Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Extras wraps up Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series. In this fourth outing, life has become an enormous digital reality show-a constant competition for attention and fame; against this backdrop, an unpopular 15-year-old "extra" stumbles upon an under-the-radar group called the Sly Girls and risks a perilous path to celebrity. (Simon Pulse, $16.99 432p ages 12-up ISBN 9781-4169-5117-9; Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 5-8-In the fourth volume (Simon Pulse, 2007) in Scott Westerfeld's "Uglies" series, popularity is the priority. Fifteen-year-old Aya Fuse is determined to "kick" a story that will catapult her face rank into the top thousand and bring her the popularity she so desperately desires. A chance meeting with the Sly Girls, a group whose unbelievably dangerous and cool tricks are so far unknown to the public, seems like Aya's ticket to fame. But what she doesn't count on is being sucked into a frenzied race to save the world from alien freaks. Fans of the earlier titles (Peeps, Pretties, and Uglies) will relish the return of super heroine Tally Youngblood and her clique of "cutters" appear late in the story. Carine Montbertrand's slightly nasal and robotic-like narration is a good fit for these teen characters who operate in a world of computer gadgetry ruled by "tech-heads" and "surge monkeys," and her vocal inflections allow listeners to clearly distinguish among characters. While the story line here is not as strong as some of the previous titles, and despite a heavy-handed environmental emphasis, the action-packed plot and quirky personalities make this a fun listen.-Cindy Lombardo, Cleveland Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This fourth entry in the Uglies series will keep Westerfeld's face rank, to borrow his own invented slang, significantly above anonymous. Several years after the massive paradigm shift of Specials (2005), 15-year-old Asa Fuse investigates an urgent news story in hopes of boosting her public name recognition of crucial importance in the celebrity-based system that has replaced Prettytime's cult of boring, brainless beauty. Asa draws the attention of the story's possibly dangerous subjects as well as that of Tally Youngblood, now a legendary figure. As usual, Westerfeld excels at creating a futuristic pop culture that feels thrillingly plausible; for instance, the reputation economy of Asa's Japanese city, based on citizens' blog traffic, cleverly pulls in real-world phenomena from Google rankings to reality TV's populist celebrities. Too many subsidiary characters and difficult-to-follow action sequences plague the plot's resolution, but such problems are unlikely to faze followers of this hot-ticket series, who will expect smart world building and rich themes and will find both in spades.--Mattson, Jennifer Copyright 2008 Booklist
Horn Book Review
(Middle School, High School) Westerfeld begins this new entry in his Uglies series afresh -- with a new protagonist, Aya, who's an ""extra"" (face rank stuck in the mid-400,000s) in a city run on a ""reputation economy."" If Aya can win fame as a ""kicker,"" reporting with her trusty hovercam on a story that captures the city's imagination, her face rank will soar and she might begin to match the wealth and acclaim of her renowned older brother. But things get complicated when Aya's big lead, a clique that courts death to surf the mag-lev trains, uncovers a potential city-killing weapon -- and even more complicated when Aya and her friends are kidnapped by the inhuman creatures who created it. That's when the legendary Tally Youngblood (Uglies; Pretties, rev. 11/05; Specials, rev. 9/06) steps in. As in So Yesterday (rev. 1/05), Westerfeld shows he has a finger on the pulse of our reputation economy, alchemizing the cult of celebrity, advertising's constant competition for consumer attention, and social networking technology like MySpace into a post-apocalyptic Japanese atopia that will engage gear-heads and philosophers alike. High-speed hoverboard chases and a wealth of cutting-edge wizardry such as nanos and smart matter keep the action popping, taking us on a thrilling joyride through Westerfeld's futuristic, technology-rich imagination. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Book Review
A thought-provoking add-on to the Uglies series. Three years have passed since the mind-rain, when Tally and the Cutters freed the world from bubblehead surgery. Now cities create their own cultures, blending old traditions (lost for centuries) and new technology. Fifteen-year-old Aya lives in a Japanese city structured on a reputation economy. Each person's fame rank (re-calculated constantly) determines their material capital, so getting noticed (for anything from a tech/fashion fad to groundbreaking science) is everyone's priority. Everyone except the Sly Girls--a clique doing mad physical tricks, but, shockingly, incognito. Attempting to kick (blog) their story, Aya discovers unrecognizable beings stockpiling missile-like objects. Are they surge-monkeys? Aliens? Or has society regressed to mass weaponry? When Tally and Shay appear, suspense heats up. Westerfeld excels at showing the emotional underpinnings of a fame economy: Aya experiences obscurity panic, feeling "unreal" unless her actions are recorded. The dnouement is thin and rushed, but the fast action, cool technology (eyescreens, manga faces) and spot-on relevance to contemporary Internet issues provide plenty of adrenaline. (Science fiction. YA) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.