I finished Specials and read this in the hopes that it would tie up some loose ends that it left hanging (and perhaps give me a better ending, too). Alas, I was disappointed. This is set three years after the end of Specials where the world is free of the operation that occurs to make everyone pretty (and turn stupid) when they turn 16 years old. Everything had also changed so it became a "reputation economy," where people receive merits (money) based on their popularity (how many times their name is said). People who are not above a certain threshold are considered "Extras." Aya is an Extra who desperately wants to be popular, so she ends up following a group called the Sly Girls in the hopes of "kicking" the story and becoming famous. Following them ends up to be more than she bargained for and leads to a bigger story than she could have ever imagined when they see what appear to be aliens moving things from a train to inside a mountain. These things end up being large metal cylinders that are believed will be used to attack the city. Who are these aliens? And will they really attack? What about when Tally and David said they'd protect everyone at the end of Specials?