Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Book Review: "I Am Number Four" by Pittacus Lore

Lorien is a planet in another galaxy. Years ago, the Loric people were attacked by those from a nearby planet, Mogadore, as they needed Lorien's resources to keep their own world alive. The Mogadorians wiped out the entire Loric race, except for nine children who possessed special powers (called legacies), and their personal guardians. These people escaped to Earth, where the plan was for them to grow and develop their powers, because the Mogadorians would stop at nothing to find and kill them. So the children would need to defend themselves from the possible complete extinction of their people.

Fifteen-year-old John Smith is one of the Loric nine. He and his guardian, Henri, can never stay in one place for long, as Henri constantly remains vigilant for any sign that the Mogadorians might be on their trail. They settle in the small town of Paradise, Ohio, where for the first time, John makes friends, meets a girl and, after dealing with some bullying, starts to fit in. His legacies start to develop and he learns how to control them, preparing for when it will be time to fight. And then the perfect little world John has come to love starts to crack open, and he must decide whether he and Henri should flee again or if he should let the people he cares about in on his secrets, opening them up to great risk.

This book was much better than I expected. It was a little formulaic and a bit predictable, but the action was actually pretty exciting, and the characters had a lot more depth than it appeared they would at the start of the book. I found John and Henri's struggles compelling, and even if I had a feeling how things would end, the plot kept me captivated. Is this fine literature? No, but it's a very good read, and I'll be interested to read the next book in the series when it comes out this fall. (I'll probably skip the movie adaptation coming out soon.)

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