Saturday, March 12, 2011

Book Review: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Ok, first off, I LOVED this book, AND movie. I saw the movie first, which I would almost recommend because you enjoy the movie, but then the book is that much better because it's got different stuff and more info. And I really don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I will really try to give the most basic of descriptions...

So, the story is about this group of 9 children from planet Lorien (who look like humans, but definitely are not) who were sent to Earth 10 years ago, each with their Cepan guardian, when Lorien was attacked by the Mogadorians (aliens from a different planet). The plan was that they would go to their space station to wait until it was safe to return, but the Mogadorians destroyed the planet and everything on it, so they were forced to come to Earth. Before they left, each child was given a number, and a charm was put on them so that should the Mogadorians ever find them, they had to be killed in numerical order. The only way the charm could be broken was if 2 or more of them were together, so they had to spread out and never make contact. And each time one is killed, no matter where they are, the others know because they painfully receive a circular scar on their leg. The first 2 have died years ago, and you see the third die right at the beginning of both book and movie. The main character is Number Four, so he and his Cepan (and father figure), Henri, know that he is next and that they must keep moving, keep changing identities. They've never stayed anywhere for more than 6 months. So after Number Three dies, they move to Paradise, Ohio, and Number Four takes on the new identity of John Smith.

Paradise, Ohio is where everything changes for Number Four (John). He starts to develop his Lorien Legacies - super powers - he meets and falls in love with Sarah Hart, he makes a best friend in Sam Goode (whose father was an alien enthusiast who disappeared years ago), an initial enemy in Mark James (police chief's son, football star, and Sarah's ex-boyfriend), and a pet Beagle who he names Bernie Kosar. Mark is pretty mean to John at first, but not so much after John throws him and his friends around in the woods one night. John eventually has to tell all 3 of them his secret, which is extremely dangerous, but turns out to be helpful when the Mogadorians finally find them.

But with the Mogadorians also comes Number Six, who is a great help, but also opens all the other Loric children up to be killed if the Mogadorians find them. Together they are stronger, but for the ones who aren't with them, it could be fatal. Four and Six's powers are different in the book from the movie, so I won't say what they are. The (intense) battle scene at the High School is also different, so I won't go into much detail there either, at this point. But the ending is the same - Four and Six defeat the Mogadorians. I also wouldn't want to completely spoil the ending for those who haven't seen/read it yet, but Four and Six do have to leave Paradise in the end.

Now for the author. Pittacus Lore, what a strange name, and so close to the name of the planet, you might say. Cool, you might say. Well, Pittacus Lore is the authors' (James Frey and Jobie Hughes) pseudonym, and also a character in the book. He is not mentioned in the movie, and only once in the book. But the back of the flyleaf reads:
"Pittacus Lore is Lorien's ruling Elder. He has been on Earth for the last twelve years, preparing for the war that will decide Earth's fate. His whereabouts are unknown."
I like it. Can't wait for the second book of the series - The Power of Six!!!

Overall story rating: 10/10
Recommendation: 13+

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