Scott Westerfeld – Extras
109. Extras by Scott Westerfeld (2007)
Uglies Trilogy, Book 4
Length: 432 pages
Genre: Science Fiction; Young Adult
Started: 04 November 2007
Finished: 06 November 2007
Summary: It’s three years after Tally Youngblood started the “mind-rain” that cured the world of Pretty-ness. In coping with their newfound independence, Aya Fuse’s city has transformed itself into a culture of celebrity – where everything in your life is determined by how famous you are. Aya, unfortunately, is an Extra: not famous at all… yet. She’s got her eye on a big story to kick – a group of girls who disdain fame and pull crazy stunts like surfing the high-speed mag-lev trains. But then Aya stumbles across an even bigger story – a group of strange not-quite-humans who have built a weapon capable of wiping out the human race once and for all.
Review: Like the rest of the series, Extras was fun, slick, and exciting. The book zips along at a breakneck pace, moving from hoverboard chase to train surfing to skydiving with barely a pause for breath. Westerfeld’s world is seamless, and a very (slightly frighteningly) real potential future. I think this is probably my favorite since Uglies – I like Aya as a narrator, the story is gripping, and while part of me thought “Aliens? Really?” when that angle was introduced, the narrative pulled me along until the end. I will admit that I’m not quite satisfied with the ending, although I can’t put my finger on what would have been better. I think part of the problem is that in the first three books, there’s quite a bit of morally grey areas and thorny ethical issues, and in this one, everything winds up being a little more clear-cut good or bad. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Exciting and fun to read, and the series benefits from having some new blood in the form of Aya. This isn’t a really stand-alone – I doubt a lot of it would make sense without having read the previous three books, but if you even vaguely enjoyed Uglies or its sequels, it’s is worth the read.