Extras (Uglies Series #4)

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Overview


Fame

It's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. "Tech-heads" flaunt their latest gadgets, "kickers" spread gossip and trends, and "surge monkeys" are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of American Idol. Whoever is ...

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Extras (Uglies Series #4)

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Overview


Fame

It's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. "Tech-heads" flaunt their latest gadgets, "kickers" spread gossip and trends, and "surge monkeys" are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of American Idol. Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules.

As if being fifteen doesn't suck enough, Aya Fuse's rank of 451,369 is so low, she's a total nobody. An extra. But Aya doesn't care; she just wants to lie low with her drone, Moggle. And maybe kick a good story for herself.

Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are. But doing so would propel her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity...and extreme danger. A world she's not prepared for.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The world has become a different place since Tally Youngblood upset the Uglies, Pretties, Specials applecart. What it's like? Well, visualize an all-day, everyday version of American Idol, where everybody's a contestant and there are cameras everywhere. In this constant competition, teenager Aya Fuse ranks as a nobody; 451,369 to be exact. Of course, such obscurity has its small rewards, all of which have now become endangered by her friendship with the Sly Girls. Another futuristic thriller by Uglies trilogy author Scott Westerfeld.
James Hynes
Extras is just as thrilling as its predecessors, but it's also a thoughtful novel of ideas, a brilliant parody of the modern obsession with fame. Like almost everyone else in her world, Aya records everything she does with the help of a semi-sentient hovercam (a sort of floating soccer ball that's a cross between R2D2 and Weegee), using the resulting footage to boost her face rank. It's as if the whole world were like Facebook, with every citizen simultaneously a celebrity and his or her own paparazzi. The situation is the opposite of the enforced egalitarianism of beauty in the earlier books; here, Westerfeld slyly shows what happens when you take the brakes off and let the market of media exposure determine individual worth. With its combination of high-stakes melodrama, cinematic action and thought-provoking insight into some really thorny questions of human nature, the new novel, like its predecessors, is a superb piece of popular art, reminiscent less of other young adult books than of another pop masterpiece, the revived "Battlestar Galactica."
—The New York Times
Children's Literature - Anita Barnes Lowen
Welcome to the world of Aya Fuse, a fifteen-year-old Ugly whose popularity ranking is rock bottom. In her city with its reputation-economy—where merits and face rankings determine who gets the best mansions, the most carbon emissions, and the biggest wall allowances—being noticed and popular is all important. But not to the Sly Girls. Aya has heard rumors about them—a secretive clique of daredevil young women who are not interested in popularity at all. If Aya can hook up with them, record their fear-making antics, and kick their story, she is certain to get a major boost in her rank. Sheer luck and guts get Aya in with the group. Now she finds herself torn between betraying the nascent friendships she has developed and her own self interest. But the discovery of strange beings secretly stockpiling what can only be missiles changes everything. Aya must kick her story to save the world. And it does not hurt that the added bonus will be a skyrocketing face rank that could put Aya in with the exalted 1000 Faces. Unfortunately Aya is about to learn that fame has its dark side. An astonishingly well-told story about a future society where popularity rules. Think American Idol, FaceBook and MySpace coming into your eyescreen and skintenna on a continuous 24/7 feed. Read the first three titles in the "Uglies" series before beginning this one; with the story's many references to past events and characters, having some prior knowledge will make reading this book much more enjoyable. Highly recommended. Reviewer: Anita Barnes Lowen
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up
Westerfeld delivers another page-turner in the fourth book of his series, neatly tying previous narrative threads together with characters from former novels but allowing readers to enjoy this one with no prior knowledge of earlier books. In a society based on "face" (a social ranking), a 15-year-old "ugly" longs to be famous. With atypical teenage angst, Aya Fuse hatches a plan to "kick" herself into the top thousand most famous people. As she researches the Sly Girls who she saw riding the mag-lev on hoverboards, she stumbles into a much larger story involving city-killing missiles and strange nonhuman beings. Teens will find themselves drawn to Aya, who soon discovers, through her own experiences, that fame isn't everything and popularity comes with negatives that she hadn't before considered.
—June H. KeuhnCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
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 denouement 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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788484416913
  • Publisher: Random House Mondadori
  • Publication date: 1/1/2011
  • Series: Uglies Series , #4
  • Edition description: Translatio
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Scott Westerfeld


Scott Westerfeld
‘s other teen books include the Midnighters series, Peeps, So Yesterday, and The Last Days. He divides his summers between Sydney, Australia, and New York City.

