Book Review : I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (or James Frey)
Within the known universe there are three planets that have been inhabited with intelligent life. The Mogadorians, a hateful, destructive race have ruined their own planet, and have stripped the planet Lorien of its resources while trying to exterminate the Loriens. Unbeknownst to the inhabitants of earth a select group of Mogadorians occupy this planet.
To avoid annihilation the Lorien’s have preserved nine children of their species, the Cepan, to live on Earth with their guardians in the hope to reestablish their race in the future. The Lorien’s look just like humans, but have super-powers or “legacies”. A magic charm has been interwoven through the nine Cepan to help protect them from the Mogadorians, but obviously they are always in grave danger. The first three Cepan have been assissinated and number Four will be the next target precipitating his move to Paradise, Ohio and identity change as “John Smith”. John must remain anonymous to survive, however, difficulties arise as he catches the attention of Sarah, the most beautiful girl in the world, and her ex-boyfriend, Mark the hulking football player and school bully. John is also befriended by the oddity, Sam, who believes his father was abducted by Aliens. John is protected by his guardian, Henri, and faithful dog Bernie Kosar. It seems likely that the Mogadorians are not on earth to just exterminate the Loriens, but to learn more about earth for its obliteration.
Adult Point of View
I Am Number Four is fast paced and designed for a young audience with a short attention span. I am sure it will be loved by gamers and many because of the new movie release. I have to admit I was hoping for something more.
*Update 10/29/11 I just watched the movie and have to say that I really enjoyed it, in ways more than the movie because they were able to edit out the ridiculous dialogue between Sarah and John.
I felt ambivalent to the characters except for Bernie Kosar who had more depth than the people. Character development fell flat, even by the end of the book I didn’t have a good grip on which character name fit which personality including the protagonist because his name was used so infrequently.
It was quite a creative plot line though not fully logical, for example, why would the Mogadorians only care about killing the children, called Cepan with the legacies, and not the Garde, adult guardians, who are still Loriens? Of course the Garde will still be killed if they are in the way of getting to the Cepan. It seemed far fetched that the Mogadorians could blend in on earth very easily when they are an unnatural height, have pointy teeth and dark eyes. The Mogadorians also suck the life force out of the people and environment they are around which seemed a lot like the Dementors in “Harry Potter”. I also had a hard time swallowing that John didn’t suspect that his dog, Bernie Kosar, just might be from his home planet with his odd behavior. I also found the love interest between John and Sarah to be insipid and unbelievable, I don’t see many teens with such a strong sincerity of attachment. Sarah is beautiful for John to look at and she never states why she loves John except to say I missed you and I love you. Maybe they just love each other because they can text each other when they can’t sleep.
All in all it was a fun, lighthearted read, though nothing I would read a second time. There was some language and kissing scenes to be aware of, however, nothing the kids in Junior High and High School would not have heard about.
If a child was very uninterested in reading it might be the perfect novel to get them into seeing value in a book because of the fast paced action. As a teenager my english teacher always said, “Reading something is better than reading nothing”. The current generations in society are so accustomed to immediacy and a startling pace that the novel will feel familiar to them because you cannot focus on details as you race through reading I Am Number Four.
2.5 out of 5 stars
– the Mother
Teen Point of View
I thought the book was wonderful. It was full of action and romance. It was very fast pace and extremely interesting. I loved the story line and the plot. I thought the way John and Sarah were in love made perfect sense. John’s alien kind loved each other for forever, and so I thought that part made sense. I thought the book was great even though it didn’t have the best writing, sometimes the writing seemed a little blank and lacking of description. Otherwise I’d rate it 3 out of 5 stars.
The Power of Six
The second installment focuses more on the action than romance. It is told from two different characters circumstances which could initially confuse some readers. Also, some of the details change, for example, Loriens can love more than one person and some of the Mogadorians can blend in with human-kind though they remain tall. Teens will like the fast pace and drama.
3 out of 5 stars
Book Review : The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore
Until the day I met John Smith, Number Four, I’d been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive.
Together, we are much more powerful. But it could only last so long before we had to separate to find the others. . . .
I went to Spain to find Seven, and I found even more, including a tenth member of the Garde who escaped from Lorien alive. Ella is younger than the rest of us, but just as brave. Now we’re looking for the others–including John.
But so are they.
They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They caught me in New York–but I escaped.
I am Number Six.
They want to finish what they started.
But they’ll have to fight us first. (synopsis courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
I have not loved this series, but it has a broad appeal. Points in its favor include, fast paced, good vs evil, government conspiracy, a bit of romance, interesting locations and super-powers. The points that lose my interest include, POV – it flips constantly with who is telling the story with no indicator of the speaker other than context, numbers for peoples’ names are lack luster, no firm attachments to characters – possibly too many and I want a novel to read like a book with details that are missing from a movie script. I feel like these books were written with the intent of being made into movies. The Rise of Nine is also peppered with cursing, as I recall mostly by Nine, as a part of distinguishing his character.
A Guide to the Numbers and Names (in case you have forgotten who is who like I did):
Nine – guy that John got out of Mog’s prison when Sam got left behind, he’s very cocky
Four = John Smith, in love with Sarah Hart who is human and possibly betrayed him
Six = She is independent, tough and had gone to Spain to collect more of the Garde
Seven= Marina, grew up in an orphanage and has healing powers and night vision
Eight = found in India having telekinesis, shape-shifting and teleporting
Five = seen in a prophetic painting battling Mogs from a tree
Ten = Ella, surprise another ship escaped Lorien carrying an infant. She has the ability to change her age and has mental telepathy, she feels inferior. The Mogs do not know she exists as a part of the Garde
3 out of 5 stars
– the Mother
The teen seems to have lost interest in this series and has not read this one.