October 28, 2011

Extras by Scott Westerfeld

I had read the original trilogy to this series, this book, just like its title is an extra. And while it incorporates the world and some of the characters from the originals it is also vastly different from them as well. I won't go as far to say that its as good as the others, but it still isn't bad.

Aya is virtually a nobody. Its been three years since Tally Youngblood set the world free of its mind constraints and since then, everything has boomed; population, popularity, body modifications, anything. In Aya's city especially people are now ranked by their popularity, and the more popular you are, the better benefits you have. And there are many ways of becoming popular. You can be beautiful, be especially good with tech gadgets, or uncover interesting stories. Aya is the last sort, she's stumbled on to a very big secret. But as a result she may now be in danger, and only one person may be able to help her. But Tally hasn't been seen in quite a long time.

Aya is kind of annoying. I tried to like her, I really did. But it was just so hard to. I think it was mostly because she didn't really value herself without other people valuing her. Fame was everything, and while characters can grow, I just don't feel that she really did. Even her brother was more enjoyable to read about than her. I also found her love interest kind of boring despite his weird modifications. Tally, as always was interesting, but she seemed to veer a bit from her personality in the other books.

I didn't find this one as compelling as the original series. While it was nice to see what happened to Tally's world, the plot flew by so fast and the second half didn't flow as well. Things just kept changing without really making too much sense. I did like the innovations with the network and popularity standings though. Its like social media on speed and I can definitely see something like that happening in the future. To an extent it already does a little bit. Westerfeld also uses some unique language in this book. He's developed his own sort of slang for this world and it really works and is believable linguistically.

Not as good as the others but still a worthy read. I kind of hope he comes out with another one.

Copyright 2007
417 pages

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