Tally Youngblood is an Ugly. All her friends have gone off and become Pretties, but she is the youngest, and eagerly awaiting her 16th birthday so that she can join them. But before she reaches that magical age she meets a new friend, Shay, who tells her about a mysterious boy called David, and the notion that some people don’t want to be made Pretty. To Tally this is insane. Science and evolution prove that people like beauty. And back in the “Rusties” day, when they weren’t able to make people pretty there was so much discrimination just over the way people lived. She’ll never go off looking for the Smoke. She’ll stay in the city, and become Pretty, just like all her friends.
Of course, if she did then this book wouldn’t have much of a plot now would it?
After reading Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan earlier this year I’ve been keeping an eye out for books by him, and so when this passed under my eye I decided to take a peak. It is very different than Leviathan, and at first I didn’t enjoy it as much. It took a while to get into. I liked Tally as a character, but she didn’t grab me as much as interest me. The whole world interested me, but I didn’t feel immersed in it.
But towards the end it somehow got hold of me and made me keep reading. Maybe a little too late for me to love this book. But still, no book is perfect.
And that first line immediately made me think of that famous Gibson line, about the sky being the colour of a television tuned to a dead channel. Course, I’ve never read Neuromancer so I don’t know if there any other allusions to it.
I’ll have to pick up the rest of the series at some point.