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Scott Westerfeld – Extras

November 6, 2007

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.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. tiffani permalink
    April 8, 2008 7:01 pm

    Hi, my name is Tiffani and I am a graduate student studying the Uglies, Pretties and Specials. By “Googling” “Uglies trilogy and blogs” I found your posts about the books. If you have the time and the interest, I would appreciate your responses to the following questions. This questionnaire is completely voluntary and if you choose your blog title and address will remain anonymous. Please email your completed questionnaire and any questions you may have to uglyprettyspecial@gmail.com. Thank you for your participation.

    My age:
    My gender:
    I would like for the title of my blog and address to remain anonymous (yes or no):

    1. Please read the following passage from Pretties and answer the following questions.

    In the beginning he lived with the princess in the tower, but later in the dream he seemed to have been outside all along, waiting for her. And in a dream-logic way he was often two princes, which she had to choose between. Sometimes the princess chose the handsome prince, and sometimes the ugly one. Either way, her heart was broken. And whomever she picked, the dream’s ending never changed. The best friend, the one whose invitation had been lost, always tried to follow the princess. But the gray dragon woke up and swallowed her, and liked her taste so much that it came after the rest of them, hungry for more. From inside its stomach, the best friend looked out through the dragon’s eyes, and spoke with its mouth, swearing it would find the princess and punish her for leaving a friend behind. (Pretties, 2005, p. 370)

    2. What does this paragraph communicate about the romantic and friendship relationships of Tally, Shay, David and Zane?

    3. Select the word from the list below that best describes what is happening in this paragraph and delete the others.
    • Living
    • Changing
    • Choosing
    • Finding
    • Ending
    • Leaving
    • Following

    4. How do you relate your own romantic and friendship relationships to the experiences of Tally, Shay, David and Zane?

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