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SPECIALS by Scott Westerfeld Kirkus Star

SPECIALS

By Scott Westerfeld

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-86540-6
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Tally’s third incarnation is thrillingly unsettling. When readers left her, she was about to be surgically altered from a “Pretty” to a carefully engineered military “Special.” Now her body is weaponized, her teeth, fingernails and reflexes razor-sharp. Westerfeld deftly conveys Tally’s new perspective: Edges look extra sharp, the world is maniacally beautiful and Dr. Cable’s pursuit of the New Smoke rebels is inherently justified, especially because the New Smoke’s irresponsible medical experimentation damaged Tally’s boyfriend Zane and made him repulsive. Tally and Shay are Cutters, elite Specials who slice their skin to stay hyper-focused. As they track runaways to find the New Smoke, the previously two-sided fight expands into a war with multiple stances and complications, on a far broader scale than Tally could have guessed. Tally’s in constant motion, the action nonstop, all the way until—paralleling the stunning end of Uglies—Tally makes an unromantic, pragmatic and desperate final decision. A splendid, provocative conclusion to a terrific series. (Science fiction. YA)