Saturday, 20 June 2009

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.

I really enjoyed the Uglies trilogy so I thought I'd read the fourth book in the series (fourth book in a trilogy???). In fact, it placed 8th on the Teens' Top Ten list last year so a lot of people read and enjoyed it.

It took me almost two months to read this book. That pretty much sums it up. It was okay and if I had read it right after I read the first three books I suppose I might have enjoyed it more. However, it wasn't nearly as good as the other three and with so many other incredible books out there to read I would recommend you give this one a pass (unless, of course, you loved the Uglies series).

The story actually has an interesting premise. In one of the cities that grew out of the newfound freedom after the liberation of people following the Uglies trilogy, the people live in a world where the economy is based on fame. I liked the idea and it was the highlight of the book I guess. However, the interesting setting of the book doesn't make up for the relatively annoying main character and generally uninteresting storyline.

I give this one 3/5 stars (because I'm being generous and because other readers will probably enjoy it more than me).

No comments: