Uglies: Cutters, by Scott Westerfeld and Devin Grayson

When I reviewed Scott Westerfeld's Uglies: Shay's Story last spring, I wondered if Westerfeld's original series (which had already expanded from a trilogy to a quartet) really merited a graphic novel tie-in. I still have my doubts, frankly, but Shay's Story obviously sold well enough to justify a sequel, because Del Rey has just released Uglies: Cutters.

Cutters picks up right where Shay's Story left off: recaptured from her escape into the wilderness, Shay has been transformed into a “Pretty”—a cheerful airhead who has been surgically modified to become as beautiful, docile, and stupid as possible. Shay spends her days in a swirl of alcohol and parties, with almost no memory of her past. But when her old friend Tally Youngblood emerges from her own prettifying ceremony, Shay's memories begin to return, and they're anything but happy.

Like Shay's Story, Cutters was co-written by Devin Grayson and illustrated by Steven Cummings. It's unlikely to attract any new readers to the series, but fans of the first graphic novel tie-in should enjoy this one as well—the artwork is effective, there's a satisfying story arc, and Shay once again proves to be a far more sympathetic and interesting protagonist than Tally ever was. I'm still confused by the enduring popularity of this lackluster sci-fi series, but this particular installment is just as entertaining as the last one, and more entertaining than most of the original trilogy.

Review based on publisher-provided copy.
Posted by: Julianka


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