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Read an Excerpt

Extras


By Scott Westerfeld

Simon Pulse

Copyright © 2007 Scott Westerfeld
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781416951179

Down and Out

"Moggle," Aya whispered. "You awake?"

Something moved in the darkness. A pile of dorm uniforms rustled, as if a small animal stirred underneath. Then a shape slipped from among the folds of spider silk and cotton. It rose into the air and floated toward Aya's bed. Tiny lenses gazed at her face, curious and alert, reflecting starlight from the open window.

Aya grinned. "Ready to go to work?"

In answer, Moggle flashed its night-lights.

"Ouch!" Aya squeezed her eyes shut. "Don't do that! It's vision-wrecking!"

She lay in bed another moment, waiting for the spots to fade. The hovercam nuzzled against her shoulder apologetically.

"It's okay, Moggle-chan," she whispered. "I just wish I had infrared too."

Lots of people her age had infrared vision, but Aya's parents had this thing about surge. They liked to pretend the world was still stuck in the Prettytime, when everyone had to wait until they turned sixteen to change themselves. Crumblies could be so fashion-missing.

So Aya was stuck with her big nose -- definitely ugly -- and her normal vision. When she'd moved out of her home and into a dorm, her parents had given her permission to get an eyescreen and skintenna, but that was only so they could ping whenever they wanted.Still, it was better than nothing. She flexed her finger and the city interface flickered to life, layering across her vision.

"Uh-oh," she said to Moggle. "Almost midnight."

She didn't remember dozing off, but the tech-head bash must have already started. It was probably crowded by now, packed enough with surge-monkeys and manga-heads that nobody would notice one ugly extra snooping around.

Besides, Aya Fuse was an expert at being invisible. Her face rank was proof of that. It sat unmoving in the corner of her vision: 451,396.

She let out a slow sigh. In a city of a million, that was total extra-land. She'd had her own feed for almost two years now, had kicked a great story just a week ago, and was still anonymous.

Well, tonight was finally going to change that.

"Let's go, Moggle," she whispered, and slipped out of bed.

A gray robe lay in a shapeless puddle at her feet. Aya pulled it over her dorm uniform and tied it at the waist, then perched on the windowsill. She turned to face the night sky slowly, easing one leg, then the other, out into the cool air.

She slipped on her crash bracelets, glancing at the ground fifty meters below.

"Okay, that's dizzy-making."

At least no monitors were skulking around down there. That was the kick thing about a thirteenth-story room -- no one expected you to sneak out your window.

Thick clouds hung low in the sky, reflecting worklights from the construction site across town. The cold tasted of pine needles and rain, and Aya wondered if she was going to freeze in her disguise. But she couldn't exactly throw a dorm jacket over the robe and expect people not to notice.

"Hope you're all charged up, Moggle. It's drop-time."

The hovercam drifted past her shoulder and out the window, settling close against her chest. It was the size of half a soccer ball, sheathed in hard plastic and warm to the touch. As Aya wrapped her arms around Moggle, she felt her bracelets trembling, caught in the magnetic currents of the hovercam's lifters.

She squeezed her eyes shut. "Ready?"

Moggle shivered in her arms.

Clinging to the hovercam with all her strength, Aya pushed herself into the void.

Getting out was much simpler these days.

For Aya's fifteenth birthday, Ren Machino -- her big brother's best friend -- had modified Moggle. She'd only asked him to make it quick enough to keep up with her hoverboard. But like most tech-heads, Ren took pride in his mods. The new Moggle was waterproof, shockproof, and powerful enough to carry an Aya-size passenger through the air.

Close enough, anyway. With her arms wrapped around the hovercam, she fell no faster than a cherry blossom twirling toward the ground. It was much easier than stealing a bungee jacket. And except for the nervous-making moment of jumping, it was kind of fun.

She watched the windows flicker past -- dreary rooms full of standard-requisition squalor. No one famous lived in Akira Hall, just loads of face-missing extras wearing generic designs. A few ego-kickers sat talking into their cams, watched by no one. The average face rank here was six hundred thousand, despair-making and pathetic.

Obscurity in all its horror.

Back in the Prettytime, Aya vaguely remembered, you just asked for awesome clothes or a new hoverboard and they popped out of the hole in the wall like magic. But these days, the hole wouldn't give you anything decent unless you were famous or had merits to spend. And getting merits meant taking classes or doing chores -- whatever the Good Citizen Committee commanded, basically.

Moggle's lifters connected with the metal grid beneath the ground, and Aya bent her knees, rolling as she hit. The wet grass squished beneath her like a sodden sponge, soft but shivery cold.

