“Specials (Uglies #3)” by Scott Westerfeld
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction
Summary from Goodreads:
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 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.
I’m still not sure how I feel about this book. It irks me a bit that the second and third books in the series are “starting from scratch” so to speak. The previous books have all this action and suspense building up to the last pages. Then there’s a chunk time missing between the end of a book and the next one and Tally is a completely different person. I get that it’s really not her choice but I’d like to see what happened in that missing time period.
With each book in the series, Westerfeld seems to be opening the world up just a bit more. I am the type of person who wants to know everything right now but I appreciate him spreading it out into easier to digest nuggets of knowledge. This time around we learn that the world is bigger than Uglyville/Pretty Town. The fact that he kept this from the reader adds to the fear and horror when we realize that Dr. Cable and her people really are insane. It’s also a scary thought that other cities couldn’t step in thus letting crazy people do whatever they wanted to their citizens.
Perhaps it was intentional but Tally and Shay were wearing on my last nerves. Maybe it was just a combination of all the surgeries, generally teen girl cattiness, and spending too much time around each other but all of their fighting and anger was just annoying. The “special” version of the two of them is by far my least favorite version of them.
The story was enjoyable enough. I appreciated that Westerfeld didn’t ‘wimp’ out on the story. Bad things happened, people had to die, basically the book wasn’t a fairy tale. Things never happen the way you want them to. The book was fairly action packed. It was reminiscent of the first two books but unique enough to not be boring.
The ending was a bit…odd. I can’t believe that a tiny prick to Dr. Cable was all it took to make her “normal” again. I was just under the assumption she was just insane and did all these things to other people to make them like her. I didn’t like the last chapter too much. It just seems like Tally wants to be a pain the butt to someone all the time. She can’t just be normal.
It was an okay end to the trilogy. It wasn’t everything I hoped it would be.