Teen Review Week: I AM NUMBER FOUR by Pittacus Lore

Posted 24 January, 2012 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 5 Comments

YA Science Fiction
440 pages, hardcover
Available now (Aug. 2010)
Review copy purchased
Publisher: HarperCollins
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.
One of the main reasons I love this book it has actually smart characters, not just molds of overused stereotypes. This is one of the books I have read where the main character uses the enemies warriors against them, instead of fighting them all at once. It is the only book where the day is not saved by the main character’s will power, or the love of his parents, but with actual intelligence and help from his friends. The characters in this book actually understand that they are in the middle of a war, and they have to be willing to kill the bad guys. The rationality in the book is a breath of fresh air.
Another thing I like about the book is the action. While the action is not quite as good as something like Star Solider, it is still enough to keep your heart pounding. Moments where the characters is on fire but keeps on fighting, where humans fight off deadly creatures with shotguns, where the Loriens fight a helpless war against the bloodthirsty Mogodarians, they all keep you excited and wanting more. The action is always there, whether it is something small from a stick exploding, to something Micheal Bay-ish like two gigantic monsters duking it out.
A great part about I Am Number Four is the story itself. While it won’t win any awards for the concept alone, the plot twists, flashbacks, and other things will keep you entertained. What I thought was originally a straight-forward chosen one story quickly grew into a complex storyline with secrets, mysteries, and loss. It truly feels like I have stepped into an brand new world, and that is something I will have to congratulate the author on. Few stories can turn a simple, straightforward plot into something worthy of Harry Potter.
My one issue with this book is the lack of detail. Often times big events, such as the turning of a major battle, are described in one to two words. Many times you want to know more about the characters, want to get to know them, but the author’s lack of detail prevents you from knowing them as anything more than just characters from a book. Many books have amazing characters that you will think about for years, like A Song of Fire and Ice, but this book is not one.
Overall, the book is a 8.75 out of 10. While the story, action, and realism of the book will keep you entertained, the characters take you out of the brilliant fantasy world of shape-shifting monsters, pale-ghostly creatures, mystery. This is the perfect read for those long-boring car rides, as the action will make you forget about everything else. Although I don’t agree with everything in the book, it is a great story, and I will be sure to get the next books as soon as they come out
Teebro likes drawing, anime, video games, Boondocks, and loves to watch TV. He lives with his parents, has no brothers or sisters (yay) and is on the school Quiz Bowl and Math Counts teams. He lives life to the fullest.

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5 Responses to “Teen Review Week: I AM NUMBER FOUR by Pittacus Lore”

  1. Love how you described the story – not a concept that is mind-blowing, but one that allows for plenty of depth and complexity to keep readers plenty interested. I’m looking forward to starting this series! Really wonderful review Teebro!

  2. Ooo, we’ve seen the movie so we didn’t think we needed to bother with the book, but this review is changing our minds. Sounds like a really fun read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    (PS: YAY Quiz Bowl and Math Counts! We did those too.)

  3. You know, I think I may have this book on my shelf but for some reason I haven’t had a strong urge to pick it up. But this review, well it has me thinking I must give it a try real soon! And great for car trips? I’ll be taking a trip with my husband and two kids for Spring Break, I wonder if I should give this one a read then or maybe even get the audio so we can all have a listen. Fantastic and convincing review!