She let go of Moggle and lay for a moment on the rain-soaked earth, letting her heartbeat slow down. "You okay?"

Moggle flashed its night-lights again.

"Okay...that's still blind-making."

Ren had also modified the hovercam's brain. True AI might still be illegal, but the new Moggle was more than just a wedge of circuitry and lifters. Since Ren's tinkering, it had learned Aya's favorite angles, when to pan and zoom, and even how to track her eyes for cues.

But for some reason, it didn't get the whole night-vision thing.

She kept her eyes closed, listening hard as she watched the spots across her vision fade. No footsteps, no whir of monitor drones. Nothing but the muffled thump of music from the dorm.

Aya rose to her feet and brushed herself off. Not that anyone would notice the wet grass clinging to her; Reputation Bombers dressed to disappear. The robe was hooded and shapeless, the perfect disguise for party-crashing.

With a twist of a crash bracelet, a hoverboard rose from its hiding place in the bushes. Stepping on, Aya faced the glittering lights of Prettyville.

Funny how everyone still called it that, even if most of the residents weren't pretty anymore -- not in the old sense, anyway. Prettyville was full of pixel-skins and surge-monkeys, and plenty of other strange new fads and fashions. You could choose among a million kinds of beauty or weirdness, or even keep your natural-born face your whole life. These days "pretty" meant whatever got you noticed.

But one thing about Prettyville was still the same: If you hadn't turned sixteen, you weren't supposed to go there. Not at night, when all the good stuff happened.

Especially if you were an extra, a loser, an unknown.

Gazing at the city, she felt engulfed by her own invisibility. Each of its sparkling lights stood for one of the million people who had never heard of Aya Fuse. Who probably never would.

She sighed, urging her hoverboard forward.

The government feeds always said that the Prettytime was gone forever, freeing humanity from centuries of bubbleheadedness. They claimed that the divisions among uglies, pretties, and crumblies had all been washed away. That the last three years had unleashed a host of new technologies, setting the future in motion again.

But as far as Aya could see, the mind-rain hadn't changed everything....

It still pretty much sucked, being fifteen.

Copyright © 2006 by Scott Westerfeld

TECH-HEADS

"Are you getting this?" she whispered.

Moggle was already shooting, the shimmer of safety fireworks reflecting from its lenses. Hot-air balloons swayed over the mansion, and revelers screamed down from the rooftops in bungee jackets. It looked like a party back in the old days: self-indulgent and eye-kickingly radiant.

At least, that was how Aya's older brother always described the Prettytime. Back then everyone had gotten one big operation on their sixteenth birthday. It made you beautiful, but secretly changed your personality, leaving you brain-missing and easily controlled.

Hiro hadn't been a bubblehead very long; he'd turned sixteen only a few months before the mind-rain had arrived and cured the pretties. He liked to claim that those months had been awful -- as if being shallow and vain was such a stretch for him. But he never denied that the parties had been awesome.

Not that Hiro would be here tonight; he was way too famous. Aya checked her eyescreen: the average face rank inside was about twenty thousand. Compared with her older brother, the people at this bash were total extras.

Compared to an ugly ranked at half a million, though, they were legends.

"Be careful, Moggle," she whispered. "We're not wanted here."

Aya flipped up the hood of her robe, and stepped out of the shadows.

Inside, the air was full of hovercams. From Moggle-size all the way down to paparazzi swarms, each cam no bigger than a champagne cork.

There was always plenty to see at tech-head parties, crazy people and kick new gadgets. Maybe people weren't as beautiful as back during the Prettytime, but parties were a lot more interesting: serious surge-monkeys with snake fingers and medusa hair; smart-matter clothes that rippled like flags in a breeze; safety fireworks skittering along the floor, dodging feet and sizzling incense as they passed.

Tech-heads lived for new technologies -- they loved showing off their latest tricks, and kickers loved putting them on their feeds. The endless cycle of invention and publicity bumped everyone's face rank, so everyone was happy.

Everyone who got invited, anyway.

A hovercam buzzed close, almost low enough to peek in at Aya's face. She lowered her head, making her way toward a cluster of Reputation Bombers. Here in public they all kept their hoods up, like a bunch of pre-Rusty Buddhist monks. They were already bombing: chanting the name of some random member of the clique, trying to convince the city interface to bump his face rank.

Aya bowed to the group and joined the blur of name-dropping, keeping her ugly face covered.

The whole point of bombing was to dissect the city's reputation algorithms: How many mentions of your name did it take to crack the top thousand? How quickly did you drop if everyone stopped talking about you? The clique was one big controlled experiment, which was why they all wore the same anonymous outfits.

