10 September 2015

Specials

Author: Scott Westerfeld
Series: Uglies #3
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

The Uglies series, unlike fine wine, does not age well.  When this series first came out (a DECADE ago, holy moly!) I loved it.  I even paid full MSRP for the novels (and if you know me, that's practically unheard of).  I own all four novels (that's right, a trilogy with FOUR novels, oi), and when I heard that Uglies was going to be a book of the month in my book club, the teenager still inside me did a little jig.

Tally, we've come a long way together.  It was definitely a roller coaster.  And I'm not speaking about the plot, though it did have some action packed sequences in it (though, to be fair, about 50% of them weren't very logical progressions of the story in my opinion).  I'm referring more to your insane personality, that can't seem to focus on one personality.  Instead, you flip flop back and forth throughout each of the stories, rewiring your rewired brain over and over and over... and you sure you aren't brain dead by now?  There definitely has to be some kind of damage.

When I was 15 and reading these novels, I didn't think about how crazy and highly illogical it would be for Tally to become a Special, having all her bones and muscles removed and replaced with materials they make space stations and fighter pilots out of.  At that age, I didn't go through the details of Tally's trip, calculating how far she travels and where her city might be located.  And it's a good thing, because none of this makes a lick of sense to me now!

Make no mistake, the world that Westerfeld creates not only in Specials but in the entire Uglies world is so far fetched with crazy surgery (how is this economy sustainable if they are isolated from other cities?) and even the fact that Dr. Cagan takes a bunch of 16 year-olds and basically turns them into monsters (and, like, wouldn't it be so much easier to just make robots?) that it leaves gaping plot holes.  But if you can get over these shortcomings, as I did as a teenagers, I still think these books are worth a once read.  If nothing else, I love the society commentary that abounds through the stories, Specials being no exception.  Though the ending was a little lackluster, there are some interesting points made about society and even human nature itself.  So while it's as disappointing as the end of BSG, it still has a similar message, which I can appreciate.

If I didn't carry my love for this series from my teenage years with me still today, I would probably rate this book lower.  After all, it's one of those series where you really don't like any of the main characters.  And the one exception to the rule?  Well, let's just say that characters gets the short end of the stick in Specials, when only adds to the bummer-scale.  But alas, I do still carry that little torch inside my heart.  Burn on, little light, burn on (but honestly, I might not read these books again).

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