The fourth book in the Uglies 'trilogy', Extras, takes place in post-'mind-rain' Japan a couple of years after Tally Youngblood destroyed the Pretties system. Japan, along with the rest of the world, is adapting to the freedom of thought that people had so long been deprived of. New cultural norms have emerged, and Japan's 'reputation economy' is one of these. It ties wealth and fame together at a whole new level, making most everybody want fame more than anything else.
Enter fifteen-year-old Aya Fuse, who's just as desirous of fame as the next person. She's a kicker, and always has Moggle (her hovercam) by her side. She is constantly searching for a great story to kick, one that might take her out of panic-making obscurity. One that might make her famous. But with a face rank of 451,369 (out of a million), there is little chance of that happening. That is, until she stumbles upon the story of a lifetime. But she gets more than she bargained for when she kicks it, and fame ends up being difficult. And, in her case, dangerous.
For an Uglies/Pretties/Specials fan such as myself, it was awesome to return to Westerfeld's creepy future earth. I couldn't help but notice that the reputation economy makes a lot sense. Which is creepy. We're already fame obsessed enough as it is.
Extras is really quite a wonderful book. It was well tied-in with the three preceding books, but has enough new developments so as not to be repetitive. Aya is a great character. She's endearing but imperfect. And sometimes you get really mad at her.
Which means, of course, that Westerfeld has done his job very well.
Dude, Extras is awesome.
And, as many of you probably know (on account of the link from his blog), we saw Scott Westerfeld talk/sign books... it was pretty darn cool, yo. Justine Larbalestier was also there (author of the Magic or Madness trilogy), which was also pretty darn cool, yo.
So... five out of five. Yep.
*Which would possibly work better than our current economy. I mean, it's creepy, but it would totally work.
Hoverboarding, kicking, mag-lev-riding, fame-seeking,
PS Reese: email us! Quick, before the dark lord of all evil finds out!
I finished reading Extras and I adored it. Tally-wa...Tally makes me incredibly happy. I love her super-specialness and "I'm a loner" attitude and her "just accept me or don't - - I don't care" outlook.
I give this wonderful book, the full 5 daggers.