Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Extras by Scott Westerfeld
It's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. "Tech-heads" flaunt their latest gadgets, "kickers" spread gossip and trends, and "surge monkeys" are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of "American Idol." Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules.
As if being fifteen doesn't suck enough, Aya Fuse's rank of 451,369 is so low, she's a total nobody. An extra. But Aya doesn't care; she just wants to lie low with her drone, Moggle. And maybe kick a good story for herself.
Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are. But doing so would propel her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity...and extreme danger. A world she's not prepared for.
The fourth book in the Uglies "trilogy", and that is not a mistake on my part. However, I believe it was a mistake on the authors part not just to leave the trilogy as it ended.
This comes across as a classic example of an author doing that one extra book purely for the extra money. It was not related to the story of Tally Youngblood and the Uglies/Pretties/Specials although they all made an appearance as part of the story.
It would have been a good story had the author used the main plot idea as a base for a trilogy of books not related to the Uglies trilogy in this manner. There was too much going on for one book and it could have been extended into three separate stories and by omitting the Tally Youngblood link it would have been quite enjoyable in it's own right.
It did sum up where the current "Facebook" online society is going where everyone has to put every little thing they do online for all their "friends" to see. Ok I do have a blog and a Facebook account but I don't live my whole life through it or care whether people follow me and like me because of it. The story did have aspects of 1984 (George Orwell) and even, Blind Faith (Ben Elton). So nothing that unique although this book gives it a more modern take on it.
You will read and get some enjoyment out of it if you have already read the original trilogy but nothing that will enhance your life. 2 out of 5 for me.