October 09, 2011
Specials by Scott Westerfeld
Tally has been quite a few things in her life already; ugly, rebel, pretty, and now she's become a special. An elite group, Tally is even better than that, she's a special special. She and a few others are a team that can practically do anything all in the name of maintaining order. With New Smoke growing larger every day and causing trouble, maintaining order isn't as easy as it used to be though. They've developed a cure for the brainlessness that affects all the pretties and as its dispersed, more control is being lost in the city. Tally, with her icy emotions running through her veins is beginning to be affected by some of these rebels though, and she doesn't know what side is the right one to be on.
Tally is a bit wearisome in this book. It seems like things are always happening that are her fault, but she can never control and the theme is growing old. Just once I would have liked to see something go her way without it being chance. For being a hero, she rarely actually makes an impact intentionally. All the other characters are somewhat shadows of themselves as well. Poor Shay, as said in other reviews, I can't help but feel sorry for her character, she never seems to win at life. The rest of the characters were somewhat minor and not described as much as they are in previous books.
This book saw the themes a little more mature than the previous two. Self mutilation in the form of cutting is mentioned several times and I can see some people having trouble reading those parts. Otherwise, this is still a book for young adults and there isn't strong language. But there is a lot of anger. The best thing about Westerfeld's writing is that linguistically, he is very creative. He makes a different speech for all these types of people and I find it fascinating. While this book wasn't as good as the first one, it still was a pretty good ending to the series.
I enjoyed the series and may have to check out the spinoff Extras. Seems like if it keeps the pace of these books it should be pretty good.