But Aya figured most Bombers didn't care about the math. They were just cheaters, pathetic extras trying to talk themselves famous. It was like how they'd manufactured celebrities back in Rusty days, a handful of feeds hyping a few bubbleheads and ignoring everybody else.

What was the point of the reputation economy, if someone was telling you who to talk about?

But Aya chanted away like a good little Bomber, keeping her attention on her eyescreen, watching the view from Moggle's lenses. The hovercam drifted over the crowd, picking out faces one by one.

The secret clique Aya had discovered had to be here somewhere. Only tech-heads could pull off a trick like that....

She'd spotted them three nights before, riding on top of one of the new mag-lev trains, traveling at insane speeds through the factory district -- so fast that all the shots Moggle had taken were too grainy and blurry to use.

Aya had to find them again. Whoever kicked a crazy trick like mag-lev riding would be instantly famous.

But Moggle was already distracted, watching a gaggle of NeoFoodies underneath a pink blob floating in the air. They were drinking from it with meter-long straws, like astronauts recapturing a spilled cup of tea.

NeoFoodies were old news -- Hiro had kicked a story about them last month. They ate extinct mushrooms grown from ancient spores, made ice cream with liquid nitrogen, and injected flavors into weird forms of matter. The floating pink stuff looked like an aerogel, dinner with the density of a soap bubble.

A small blob broke off and floated past. Aya grimaced, smelling rice and salmon. Eating strange substances might be a great way to bump your face rank, but she preferred her sushi heavier than air.

She liked being around tech-heads, though, even if she had to hide. Most of the city was still stuck in the past, trying to rediscover haiku, religion, the tea ceremony --

all the things that had been lost in the Prettytime, when everyone had been brain-damaged. But tech-heads were building the future, making up for three centuries of missing progress.

This was the place to find stories.

Something in her eyescreen sent a flicker of recognition through her.

"Hold it, Moggle!" she hissed. "Pan left."

There behind the NeoFoodies, watching with amusement as they chased down stray bloblets, was a familiar face.

"That's one of them! Zoom in."

The girl was about eighteen, classic new-pretty surge with slightly manga eyes. She was wearing a hoverball rig, floating gracefully ten centimeters above the floor. And she had to be famous: A reputation bubble surrounded her, a cohort of friends and groupies to keep extras away.

"Get close enough to hear them," Aya whispered. Moggle eased to the edge of the bubble, and soon its microphones caught the girl's name. Data spilled across Aya's eyescreen....

Eden Maru was a hoverball player -- left wing for the Swallows, who'd been city champions last year. She was also legendary for her lifter mods.

According to all the feeds, Eden had just dumped her boyfriend because of "a difference in ambition." Of course, that was just code for "she got too famous for him." Eden's face rank had hit ten thousand after the championship, and what's-his-name's was stuck at a quarter million. Everyone knew she needed to hook up with someone more face-equal.

But none of the rumors mentioned Eden's new mag-lev riding clique. She must be keeping that a secret, waiting for the right moment to reveal the trick.

Kicking it first would make Aya famous overnight.

"Track her," she told Moggle, then went back to chanting.

***

Half an hour later, Eden Maru headed out.

Slipping away from the Bombers was bliss-making -- Aya had chanted the name "Yoshio Nara" about a million times. She hoped Yoshio enjoyed his pointless face rank bump, because she never wanted to hear his name again.

From Moggle's midair view, Eden Maru was slipping through the door -- alone, no entourage. She had to be headed off to meet her secret clique.

"Stay close to her, Moggle," Aya croaked. All that chanting had left her throat dry. She spotted a drinks tray hovering past. "I'll catch up in a minute."

Grabbing a glass at random, Aya guzzled it down. The alcohol sent a shudder through her -- not exactly what she needed. She snatched another drink with lots of ice and pushed her way toward the door.

A gaggle of pixel-skins stood in her way, their bodies rippling through colors like drunken chameleons. She slipped among them, recognizing a couple of their faces from the surge-monkey feeds. A little reputation shiver went through her.

Out on the mansion steps Aya spilled the drink out through her fingers, saving the ice cubes. She tipped the glass back into her mouth and started crunching. After the sweltering party a mouthful of ice was heavenly.

"Interesting surge," someone said.

Aya froze.... Her hood had fallen back, revealing her ugly face.

"Um, thanks." The words came out muffled, and Aya gulped down cold shards of ice. The breeze hit her sweaty face, and she realized how fashion-missing she must look.

The boy smiled. "Where did you get the idea for that nose?"

