Before I start this review I must have a disclaimer! When I finished Pretties I went to my TBR pile to pick up Specials and found that I’d accidently bought Extras, the fourth in the series, instead of Specials.
Also, Tally didn’t end this book where I wanted her to be.
So, these two things together gave a rather unpleasant experience at the end of the book. I will try not to let that affect my review.
The book starts off with Tally in New Pretty Town. She is best friends with Shay, who has forgotten all about Tally’s betrayal, and her old friend Peris. They are all a part of an exclusive clique called the Crims. The Crims are made of Pretties that, when they were Uglies, were particularly mischievous or tricky as they say. The leader of the Crims, Zane, knows more than he is letting on and has an interest in Tally.
Scott Westerfeld did a very good job in the flow from one book to another. Reading them back to back they sounded as if they had been written together, not published a year apart. The chapters were about the same short length, which kept everything moving, kept you on the edge of your seat.
I really liked getting to know Peris a little better. You could really see why he and Tally were such good friends in this one yet the ending of his story fit with what we knew about him before. Shay was back and was more extreme and back and forth than ever. I loved it.
And then there was Zane. A new character, the leader of the Crims. And, well, lets just say I am firmly Team David and most of this book is about Tally and Zane. Well, I like Tally better than either of the boys so that worked out well. I especially liked the way her and Zane and the cure worked. I can’t say more, but despite the fact that I didn’t like how the book ended with what character was where and such, I did like the revelation about Tally at the end. That just made her more awesome.
And one thing that’s bittersweet, and difficult to quantify, is that this book is, at least partly, about growing up. Which I like, I’ve always been more of a “His Dark Materials” than a “Peter Pan,” still though, it’s sad to watch Tally’s progression, via dreams she has throughout the book, and realize that she is losing all of her innocence and trust in the world. I know it must be done. I even admire Tally more for it. But it is still sad in a way.
I wish there had been more David but can also see that the story didn’t really call for more David.
When I saw Scott Westerfeld last month on tour he said that his number one plot device, or what-have-you, is to have people flying or jumping off of things. When in doubt, he said, have them jump off of something tall. And, wow! Now I notice it every, single, time and he does use it a lot. But all that falling and flying makes for good book reading, so I’m not complaining.
Now all I have to do is find time to get to the bookstore to pick up Specials. I still can’t believe I did that.