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Creator / Scott Westerfeld

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Scott Westerfeld is a YA author who splits his time between Sydney, Australia and New York. He is married to the author Justine Larbalestier.


Short stories

Tropes frequently used by Scott Westerfeld:

  • Action Girl: This occurs frequently in Midnighters we have Dess, Melissa, and Jessica. In Uglies we have Tally Youngblood, Shay, Dr. Cable, Aya Fuse, and Eden Maru. In Zeroes we have Crash, Flicker, and Mob. Lizzie in Afterworlds. And in Leviathan we have Deryn, Dr. Barlow, and Lilit.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Seems to happen in a lot of his books. The ending is usually just the beginning.
  • Animal Motifs: Fairly common. Particularly with predators.
  • Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: Most of his stories will have at least one of these.
  • Author Appeal:
    • Flying. He has admitted this. We have the Acrobat superpower as well as the Halfling wings in Midnighters. Hoverboards and the maglifts in the Uglies series, airships and zeppelins in the Leviathan series, and floating in Afterworlds. That’s not to mention all of the falling, climbing and peering over cliffs in his series.
    • Most of his books have at least one nerdy main character. Usually they are also a Badass Bookworm.
  • Badass Bookworm: Cal Thompson, Rex Greene, Alex Ferdinand, and Dess.
  • Badass Crew: The Midnighters, the Zeroes, and the Cutters.Plus the Crew of Leviathan.The band in The Last Days.
  • Battle Couple: Midnighters has Jessica and Jonathan and Rex and Melissa. Uglies has Tally and David in the first book and at the end of the trillogy as well as Shay and Tachs. Tally and Zane are a subversion in the second book. Leviathan has Alek and Deryn. Cal and Lace may become this in Peeps. Minerva and Moz may qualify.Also Lizzie and Yama in Afterworlds.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Most of his books have these.
  • Blithe Spirit: Appears to be one of his favorite tropes, we have Cal coming to New York in Peeps and unwittingly infecting people, Jessica moving to Bixby in Midnighters and having her power attract darklings, Alex being kidnapped and learning combat and changing the people around him as he grows more competent in Leviathan, Shay turns Tally’s life upside down in Uglies before she runs away and Tally changes every single place that she visits throughout the trilogy. We also have Minerva joining the band in The Last Days only to unadvertantly summon giant worms and Kelsey showing up in Zeroes and reuniting the group.
  • Brainwashedand Crazy: Happens to full-blown Peeps in the titular novel.In Uglies, Pretties and Specials qualify, if it’s not this trope then it is definitely Mind Control. In Midnighters, Mindcasters have the power to do this to people.
  • The Chosen One: Another big trope in Westerfeld books, we have Cal being one of the few carriers in Peeps and Minerva being the only main character to discover a new parasite ability in The Last Days, Jessica having a rare Midnighters power and a prophetic destiny, Alek being the next in line for the throne, and Tally slowly realizes her destiny to save the world.
  • Evil Mentor: Madeline in Midnighters, Dr. Cable in Uglies, and Morgan in Peeps
  • Extremely Short Time Span: The second Midnighters book takes place over a week and the other two books in the trilogy roughly cover a month’s time. The Leviathan Trilogy seems to cover an entire summer and the Uglies trilogy takes place over one year.
  • Face–Heel Turn/Heel–Face Turn/Heel–Face Revolving Door: Most of his books will use at least one of these at some point.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: All of the Midnighters just so happen to run into each other. They each have a different power and have to work together to keep their town safe. Everyone’s power is important and they grow closer over time. Alek and Deryn come from two different sides of a war in Leviathan but must work together to survive and later fall in love. In Uglies, Tally and Shay keep on becoming best friends despite their city and the villain manipulating them and brainwashing them into hating each over and over. As well as making them fight each other.They always manage to slowly overcome this and it even manages to make their friendship stronger over time.
  • Goths:Definitely recurring theme. Morgan in Peeps, The band in The Last Days, most of the Midnighters, and all of the Cutters in Specials. All of these characters range from Perky Goth to Emo Teen.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: From time to time.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Tally, at first. Alek, at first. Jessica as time goes on.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Almost all of his books end in these, especially the trilogies. The first book in a trilogy will have a twist in the end that will make it almost impossible to give the premise or intro of the second book without spoiling the ending of the book and the second book will usually have a twist at the end that makes it impossible to give the premise of the third book without spoiling the second book.
  • Les Yay: While this is never explicit in his books and can also be seen as a Heterosexual Life-Partner or True Companions kind of relationship, a lot of his female characters do seem to treat another female character as their soulmate or significant other. This is feeling is always mutual regardless if both characters have been proven to be straight with boyfriends and don’t have any romantic feelings for each other, there is still strong subtext even when the relationship is adversarial on both ends. The best examples of this are Tally and Shay, Jessica and Dess,Dess and Melissa,and Lillit and Deryn.
  • Love Triangle: From time to time.
  • Manipulative Bitch:In Midnighters, we have Madeline Hayes and Melissa. Rex has his moments. In Uglies, Dr. Cable is the most manipulative character although Tally becomes more and more manipulative with every book.
  • Sanity Ball: The inversion occurs at least twice. Once in the Uglies Trilogy and once in the Midnighters trilogy.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Tends to have groups start out as reluctantly working together only to turn into True Companions or sometimes have the group be both simultaneously.
  • True Companions: Tends to have groups become trusted companions over time, or sometimes have the group be simultaneously an example of Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Tally could be the poster girl for this trope. But we also have Jessica in Midnighters and Alek in Leviathan. Moz in The Last Days.