This was definitely nothing like I expected. Set in a pretty intriguing alternate world where a few people of the populous are born with the ability tThis was definitely nothing like I expected. Set in a pretty intriguing alternate world where a few people of the populous are born with the ability to give instant luck, instant happiness, instant crippling of the knees, or instant death, with the touch of a finger. The world is full of paranoia to the point that all workers wear gloves, and if anyone approaches you de-gloved, well they may as well be running at you with a revved-up chainsaw. And, of course, the community at large, the normal people, are terrified of these so called "criminals", even the ones, it seems, that can do good.
I loved this pseduo X-Men world the book built, full with political angles, criminal families building up on this idea of "working" people, and of course, a main character who is the ugly duckling of his familial bunch. His brothers are pain and luck workers, his granddad is a death worker, his mom an emotion worker. Cassel is just kind of there. Getting by at some fancy boarding school, where he's having weird dreams of cats and sleepwalking off of roofs.
The set up is great, the story is solid, and the characters (well, some could have been visited more often, acting as plot fillers at best) are mostly enjoyable. Cassel can be kind of a dick sometimes, though. The downside is where the plot goes in the end. I saw the main twists from a mile away, and the ending kind of bit off more than it could chew. I'm not saying I couldn't follow all the double-then-triple crosses, backstabbing, and con games, I just think a "less is more" layout would have worked better here.
I was surprised at how much I liked the story of a deep, multiple-mafia-family-drama plot (and it mostly really does succeed), it just wasn't tied together well enough in the end. But you get the gist of who's the bad guy and who isn't, and enough of an eyebrow raising idea at a new enemy for Cassel that's sure to appear in the next book, to make me look forward to them....more
I was so ready to give this one a perfect score. With fun chases, a brilliantly darker tone, and much more at risk for Tally than the other books.
I jI was so ready to give this one a perfect score. With fun chases, a brilliantly darker tone, and much more at risk for Tally than the other books.
I just hated the ending.
(I will talk spoilers here, I can't find a way to write around them)
So Tally is now a Special. Thought by many to be urban legends, Specials are built for combat: incredibly fast, strong, and highly dangerous. At the beginning of the book she is completely changed, now in a Special mindset: she calls her best friend, Shay, "Boss", she detests her former boyfriend David, and wants to wipe his little rebellion from the face of the Earth. It's such a radical change from the previous narration, it almost feels like that's what the series needed. Some new view on things. It's just brilliant that Westerfeld managed to do this with the exact same character.
Otherwise it runs along similarly to the other books; Tally is in the city, she escapes, lives in the wild for a while, and makes it to some version of the Smoke. Then usually returns to her city. But this one was the best paced of them all. There are hoverboard, hovercar and helicopter chases. An escape from a military facility that's being destroyed by nano robots. And, my favorite, an attack on a building by a hovercar that Tally chases, fights, and escapes all while gun fire is blazing at her. Awesome? Yes.
Sad that the ending had to go and ruin it all.
Let me start by saying I understand that Tally has always hated how the Smoke encroaches onto nature for new buildings and living space. Its been in every book and I didn't miss it or anything. But, at the end of this one, when the revolution that SHE started (yeah it was accidental, i know) is going worldwide, why the fuck does she decide to go against it?
She essentially says that she's gonna be the new Specials to enforce that civilization doesn't ruin the wild like Rusties did. I know Zane's death affected her (hell it did me), and his death was basically at the hand's of this rebellion, by pills to attack the lesions in your brain put there by Pretty surgery. I just, I don't know, felt jipped somehow. Maybe Westerfeld was trying to do something different, to make the main character go against the good guys in the end. Maybe it was a smart move. Maybe I'm a bubblehead for thinking otherwise.
But why would David agree to this? He would be essentially going against his mom, his dead father, and everything he's worked so hard for this last year. Hell his whole life, even. He loves Tally, but I don't feel like he would do something that drastic to be with her.
I almost felt like i read the last chapter wrong, so i did again. I still feel like I am missing something. That's not how you want to feel at the end of a trilogy.
What's funny is despite my complete confusion and befuddlement over this ending, Specials ended up being my favorite of the series so far. How completely infuriating :|
This is one of those books that I absolutely LOVE but am terrified to re-read and find out it's not as great as my 12 yeTime to review another oldie:D
This is one of those books that I absolutely LOVE but am terrified to re-read and find out it's not as great as my 12 year old naive mind remembers it.
But, anyway, it is epic, with great stories, lovably mean characters, cool sci fi/cyberpunk elements and an AMAZING finale (it's on this giant floating weather baloon/space station thing, i really dont remember much just that i was drooling all over myself). I swear the first thing i remember thinking upon finishing this book was "no director could ever do justice to this book." I just loved it that much.
I've always wondered if you could have a favorite song from a band who isn't your favorite band. I recently realized, of course you can. Because you can have a favorite book by someone who is not your favorite author. Case in point, I'm not the hugest fan of his Artemis Fowl series, so i've never read any of Mr. Colfer's other works. But this is hands down, no contest, that's a wrap, my favorite book ever. and it's not even 300 pages. go figure....more