Author: Scott Westerfield
Genre: Sci-Fiction, Action
This book is a fantastic mix of action and Sci-Fi because it takes place in a futuristic, utopian society in Japan. In this city, all currency is based on face-rank, or how famous you are. This scale ranges from #1 most famous person in the city to the one millionth most popular person in the city.
It all starts with Aya Fuse, just a small, insignificant Extra. Aya has been doing everything she can to try to become famous like her brother, Hiro. (He just so happens to be one of the most famous people in the city.) She has kicked (posted) more stories than she can count, but she’s always just been an Extra. Then she finds out about the Sly-Girls, a group of people dedicated to staying off the radar. They go against everything society has taught them and try as hard as they can to be no-bodies. Aya has caught them riding the Mag-Lev trains, (super fast transport trains) and she believes that once she kicks this story, she may just become famous, or at least she won’t be an Extra anymore. However, while infiltrating their ranks and posing as one of them, and trying to get important videos, she stumbles on something far bigger than a few girls riding on top of trains. She finds these creatures that look inhuman, and what she thinks is a “World Killer.” While riding on top of one of the trains, it takes an unexpected stop inside a mountain. Her and a fellow Sly Girl, Lai, hop off the train in search of why they were stopped. What they find is of course a mountain, but it’s hollowed out. They realize it is storing something, what they think is an enormous “World Killer” which they fear will be used to destroy cities one by one.
After a few months of working undercover, she finally gets enough shots to kick her story. With the help of her brother Hiro, they both believe that this story will sail through the roof! However, on the night of the big reveal, there is something wrong. None of their feeds are working and she can’t post her story. What ends up happening is the “inhumans” find out about the story and they can’t let her kick it. She is being followed and about to be kidnapped, when a former special circumstances agent, Tally Youngblood, who happens to be the most famous person in the world, rescues her and her friends. However, they are not in the clear yet, Tally has decided to use Aya to infiltrate the inhumans base. She disguises herself and purposely gets captured. Once she gets into their base and tries to destroy it, Aya realizes something. The inhumans aren’t out to destroy the world, they are trying to save humanity. They have hollowed out the mountains to make launch pads. They think that since humanity is using all the land on the earth, they must colonize space! Aya realizes this and manages to stop Tally, with great effort. She then re-kicks her story to show how the mountains were not city-killers, and how they were actually to help humanity.
I think the theme of this book is that “fame/popularity doesn’t make a person who they are, it’s about the way they act.” I think this is the theme because Aya ends up becoming the third most popular person in the city, but in the end, she’s still just Aya. Also, her friend Lai (a sly girl) dedicated her life to staying off the radar, but when Aya kicks her story she also becomes famous, and she realizes that she doesn’t care if she’s famous or not. She’s also still just Lai.
Some things I liked about this book werewas how there was constant action and how it was never predictable. I never would have guessed that the inhumans were trying to colonize space and not trying to destroy the earth.
Some things I didn’t like about the book werewas weird slang that took made the book feel not very smooth. For example, the author would use words such as dizzy-making, which disrupted the flow of the book.
I think this book is mostly suited for people who like futuristic books and constant action, but it is also suited for both genders.
Contributed by Ethan Naughton