Well, It is here! The long awaited 4th book in the Uglies series. Author, Scott Westerfeld, made it clear that this book is meant to stand alone since the Uglies, Pretties, and Specials is clearly a trilogy. Extras is set in futuristic Japan three years after the downfall of bubbleheadedness, or as the world refers to it as, the mind rain that Tally Youngblood spread around the world.
The main character of Extras is Aya Fuse. She lives in a society where popularity determines how many perks you have. People that are the most popular get the best places to live, the best clothes, and get invited to the best parties. Everyone has their own feed to the “internet” and have hovercams follow them around in order to get information to put on their feeds in order to boost their popularity. Face rank is what counts and Aya is basically invisible with a face rank hovering around 450,000. She is determined to “kick” a huge story in order to get her face rank in the top 1000 so she can go to the biggest party of the month.
Aya has an idea for a super story. There is a rumor about a group of girls that call themselves the Sly Girls that pull dangerous stunts and try to avoid face ranks. For them, the lower the better. They are afraid if they are noticed the wardens will come and stop them from doing their tricks. Their biggest trick is to ride the top of a mag lev train.
Aya spots one of the Sly Girls at a party she crashes and follows her in order to get some footage for her feed. Of course, she is discovered and forced to get rid of her hovercam, Moggle, by dropping it in a water tank. After allowing her hovercam to sink to the bottom of the water, the Sly Girls invite her to join them on a mag lev train ride. While they are riding something unusal happens. The train stopped midway through the route and unusal “inhuman” looking people started loading huge metal cylinders onto the train from the inside of a mountain. The Sly Girls and mostly Aya decide they need to get to the bottom of this and start to do a little investigation. They are afraid that these people are planning to destroy the world by launching these metal cylinders and aiming them at cities around the world.
Kicking this story leads Aya and her friends to high face ranks, but they soon find out that face ranks might not be so important when your life is in danger. The story also brings Tally Youngblood out of hiding in order to help Aya get to the bottom of everything.
Extras could be read as a stand alone. Scott Westerfeld does a good job of explaining what happened prior to this book. However, I think reading the others in the Uglies series would make the story more enjoyable. I enjoyed Extras but I liked Uglies, Pretties, and Specials better.