The follow-up to "Uglies" and "Pretties," this third book in the
series finds Tally Youngblood transformed into one of the very elite
force that she formerly tried so desperately to escape. Her body has
been technologically enhanced - but she no longer seems to remember
some of the things that were most important to her. But when Tally is
assigned to wipe out her former friends, the anti-technology rebels of
the New Smoke, her new bosses may have pushed her too far. Her former
allegiances war with the new perceptions and her belief in her
superiority as a Special.
Obviously, these books are entertainingly written - I've now read 3 of
them. However, the more of them I read, the more I also get aggravated
by their simplistic treatment of complicated issues. Obviously, giving
people brain damage in the process of pursuing a Utopian society is
not going to be acceptable to many people - but Dr. Cable is portrayed
as horribly evil to the exclusion of her seeming human.
The New Smokies are portrayed as the heroes - but nothing is shown
that will convince the reader that they're not on a path that will
lead to be old problems of overpopulation and environmental
destruction that initially destroyed society.
Westerfeld fails when he twins the positive elements of the "Pretties"
society and technological enhancement with the negative aspects of it.
In this world, it seems, either you can be a "regular" human, or an
unnatural, brainwashed creature (whether "Pretty" or "Special.". The
possibility of utilizing the amazing technological advances (both
aesthetic and practical) that are portrayed, without the mind-numbing
brainwashing techniques employed by Dr. Cable, is not discussed - and
it's such an obvious solution that its lack becomes a failing in these
However, there's now a 4th volume in the series - so I guess I'll have
to read that one next!