish she could have seen things more clearly. Yet again, I’m trying really hard not to spoil anything here! But to be fair, it was a great ending.

Series reading order :

  1. Uglies
  2. Pretties
  3. Specials
  4. Extras

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6 responses to “Review : Specials”

  1. Amanda says :

    It was a hard ending. I wish I could just say what I mean, but i don’t want to spoil it. I disagreed with Tally’s choice regarding surgery – I hope you catch my meaning! I was actually quite angry with her about it, but it made sense with her character. I both loved and hated the end because of that. And oh my goodness Zane. I very rarely fall in love with fictional characters, but I did with Zane. And then… 😦 Zane. Yeah. Sorry. I’ll stop now.

  2. bermudaonion says :

    My husband loved this series. He didn’t bother reading Extras since it really isn’t a part of the series.

  3. Staci says :

    I have to read this series!!! I feel like a loser 😦

  4. Rhiannon Hart says :

    *covers eyes* WANT to read your review but CAN’T as I haven’t read Pretties. But drop me a note on my blog and tell me if the Specials got mean and scary, because in Uglies they were little more than scolding parents. Which I thought kinda sucked.

  5. Vasilly says :

    Because I still haven’t read Uglies yet, I didn’t read your review. I saw your rating so I’m glad you enjoyed the book.

  6. kay says :

    Amanda : I do catch your meaning! That’s what I mean when I say that it both made me mad and satisfied me – the thing you’re hinting at being the thing that made me mad. But, I understood and I loved the rest.

    Kathy : Extras was still good! It was worth the read, although it’s a very different story.

    Staci : You do have to read it, but you’re in now way a loser! It’s so hard to keep up with all the series, isn’t it?

    Rhiannon : I’ll drop by in a moment!

    Vasilly : I did! I hope you’ll enjoy Uglies.

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