Specials Book Summary, Characters and Review, Scott Westerfeld


What is the summary of the book Specials written by Scott Westerfeld? Information about the summary, characters and analysis of Specials.



“Specials” is the third book in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. It continues the dystopian journey of Tally Youngblood in a futuristic society where individuals undergo surgeries and transformations to conform to societal norms.

In “Specials,” Tally has become a member of the elite group known as the Specials. They are a highly advanced and heavily modified force tasked with enforcing the rules and maintaining order in the city. The Specials have enhanced physical abilities, heightened senses, and advanced technologies embedded within their bodies.

The central theme of “Specials” explores the dangerous consequences of power and the loss of individuality. Tally finds herself caught in a battle between her loyalty to the Specials and her desire to maintain her own identity. She begins to question the moral implications of her actions and the extent of control exerted by the governing authorities.


As Tally delves deeper into her role as a Special, she encounters resistance fighters known as the New Smoke, who reject the oppressive system and fight for freedom and individuality. Tally’s loyalties are tested as she must decide where she truly stands and what she is willing to sacrifice for her beliefs.

The book also explores themes of identity, sacrifice, and the complexity of human nature. Tally struggles with her own sense of self and the internal conflicts that arise as she grapples with her past decisions and the consequences of her actions.

Throughout the narrative, “Specials” delves into the dark side of power and the destructive nature of societal control. It raises thought-provoking questions about the price of conformity, the limits of personal freedom, and the pursuit of an idealized version of humanity.

With its action-packed storyline, intense character development, and thought-provoking themes, “Specials” concludes the Uglies series with a gripping exploration of power dynamics, individuality, and the quest for personal liberation in a world dominated by societal expectations.

Book Summary

“Specials” is the third book in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. The story follows the journey of Tally Youngblood, who has now become a member of the Specials, an elite group tasked with enforcing the rules and maintaining order in the city.

At the beginning of the book, Tally is fully immersed in her new role as a Special. She has undergone physical enhancements and has advanced technologies embedded within her body. As a result, she possesses heightened senses, superhuman strength, and incredible agility. Tally’s mind has also been altered to think and act with ruthless efficiency.

Tally’s primary objective as a Special is to track down and eliminate members of the New Smoke, a resistance group that rejects the government’s control and seeks to maintain individuality. Tally is determined to prove herself to her superiors and to protect the city from the perceived threat posed by the rebels.


As Tally carries out her missions, she starts to experience flashes of memories from her previous life as an Ugly and as a member of the Smoke. These memories raise doubts within her and she begins to question the true nature of the society she serves. Tally realizes that the surgical modifications she underwent as a Special have not only enhanced her physical abilities but have also altered her thought processes and emotions.

Tally’s internal conflict intensifies when she reunites with Zane, her former love interest. Zane is now a Special as well, but he has been experiencing side effects from the enhancements, causing his health to deteriorate. Tally becomes determined to find a cure for Zane and to free him from the control of the city’s authorities.

As Tally investigates the truth behind the operations and the government’s intentions, she discovers a plan to unleash a destructive force upon the rebels. Tally must make difficult choices as she weighs her loyalty to the Specials against her desire to protect the people she cares about.

In a climactic turn of events, Tally makes a decision that has far-reaching consequences. She realizes that true freedom and individuality can only be achieved by dismantling the oppressive system and freeing everyone from the control of the city.

Throughout the narrative, “Specials” explores themes of power, control, identity, and the price of conformity. Tally’s journey forces her to confront the dark side of the society she once believed in and to fight for a future where individuality is valued.

With its fast-paced plot, complex characters, and thought-provoking themes, “Specials” offers readers a thrilling and thought-provoking conclusion to the Uglies series, challenging them to question the nature of power and the importance of maintaining one’s true self in a world that seeks to suppress individuality.


Here are some of the key characters in “Specials”:

  • Tally Youngblood: The protagonist and narrator of the series. In “Specials,” Tally has become a Special with enhanced physical abilities and advanced technology. She grapples with her loyalty to the city and the desire to maintain her own individuality.
  • Zane: Tally’s former love interest and now a Special like her. Zane struggles with the side effects of the enhancements and becomes a source of support and inspiration for Tally as they navigate the challenges they face.
  • Shay: Tally’s former friend and member of the New Smoke. Shay represents the resistance movement and challenges Tally’s loyalty to the Specials. Their relationship is complicated and fraught with conflicting loyalties.
  • Dr. Cable: The enigmatic and powerful leader of the city’s government. Dr. Cable plays a significant role in manipulating Tally and the other Specials, pushing them to enforce control and eliminate any threats to the system.
  • David: A member of the New Smoke and Tally’s former love interest. David represents the ideals of freedom and individuality, and he becomes a source of conflict for Tally as she navigates her loyalty to the Specials.
  • Fausto: A fellow Special and Tally’s teammate. Fausto is known for his strength and aggression. He embodies the characteristics valued by the Specials but also serves as a foil to Tally’s growing doubts and resistance.
  • The Cutters: A group of Specials within Tally’s unit. They are known for their self-inflicted injuries and rebellious behavior, challenging the norms of the Specials and the government’s control.
  • The New Smoke: The resistance group that opposes the city’s control and advocates for individuality and freedom. The members of the New Smoke, including Shay, David, and others, become allies and sources of conflict for Tally as she navigates her own beliefs and loyalties.

These characters, along with others, contribute to the intricate web of relationships and conflicts in “Specials.” Each character brings their own motivations, strengths, and vulnerabilities to the narrative, shaping the course of the story and challenging Tally’s beliefs and choices.

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