As you all (by now) will know, my June #AYearAThon didn’t go too well. However, after that failure, I decided to stick with my TBR for the rest of the month, leading to me finally finishing Specials by Scott Westerfeld.
Specials is the third (of four) book in the Uglies series, which I started reading way back in 2012 (right at the height of my dystopian phase). Although I quite enjoyed the first book, the second was disappointing and so I never really got around to continuing with the series. Although I’m still not quite at the end, I think the time has finally come for me to say goodbye to Tally Youngblood for good… Extras is definitely not making it onto my Kindle any time soon. It’s just time for me to call it a day.
With that positive start in mind, let’s get into the review, shall we?
If, like me, you left the series for a while, you might not notice this… but Tally is a completely different character in this installment. I mean completely, unbelievably different… and I really didn’t like it. I’m all for changing up the POV in the middle of a series, but this just felt like getting to know a whole new character, who I had absolutely no attachment to or compassion for, making it really difficult for me to give two hoots about her problems.
However, I think a lot of my hatred for Tally in this novel was rooted in my hatred of Specials generally. I didn’t like them as an element in this world and that hasn’t changed since Tally crossed over. To me, they’re just utterly ridiculous and pose no real social critique (unlike the operation itself and the brain lesions). All Specials do is muddy the water and mould a book that ends up reading like a bad superhero movie script.
Due to the circular nature of this novel (Tally barely develops throughout the 300 or so pages), but she’s not the only unfulfilling characteristic. We don’t really get to see a lot of our old favourites (ahem, really I mean David… but I’m sure there are others I’ve forgotten). The lack of these strong secondary characters means the story drags incredibly and seems to further distance the narrative from the earlier parts of the series.
On a more general note, for the series as a whole, we have to talk about the colloquialism for a second. I get that authors try to build their world by changing their characters speech patterns. However, I really, really hate it. It’s something I have a problem with in most dystopians (see The Maze Runner for another example) but I always think they end up sounding forced and unnatural causing the narrative voice to be broken.
Overall, I was incredibly disappointed. I don’t even have anything else to say about it. I honestly can’t think of a single thing I genuinely enjoyed about it. Therefore, it’s getting 2 stars (purely because I made it the whole way to the end). Like I said, I won’t say never, but I don’t think I’ll be finishing this series any time in the near future. I’ve had enough for now.
I’d love to hear what you guys think down below in the comments. I keep trying to get into Scott Westerfeld, but I just can’t… I’d love to hear your next suggestions down below!