If you've read a decent amount of dystopian science fiction of late, you may have picked up on a similar plot structure that seems to be rather popular. Teenager discovers government corruption; teenager attacks the government; teenager overthrows the government and happy ending. While it's a compelling and exciting plot-line--take The Hunger Games, for example--this reviewer has wondered: What happens after you save the world? In Extras, his final novel in the Uglies series, Scott Westerfeld answers that question.
Set in a futuristic version of Japan several years after protagonist Tally Youngblood overthrows the cruel, brain-controlling government. This time we follow teenager Aya Fuse in a world where every citizen is given a number ranking how famous he or she is. The young teenager wants to boost her fame rank by "kicking" a killer story on her blog. When she joins a group of fame-hating teens known as the Sly Girl, Aya finds herself discovering a huge story that seems to have world-ending implications.
What's great about Extras is that you'll think you have an idea of where the plot is going, only to find yourself completely wrong. A few big twists over the course of the novel made this young adult science fiction novel not only a surprising and fun read, but one that compels you to keep reading. But what just might be the best thing about this last chapter in a fun series is seeing what happens after the Happy Ending. Seeing the new, revised culture emerging after a huge societal upheaval. Fascinating stuff.
Bottom Line: A great ending to a strong series, or even a good standalone novel. You may have a few questions about some of the characters if you skipped the previous books, but it'll be a fun ride nonetheless.
You can find Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series at your local chain bookstore, online or at an independent bookstore near you (click here for a list).