Review: Specials by Scott Westerfeld

5 Aug

Series: Uglies, book #3

Published: April 15th 2006 by Simon Pulse

Details: Hardcover, 372 pages

My grade: 3.5/5

My summary:

Ok, so while I did read this book in record time, just as I did with the first two, I was a little annoyed by the plot this time. Firstly, I was annoyed by the repeating factor, and having to get to know a new Tally yet again. Secondly, I think what bothered me was that I saw so much potential building up in Pretties, which didn’t play out as I thought in Specials. Having said that, the fact that it did get me annoyed also means that I cared, and so it wasn’t all bad. So yes, it’s still a good read.

See my full review here:


“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:

Warning:  if you haven’t read Pretties yet, you may not want to continue, as this review most likely will contain spoilers!

I started this book with a bad feeling in my gut. It felt kind of hopeless to have  followed Tally through such an exhilarating ride in Pretties, seeing her coming through it OK against all odds, to just be crushed down and forced to change again, by the authorities.

Actually, this is how I would describe this book, painful and sad. Still a page turner though, just not as enjoyable to read as the others.

As can be guessed by the title, our heroine Tally has now become a Special, as in one of the very Secret Police who chased her all through the two first books. Her brain has been altered and all though she remembers everything in her past she views it in a different light. She also has a new body with superhuman qualities.

While Pretties included Zane for the most part, Specials includes Tally’s friend Shay, as they bark on many Special Circumstances journeys together. This was one of the painful parts, to see the two of them trying to chase down old friends. Also, I’m not a big fan of Shay, and so I didn’t enjoy all the time Shay got with Tally in this book. I know she’s a victim of the society just as much as Tally, but she seems weaker, more insecure, and as such ends up in all sorts of unstable situations. Consequently, she is the root of most of Tally’s problems. She does redeem herself in the end though, about time!

So the bad gut feeling continues. By the end of the book another tragic event happens, and I swear I almost gave it up right there and then. But the final chapters do leave some hope regarding Tally, so do keep reading.

All in all, this last book was not as good as the rest. It’s still a page-turner and if you have got invested into the characters, you will want to know what happens. Just prepare yourself for a somewhat painful ride.

3 Responses to “Review: Specials by Scott Westerfeld”


  1. Review: Pretties by Scott Westerfeld « After Twilight… - October 6, 2010

    […] All in all, this was a great and exciting read, with an ending that made me throw myself over the third book in the series “Specials”. […]

  2. Extras by Scott Westerfeld « After Twilight… - October 18, 2010

    […] Uglies series, more a companion book than sequel. The setting takes place a couple of years after “Specials”, and follows a new heroine, japanese Aya. I didn’t think it was as good as the rest. It felt […]

  3. Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins « After Twilight… - March 17, 2011

    […] me of following Tally on her aventures through the Uglies Series, where it towards the third book Specials turned from exciting to painful to read , simply because Tally was falling […]

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