Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: Specials by Scott Westerfeld


Author: Scott Westerfeld

Publication Date: May 3rd, 2011

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: YA/Dystopia



"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 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.

My Thoughts: The ending to the previous book, Pretties, left us with a mega cliff hanger. You can find my review for it here. Luckily, Specials picks up very shortly after where Pretties left off!

As per usual, Tally's world is in a spin of madness and constant change. She presently finds herself exactly where she has never wanted to be. She is now a member of the Specials. Which are like the rest of the pretties, only cruel and hard, and made to be used as weapons. Her and her, now friend again, Shay are members of a special division and are made as a pet project by the ever evil and maniacal Dr. Cable.

So once again, Tally is brainwashed into believing that this is exactly where she wants to be. But she is fortunate enough to have people who are willing to fight to get the real Tally back. Although this time it definitely proves to be the biggest and hardest fight yet. There was a lot of loss and sadness and violence in this book compared to the others. I found it to be darker and more matured and even more harsh than the previous two.

Not much time is spent in Tally's city this time. We spend most of in outside and far away from the borders. Everything is changing, and rapidly thanks to a city that chooses not to uphold the same laws of division and beauty as Tally's. As a member of the specials it is Tally's duty to take out this new threat. And she sets out to do just that, but everything changes once you are out in the wild. Tally encounters many people and events that change her outlook and have her questioning her orders and her choices. But even with these developments it is increasingly hard to get by what she has been programmed to believe.

Things seem to be heading in the direction I was ultimately cheering for, but I am sad about what had to happen for it to go that way. I was surprised by so many things throughout the course of the story. And I have to say that that is one thing I do really love about this series. Is you can never ever predict what is going to happen next. There are so many twists and turns and surprise developments, it keeps you on your toes and keeps the pages turning.

I would recommend this series for sure. Especially to any Dystopia fans, I think you would definitely enjoy it!

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