Aya managed to shrug, suddenly word-missing. In her eyescreen she could see Eden Maru already flying across town, but tearing her gaze from the boy was impossible. He was a manga-head: eyes huge and glistening, his delicate face inhumanly beautiful. Long, tapered fingers stroked his perfect cheek as he stared at her.

That was the weird thing: He was staring at her.

But he was gorgeous, and she was ugly.

"Let me guess," he said. "From some pre-Rusty painting?"

"Uh, not really." She touched her nose, swallowing the last few shards of ice. "It's more, um...randomly generated?"

"Of course. It's so unique." He bowed. "Frizz Mizuno."

As Aya returned the bow, her eyescreen displayed his face rank: 4,612. A reputation shiver went through her, the realization that she was talking to someone important, connected, meaningful.

He was waiting for Aya to give her own name. And once she did that, he'd know her face rank, and then his wonderful gaze would turn somewhere more interesting. Even if in some logic-missing, mind-rain way he liked her ugly face, being an extra was simply pathetic.

Besides, her nose was way too big.

She twisted a crash bracelet to call her hoverboard. "My name's Aya. But I kind of...have to go now."

He bowed. "Of course. People to see, reputations to bomb."

Aya laughed, looking down at the robe. "Oh, this. I'm not really...I'm sort of incognito."

"Incognito?" His smile was eye-kicking. "You're very mysterious."

Her board slipped up next to the stairs. Aya stared down at it, hesitating. Moggle was already half a kilometer away, trailing Eden Maru through the darkness at high speed, but part of her was screaming to stay.

Because Frizz was still gazing at her.

"I'm not trying to be mysterious," she said. "It's just working out that way."

He laughed. "I want to know your last name, Aya. But I think you're purposely not telling me."

"Sorry," she squeaked, and stepped onto the board. "But I have to go after someone. She's sort of...getting away."

He bowed, his smile broadening. "Enjoy the chase."

She leaned forward and shot into the darkness, his laughter in her ears.

Copyright © 2006 by Scott Westerfeld

UNDERGROUND

Eden Maru knew how to fly.

Full-body lifter rigs were standard gear for hoverball players, but most people never dared to wear them. Each piece had its own lifter: the shin and elbow pads, even the boots in some rigs. One wrong twitch of your fingers could send all those magnets in different directions, which was an excellent way to dislocate a shoulder, or send you spinning headfirst into a wall. Unlike when you fall off a hoverboard, crash bracelets wouldn't save you from your own clumsiness.

But none of this seemed to worry Eden Maru. In Aya's eyescreen, she was zigzagging through the new construction site, using the half-finished buildings and open storm drains as her private obstacle course.

Even Moggle, who was stuffed with lifters and only twenty centimeters across, was finding it tricky keeping up.

Aya tried to focus on her own hoverboarding, but she was still half-hypnotized by Frizz Mizuno, dazzled by his attention. Since the mind-rain had broken down the boundaries between ages, Aya had talked to plenty of pretties. It wasn't like the old days, when your friends never talked to you after they got the operation. But no pretty had ever looked at her that way.

Or was she kidding herself? Maybe Frizz's intense gaze made everyone feel this way. His eyes were so huge, just like the old Rusty drawings that manga-heads based themselves on.

She was dying to ask the city interface about him. She'd never seen him on the feeds, but with a face rank below five thousand, Frizz had to be known for something besides eye-kicking beauty.

But for now Aya had a story to chase, a reputation to build. If Frizz was ever going to look at her that way again, she couldn't be so face-missing.

Her eyescreen began to flicker. Moggle's signal was fading, falling out of range of the city network as it followed Eden underground.

The signal shimmered with static, then went dark....

Aya banked to a halt, a shudder passing through her. Losing Moggle was always unnerving, like looking down on a sunny day to find her shadow gone.

She stared at the last image the hovercam had sent: the inside of a storm drain, grainy and distorted by infrared. Eden Maru was curled up tight, a human cannonball zooming through the confines of the tunnel, headed so deep that Moggle's transmitter couldn't reach the surface anymore.

The only way to find Eden again was to follow her down.

Aya leaned forward, urging her hoverboard back into motion. The new construction site rose up around her, dozens of iron skeletons and gaping holes.

After the mind-rain, nobody wanted to live in fashion-missing Prettytime buildings. Nobody famous, anyway. So the city was expanding wildly, plundering nearby Rusty ruins for metal. There were even rumors that the city planned to tear open the ground to look for fresh iron, like the earth-damaging Rusties had three centuries ago.

