Thursday, 7 January 2016

Specials by Scott Westerfield

"I remembered you even when I was a bubblehead. You always made a big impression."

When I read Uglies], I thought I had a new series to gush about. When I read [book:Pretties|24768], I thought this series would get better after the disappointment. When I read [book:Specials|24765], I made up my mind that this might be one of the worst young-adult books I've read. When I got it from the library, I had big expectations - really big expectations. Now they've all been shattered.

Tally, apparently, is now a Special; she is like a diamond in a pearl necklace, like a cow in a farm of chicken like a wizard amongst a party of Muggles. This girl is now drawing attention to herself. She is supposed be "superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid," but let me tell you want she really is: a dumb girl with amnesia. I really loved her earlier, but now I loathe her. And I still don't like the name. I am not oblivious to the fact that 'Tally' is her name, but yes, you can change your characters name. The best example is Divergent.

Now this book is one major disappointment! I never thought - even in my wildest dreams - I'd be writing a negative review about this, but thanks to this book, I now know that intuitions are not real. All together, this book is just absurd and asinine, with preposterous dialogues and a mundane plot. So in nutshell, [book:Specials|24765] is just one jigsaw puzzle of blatant incongruities.

"Young Blood," he said, smiling. "You have changed."

Exercising my right to critique it with impunity, I proceed with my ersatz negative review by mentioning the lack of good vocabulary. The ubiquitous presence of the word 'bubblehead' lead me to the palpable conclusion that the author certainly needs to enrich his vocabulary. I agree that one can't know all the words in English, but what about synonyms. Fine, if you're labeling then why not use an authentic word which has a meaning? I'm sure, in a heartbeat, that my 5 year-old cousin has a better lexicon that this person. In the subsequent pages, in addition to 'bubblehead', someone was paid to use the word 'ping'. Honestly!

Moving on to the plot, I'm pretty sure that my brother's eccentric dreams were less tedious than this. Whenever I read a book, even in fantasy and dystopian books, I do expect a minimum level of plausibility. Implausible young-adult books will indiscriminately earn a negative review as well as chagrin from me. Perhaps the author should still work on making his story plausible.

Another reason for its indigent standards is the dialogues in the book.

Zane was still dead, after all.

I don't know whether the author was absentmindedly writing this, or has deliberately used it, but how can the fact that someone is dead change? If Zane was dead, he won't magically gain life again, so it is pointless to wait and watch. Why on earth is 'Zane still dead?'

Many of us have our own nicknames; my family and some of my friends call me Hal. A couple of them call me by one of my middle names, and some shorten my middle names and call me that. At school, nerd, geek, bookworm - you can see them refer to me like that. But no one - I repeat - no one adds 'la' or 'wa' behind my name. Even my French teacher does not call me 'la fille', though honestly it would be better if she did something like that since she always calls me something else.

But here we see many referring to each other with an asinine suffix. What I read in this book was simply beyond legitimate thinking, reasoning, and logic.
'Sleeping on the job, Shay-la.'
'Somewhere very special, Tally-wa,' she whispered.

Please! Shay-la? Tally-wa? Was the author trying to impersonate the naming sense of the Chinese? I take back my words: the Chinese would not be pleased to know that I have referred their naming sense tantamount to Scott's, thereby offending them whilst their naming sense is so good. Sorry, Chinese fellow men! :p

"Tally," she said.
"That's a funny name."

However, there was one thing that pleased me in this book: I was beyond joy when I read that one of the characters thought Tally's name was funny. I took out my dictionary, and when I looked up the word 'tally', it said:
- total amount of a debt or score
- correspond or agree with something else

Let me see, after disregarding the first meaning, I noticed that the Tally in this book does tally with the stereotype of Mary Sue. So I guess there is no point in ranting about it when the author has veritably named her.

After reading all that, you should have speculated that I will not recommend reading this book. Well, you're right since the very title of it is enough to go through struggle of resisting the impulsive outburst of profanity. Take my advice folks: read the first book, and follow Elsa - let it go.

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