Author: Pittacus Lore
Hardcover, 440 pages
Date Published: August 3, 2010
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real.
Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. we have lived among you without you knowing.
But they know.
They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.
I am Number Four.
I am next.
Pittacus Lore (aka James Frey & Jobie Hughes), a Lorien elder, chronicles John’s journey from an almost normal boy to an alien coming into his Legacies or powers. I was wrapped up in the Lorien history and the near-destruction of the planet through John’s reemerging memory. Early on, all John wants is to lead a normal adolescent life. John and Henri, his guardian from Lorien, move around constantly to stay off the Mogadorians radar, but Paradise, Ohio holds an entirely different life for them. John finds a friend in Sam and falls in love with Sarah. For the first time in his life, John feels tied to a place, he feels like he has a home away from Lorien and he’s willing to risk so much to keep that.
It’s inevitable that the Mogadorians will find John in Paradise, but getting there was the best part. The characters and relationships are developed so well throughout the story. Coming to earth at such a young age has left John with very little memory of his home planet. At times, he doesn’t even know why he’s fighting, but the interspersed history of Lorien allows us to feel the need for justice along with John. Henri’s training sessions are exciting to read, but they also show just how much he cares for the boy he has been assigned to. The two of them adore one another and it shines through every page.
John’s budding relationship with Sarah is everything first loves should be. It’s sweet and develops so nicely. It’s impossible not to root for them. Likewise, Sam is such a loveable guy. He seems like the typical best friend, but he has so much more lying under the surface that we only scratched at here. And Bernie Kosar, John’s new dog, is adorable. I loved him from the start and his role only grew towards the end.
Aliens are everywhere. Or that’s what this book is telling us. John and Henri have lived the last 10 years of their lives preparing for a fight and they definitely get it. The majority of the fighting comes towards the end, but there is plenty of action before that and I was never bored with the story.
I Am Number Four is the opener in what is sure to be a phenomenal series. I was enthralled by the fast pace and the alien powers, but stayed glue to the page because I was so attached to John. While predictable at times, this book is sure to be a hit with the YA crowd. I think it will appeal to boys, which I think is a rarity in the YA genre, but girls will get a kick out of it as well. I’m eagerly awaiting the next in the series.
Opening line: The door starts shaking. ~ pg. 1
Favorite line(s): “When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope.” ~ pg. 124
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.