The unfinished towers flashed past, the steel frames making her board shudder. Hoverboards needed metal below them to fly, but too many magnetic fields made them shivery. Aya eased back her speed, checking for Moggle again.

Nothing. The hovercam was still underground.

A huge excavation came into sight, the foundation of some future skyscraper. Along its raw dirt floor, puddles of afternoon rain reflected the starlit sky, like jagged slivers of mirror.

In a corner of the excavation she spotted a tunnel mouth, an entry to the network of storm drains beneath the city.

A month ago, Aya had kicked a story about a new graffiti clique, uglies who left artwork for future gener-ations. They painted the insides of unfinished tunnels and conduits, letting their work be sealed up like time capsules. No one would see the paintings until long after the city collapsed, when its ruins were rediscovered by some future civilization. It was all very mind-rain, a rumination about how the eternal Prettytime had been more fragile than it seemed.

The story hadn't bumped Aya's face rank -- stories about uglies never did -- but she and Moggle had spent a week playing hide-and-seek through the construction site. She wasn't afraid of the underground.

Letting her board drop, Aya ducked past idle lifter drones and hoverstruts, diving toward the tunnel mouth. She bent her knees, pulled in her arms, and plunged into absolute blackness....

Her eyescreen flickered once -- the hovercam had to be nearby.

The smell of old rainwater and dirt was strong, trickling drainage the only sound. As the worklights behind her faded to a faint orange glow, Aya slowed her board to a crawl, guiding herself with one hand sliding along the tunnel wall.

Moggle's signal flickered back on...and held.

Eden Maru was standing upright, flexing her arms. She was someplace spacious and dead-black in infrared, extending as far as Moggle's cams could see.

What was down there?

More human forms shimmered in the grainy darkness. They floated above the black plain, the lozenge shapes of hoverboards glowing beneath their feet.

Aya smiled. She'd found them, those crazy girls who rode mag-lev trains.

"Move in and listen," she whispered.

As Moggle drifted closer, Aya remembered a place the graffiti uglies had bragged about finding -- a huge reservoir where the city stored runoff from the rainy season, an underground lake in absolute darkness.

Through Moggle's microphones, a few echoing words reached her.

"Thanks for getting here so fast."

"I always said your big face would get you into trouble, Eden."

"Well, this shouldn't take long. She's just behind me."

Aya froze. Who was just behind Eden? She glanced over her shoulder....

Nothing but the glimmer of water trickling down the tunnel.

Then her eyescreen faded again. Aya swore, flexing her ring finger: off/on...but her vision stayed black.

"Moggle?" she hissed.

No flicker in the eyescreen, no response. She tried to access the hovercam's diagnostics, its audio feed, the remote flying controls. Nothing worked.

But Moggle was so close -- at most twenty meters away. Why couldn't she connect?

Aya urged her board forward slowly, listening hard, trying to peer through the darkness. The wall slipped away from her hand, the echoes of a huge space opening around her. Trickles of rainwater chorused from a dozen drains, and the damp presence of the reservoir sent chills across her skin.

She needed to see....

Then Aya remembered the control panel of her hoverboard. In this absolute darkness, even a few pinpricks of light would make a difference.

She knelt and booted the controls. Their soft blue glow revealed sweeping walls of ancient brick, patched in places with modern ceramics and smart matter. A broad stone ceiling arched overhead, like the vault of some underground cathedral.

But no Moggle.

Aya drifted slowly through the darkness, letting the subtle air currents carry her board, listening hard. A smooth lake of black water spread out a few meters below her board.

Then she heard something nearby, the slightest catch of breath, and turned....

In the dim blue glow, an ugly face stared back at her. The girl stood on a hoverboard, holding Moggle in her arms. She gave Aya a cold smile.

"We thought you might come after this."

"Hey!" Aya said. "What did you do to my -- "

A foot kicked out from the darkness and sent Aya's hoverboard rocking.

"Watch it!" Aya shouted.

Strong hands pushed her, and she took two unsteady steps backward. The hoverboard shifted, trying to stay under her feet. Aya stuck her arms out, wobbling like a littlie on ice skates.

"Knock it off! What are you -- "

From all directions, more hands shoved and prodded her -- Aya spun wildly, blind and defenseless. Then her board was kicked away, and she was tumbling through the air.

The water struck her face with a cold, hard slap.

Copyright © 2006 by Scott Westerfeld



Continues...


Excerpted from Extras by Scott Westerfeld Copyright © 2007 by Scott Westerfeld. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 710 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Missing my characters!

    After reading all about Tally, Shay and David for three books, I was left longing for more. Extras had them to some degree, but not as much as I would have liked. It successfully answered the "what happens next" question left hanging at the end of Specials, but I wasn't a fan of introducing a whole new cast of characters.

