Review: Specials (Ugglies #3) by Scott Westerfeld


Title:  Specials
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse 5/3/11
Length:  384 pages
Series: Uglies Series #3


“Special Circumstances”: The words have sent chills down Tally’s spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor — frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally’s never been ordinary.

And now, in the third book in the series, Tally’s been turned into a Special: 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.

My Thoughts

Ahh, how i do so love a third installment of a series – especially when my expectations throughout is that it’s the final book just to learn that there’s still more to come.  Scott Westerfeld has managed to really keep us invested in not only Tally Youngblood but the whole concept of all of the procedures that society does in order to keep what they consider to be the peace.

So, this story starts off when Tally awakens to find that Shay has somehow managed to get her to be transformed into a Special.  Not just a special, but a ‘special special’ – a clique made up of the cutters and Dr. Cables pet project.  Tally finds that yet again her decisions have been taken away from her, but what can she do right?

so now in reading this story our new keyword isn’t ‘bubbly’ anymore – it’s ‘icy’ – we hear that a lot to describe the mindset of the Specials.  It’s what they consider to be pure of mind and not foggy at all in what they do.

In any event, in this installment, Tally and the Cutters have set out to discover where the Smokies are and rid them of all their pills that are being distributed among the pretties as a cure to their bubbleheadedness.

This of course doesn’t come without a cost right?  They’ve found that Zane is much worse off than even we thought at the end of Pretties.  the nanos in the pill that he had taken have really damaged his brain, and while he’s back to some extend, he’s still not quite what Tally remembers and since she’s so special now, she’s rather disgusted by him.

Specials takes us on the journey of freeing zane and the other Crims so that they can find the New Smoke, shut down their operation of cure distribution and then some how gain control of what they think they know.

nothing’s ever that easy right?  Tally comes across her friends from the Smoke – David specifically and not on the best of terms.  She also comes across Andrew again, but that’s  not so bad in comparison to everything else.  Dr Cable has her own role in things….

i really don’t want to give away what happens here, but what’s learned is that people do tend to repeat the errs of the past, and cities around the world aren’t quite as different as you’d think yet aren’t quite the same either.

The questions here, ….

1) Shay seems to keep getting angry/jealous of Tally and even says that Tally has a sense that she’s the center of the universe.  how does this play out in the story?  we know that they needed each other in the other stories, so does that affect things in this 3rd book?

2) what happens to the new smoke?  and david to be exact?

3) does zane ever get back to where he was?  does tally come to terms with what he’s like now and determine that it’s ok for her?

4) does Peris resurface?  we know that he chickened out in book 2, does that happen again?

5) what’s the deals with the specials and the special specials?

all in all a GREAT read-  can’t wait to get started on Extras since i’ve just downloaded that one.

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