I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1) by Pittacus Lore, HarperCollins, 2010, 440 pages, young adult science fiction.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now.
The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.
I Am Number Four is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.
I AM NUMBER FOUR.
I AM NEXT.
I enjoyed reading I Am Number Four - it is a different, entertaining story. There was excitement, interesting storytelling, and romance. That being said, I also felt like something was lacking, that the book had a potential that it didn't quite live up to.
I thought the premise was fun and intriguing - John is number four of nine aliens from the planet Lorien who arrive on earth about ten years ago with their caregivers fleeing from the Mogadorian invasion that decimates their planet. These nine are entrusted with the responsibility of survival and eventual rebuilding of their planet and culture. The Mogadorians, however, have tracked them to earth an are killing them, but, because of a charm placed on them, they must be killed in order. One, two and three have been killed and John is next on the list. Then, it turns out, more may even be at stake, as the Mogadorians may be trying to take over the Earth as well.
The writing in the book was, at times, amazing and beautiful, and at other times repetitive. There were also a number of sentence fragments which stopped me in my tracks. Mostly I found the beginning and the ending interesting, with it dragging in the middle a bit. There are also a few things that didn't make sense, for example, his dog. John is supposed to be hypersensitive to anything strange going on in his life and he doesn't think it strange that his dog takes off into the woods and appears in an impossible location several seconds later?
The story is told in first person present from John's point of view, something which is very popular these days. This is the first book of this type, with this amount of romance told from a boy's point of view that I have read, so that was different.
Out of all the characters, I found John's friend, Sam, to be the most interesting. He is quirky and nerdy, but develops a great deal in the book. I really felt for him and the loss of his dad. It looks like he will be in the next book, for which I am grateful.
I Am Number Four is the first in a planned series of six. The second book, The Power of Six, has recently been released. I am quite anxious to see where this story goes next.