    22 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Great book!

    People who like reading about adventures will without a doubt enjoy this book! The title is Extras and it is written by Scott Westerfeld. The genre is teen adventure/science fiction. In Extras the reader is introduced to Aya Fuse, who is tired of being a nobody. After a party, she meets the Sly Girls, a group of brave girls who want nothing to do with fame, which is all Aya wants. Aya gets her chance when they discover something that could bring her fame but could put the rest of the world in danger. My opinion on Extras is that it's a very attention-grabbing book. From page one to the end, it had my complete interest. It is full of excitement and many people can relate to some things that happen in this book. So, if anyone is in for an adventure, read Extras!

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Unnecessary 4th Installment

    I couldn't stop at Specials when I discovered there was a 4th installment in the series, but I was disappointed by most of this story. At first I was mostly just confused by the jump in time and the abandonment of Tally's story. I was really happy that she was reintroduced later in the story but this one fell flat for me overall. I would never have skipped it though, due to my dedication to the series as a whole. Don't expect the same excitement of Specials to be repeated in this story.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Little too far

    He started a book in this series about someone totally different. When an author does this it is my opinion that they should start a different series. I understand that he did bring in tally but still.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2008

    Recommended read

    Aya Fuse is a fifteen-year-old extra whose greatest desire is to kick the biggest story of her life to launch her face rank 'a miserable 451,359' to the top 1,000. Aya lives in an unnamed city in Japan with a reputation economy, in a post-mindrain world 'the mindrain was when all of the 'pretty' brain surgeries were stopped because they kind of imprisoned people to think a certain 'pretty' way' where being famous is the ultimate goal, and if no one is talking about you, you're a complete extra 'nobody'. The comparison between our worlds seems intentional. Everyone in Aya's city has a feed 'like a blog or facebook' where you kick stories 'like a journalist'. If someone famous watches your feed, your face rank can skyrocket, and you could be included in the coveted top 1,000. At the beginning of Extras, Aya stumbles upon a 'tricky' covert group, calling themselves the Sly Girls, hoverboarding a mag-lev train 'a train that reaches speeds of 300mph'. She knows that if she kicks this story, she'll be whisked into the the world of fame. She infiltrates the group, riding the mag-lev along with the girls and secretly snapping shots with her button-cams and video feeds with Moggle, her hovercam. One night, when hoverboarding the mag-lev, they come across a secret base in the side of a mountain, filled with giant metal cylinders of smart matter 'smart matter can change into any programmed shape, texture, or material', and alien-like surge-monkeys. Aya comes to a shocking realization these could easily be weapons to destroy other cities- not to mention the world- with. She kicks the Sly Girls story 'and it turns out that they knew she was lying to them all along', along with her feeds of the secret mountain and how she believes it could be a weapon of mass destrution. Her face rank launches to number thirteen. But in one of the background layers of her feed, she accidently left a video of the Sly Girls talking about the freak surge-monkeys, who she didn't put in her feed because of lack of pictures/video proof. Just minutes after launching her feed, a hovercar full of the alien-like beings attempts to kidnap her brother Hiro, his friend Ren, Aya's friend Frizz, and her, but they escape narrowly. And when she gets a ping 'message' from Tally Youngblood, the most famous person in the world, not to mention a Special 'a person engineered to be stronger, faster, and way more vicious than normal people', she fears that she may have blundered upon a story even bigger than that of secret cliques and scary weapons, a story that may change the way the world runs...

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    AWESOME BOOK!!!!

    This is the 4th book and compainion novel to the Uglies series. I really liked this book, I actually like it better then the first three books in the series. The first three books are good but this book is really good. For those that love Tally, she's in this book, just not as the main character, so don't worry. Aya Fuse is a 15 year old girl living after the the world was freed of mind control by Tally Youngblood. She's obsessed with finding and kicking the right story so she can become famous and have a higher face rank. She gets a break when she runs into the Sly Girls, a secret clique, and joins them. While train surfing the Sly Girls and Aya learn about a secret hollowed out place in the mountain storing metal and cylinders that shoot up in the sky. Aya soon kicks the sotry of the Sly girls and what she thinks are weapons that could destroy whole cities. And as she becomes more famous she has to run in order to keep from being caught by the freaky looking people who stored those metal cylinders in the mountain. With the help of Tally, the Cutters, and Aya's brother and friends she learns the truth and learns not to truth slant(lie) because it could mean everything when trying to get a story out there.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2008

