They walk among us!
A near extinct alien race here amongst us, in hiding hunted down by another alien race determined to kill each and every last one of them. But for a charm which protects them (the Loric), a charm determining that they could only be killed in order. But who knows this order? They themselves know, but they don’t know each other! There are 9, arriving on our planet after a battle which destroyed their own home planet. They arrived as 9 children, but now they are teenagers with developing super powers, and they are helpless no more!
Each of them have gone into hiding, with their Cepân (adult guardians), constantly moving, and constantly changing identities to keep the Mogadorians (aggressor species) off their heels. However they caught-killed Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, Number Three in Kenya, and now Number Four is next in line for termination!
So after that little intro, are you intrigued? I randomly stumbled on ‘I Am Number Four’, I hadn’t heard of the book before (released in 2010), nor was I aware that a film of the same name had been released in 2011. But I was completely drawn into the story, only after the first 30 minutes of the audiobook.
I AM Number Four is the first book in a series called the Lorian Legacies, written by Pittacus Lore (the pseudonym for the writer duo of James Frey and Jobie Hughes). Although the first book and the series has received mixed reviews, however I’ve personally found it to be an absolute marvel, as it’s not just your typical Young adult science fiction novel like Harry Potter or Twilight, but it reads more like a Marvel superhero comic! And I think this detail is lost on most people. Yes you can criticize it, as it’s not the most well written book, and the storyline can be both predictable and hard to believe at the same time, and it’s also cheesy and cringing at times. However readers must understand that the author was attempting to describe an out-of-this-world story using words alone, encouraging you and me to use our imagination to picture these scenes. While in my own opinion, I believe that the story was better suited for a comic book strip or a major cinematic film. And thus why we haven’t seen many superhero novels before.
Personally I was very impressed in how Pittacus Lore was able to describe to us using words alone an alien race, describe the discovery of developing super powers (called legacies), and describe out-of-this-world monsters, all without the use of visual aids. I’ve read quite a few novels in my time, however I don’t seem to recall ever reading a novel like this before, where the book had superhero types in it. And once people realise how rare it is, to attempt to write a sci-fi novel like this, then you may forgive the novel for some of its failings.
I found the story to be fascinating i.e. learning about an alien race, and learning of their cultures, social structures, and powers; it was contrasting as in, here’s Number Four (John Smith) trying to fit in at a new high school with the usual teenage angst, while he’s developing super powers and learning what he is capable of; it’s fast paced, as in the story unfolds rapidly so much so that at the end of the book you’re left wondering “how did we get here?”; and it has a touch of teenage romance as well, which I like as I’m a sucker for the lovey dovey.
And just when you’ve reached the end of the book, the final paragraphs sets the scene (and often leaves you hanging in suspense) for the sequel, so the only thing you can do, is to jump straight into the next book. To date we’ve read/listened to 5 books in the Lorian Legacies series, and at the conclusion of each book we tell ourselves that we’re going to give it a break. But low-and-behold, a few days later we’re binge listening to the very next one.
In my personal opinion, the first is always the best! So I’ve got a soft spot for ‘I Am Number Four’, while the subsequent books are good as well, as we meet more and more of the Garde (the 9 Loric). And in the next books, you’ll get to experience the uniqueness of having multiple authors- as different chapters and different characters have a completely different feel to them.
So if you want to check out the Lorian Legacies series, click HERE to start off with book 1- I Am Number Four!