Friday, January 21, 2011

Book review, I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Book review number 1            spoiler free

I Am Number Four     by Pittacus Lore

Young adult, science fiction, modern day earth

Ten years ago while under attack by the merciless Mogadorians nine children barely escape their home planet of Lorien.  Along with their adult guardians, they seek refuge on earth. Moments before they are ripped from their family never to see them alive again, the Lorien elders protect them in their quest for survival by placing a charm on them. This charm allows the children only to be killed in a numbered order starting with number one and it only works if they are apart. So upon landing on Earth they scatter to all corners to keep the charm intact and to make it harder for the Mogadorians to track them.  This also gives them time to grow up and learn how to use their super powers called “Legacy’s” in hopes they may one day return home and rebuild their planet. The story starts present day and number three has just been eliminated. John Smith is number four.

John Smith and his teacher/guardian/father figure, Henri moves to Paradise, Ohio where he is finally coming into his Legacy’s. It is most important that John blend in and remain unnoticed while living in Paradise and attending high school. Well after attracting the attention of a beautiful girl, who’s ex just happens to be the schools top jock and biggest bully, and befriending a “not so popular” kid who believes that aliens  are trying to take over the plant, staying under the radar is not possible.

Now before I started this book I was intrigued with the name of the author so I instantly googled him. Apparently Pittacus Lore is an elder from the planet Lorien and is sharing their story. Huh?

I thought “Wow, what a great hook,” but my curiosity kept me searching.  I found out that Pittacus Lore is the pseudonym and combined effort of Jobie Hughes and James Frey.

I felt John and his friends are likable characters and I found myself cheering for them throughout the whole book. I really liked the interaction between John and Henri, it shows the mutual respect they have for one another in a friend and mentor type relationship. The characters moved smoothly through the setting and the story kept me engaged from beginning to end. Sad to say as much as I liked the characters I was not that attached to them. At one point I realized that if any of them died I would not be sad and the only character I was worried about was the dog. Not to say the characters are not worth caring about but my feelings for them did not go deep enough to really suck me in.

The teenage romance was very sweet.  (Almost too sweet. When I write I believe happy couples make boring couples and I had to remind myself this is not a love story so the amount of romance was reasonable) It was very tame and appropriate for younger readers.

 The plot was very engaging with some original ideas but lacked a little on delivery. It just didn’t draw me in as much as it should of. The ending had a satisfying conclusion but it was bogged down and a little drawn out. There was a lot of internal thought and not enough dialogue for my taste.

Overall I found this book very enjoyable and would recommend it to others.  It was a light read and easy to follow. It was a change of pace from the usual books I read and I am glad I read it. It is the first in a series.

 I Am Number Four will be released as a motion picture February 18, 2011. It stars Alex Pettyfer and Timothy Olyphant. Directed by D.J. Caruso and produced by Michael Bay and Stephen Spielberg. The trailer looks fantastic I am really excited. 

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