    A reviewer

    this book was okay, not like bad like other people are saying. A lot of the people said they were disappointed that this book was centered around Aya, not Tally, but they should realize that the stories revolving around Tally:Uglies, Pretties, and Specials are a trilogy. So the authour PLANNED to have only 3 books on Tally. The Extras.. is just an extra book based on the world that Westerfeld has created, not a sequel to Specials

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Pretty good

    Im enjoying this book alot im almost done with it. At first i had a hard time starting it cause it was soooo slowww at the begging. I think that they should have either stopped the series after the last book or made a new series for Aya and her friends. But still i cant wait to finish this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Okay

    I loved the original 3 books and was excited to tead the 4th. I loved the new characters and the whole "face rank" idea, but I felt like the book was very slow. I got bored very often and I thought the middle was very slow. The beginning on the other hand was awesome and I just love Lai and the Sly Girls. I also liked how it took place in Japan. It was only worth reading because I wanted to know what happened to Tally and David and because of the Sly Girls and Ren and Aya.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2011

    Tallyyoungbloodloverforeverr

    I read all the other three books and LOVED themm tally was so inspiring i wanted her in this book...having a lot of trouble reading this book.Definitly not the others, i couldnt put those down...hopefully i will somehow get through this....

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2008

    Very good read..

    I have read Uglies/Pretties/Specials and I am about to go purchase Extras. Westerfeld has a way of making you not want to put the book down!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2014

    I'm not going to leave an actual review or anything but this ser

    I'm not going to leave an actual review or anything but this series was amazing and highly recommended. I was first told of these books by my best friend and once I started reading it, I couldn't stop. It threw a smile on my face, made me laugh, made me cry uncontrollably and just made me feel such raw emotions that I couldn't stop thinking about the books for weeks. The characters are very fun and genuine and I love how Tally changes from an average person to one of the most  important and popular person in the world. But of course she had to deal with tons of problems and pressure. This author did a fantastic job and with a nice cliffhanger at the end of the final book, I was left breathless. 

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2013

    This is a must read! I was a little confused in from the start b

    This is a must read! I was a little confused in from the start but once i started to get more into the book i understood the concept! I love this 
    book! i love how they re introduce tally david faustio and shay! I wish this book was a little longer or maybe the author could have made 
    new series out of this but it is still exceptional! I was wondering who Moggle was but then once i red the book further in i understood! i would 
    have loved to see David a little more but thats alright. Like i said i wish the book was longer or a separate series because it was a little much for
    only 399 pages! But this is a must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    Wow such a surprise!!

    When i saw this book and read it was about a girl named Aya Fuse i was skeptical on wether it was worth it or not. This book was all about popularity and secret clubs. The one that Aya joined the Sly Girls who loved to be an Extra, Aya was the opposite of that. Farther into her adventures she finds somethingthat will make her popular, and then later in to the book a special circumstance is accounted for and guess who meets who..... This BOOK was AMAZING I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    AMAZING! MUST READ BOOKS!

    This book is amazing, its the last book so far and it has some new characters and a bunch of cliffhanger parts. i wish they would have made a 5 book too

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    Not what I'd hoped for

    The book had me a little lost at first until I realized it was based years later. Aya drove me absolutely nuts!!! I just never could like her character at all. All she cared about was being popular and doing things the way she wanted and not caring how it effected others. The other characters were ok, but by the time Tally showed back up, I really didn't like her much either. I just wasn't impressed with this one at all. It was good to finish the series, but I just feel like the story should have gone in a different direction or something.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2012

    Pg's 31-292, here!!

    Hey me again,
    Page 31 of 292. Just want to say it bored me so much bc there wasn't much action, except meeting the Sly girls!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Unexpectedly good!

    Surprisingly, I liked this book better than Specials. I thought the characters were engaging, as well as their relationships with each other, and when Tally and her friends finally appeared, their personalities were still spot-on, which is something I worried about before picking up this book.

    As always, the technology and the atmosphere in Extras is thorough and well-imagined. This is a setting and novel of which readers become a part, not something they observe from the outside. Westerfeld is a genius with well-written and beautiful prose and it keeps the pages turning and the book from straying out of my hands.

    A wonderful read. :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    It was good

    This book focuses on an extra named aya who livea in japan. Tally does come into the story at one point but the story focuses on aya. It doesnt really start up where the laat one but more like goes on a whole different intertwinned story but it was still good. However it didnt really sum up the story like a last book in a seris ahoul but left me wanting more with nothing to quench my thirst. Overall it was unsatisfactoy but still very good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Good not great

    I didnt like Tallys personality very much. Not the best book in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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