Thursday, April 19, 2018

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

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.

It has taken me an eternity to read this for three main reasons 1) I usually never watch movies based on books until I've read the books first.  This time I did and thought the movie was just eh.  2) I got burned out from reading Sci-Fi YA books for awhile (Maze Runner, Fifth Wave etc.) and 3) for those that don't know Pittacus Lore is a pseudonym for the three people that write/wrote this series, one of which is James Frey (he who lied to Oprah and formed a YA book writing company designed to churn out novels making lots of money while paying those who write them very little).  So, due to those factors I put off reading this for awhile.

John Smith is the 15 year old protagonist in this one.  He seems like your average kid except he isn't.  He is really an alien from the planet Lorien, a race that was nearly rendered extinct by the Mogadorians who attacked Lorien when they had destroyed all the resources on their own planet.  John is one of 9 "Gardes" who escaped during the final battle along with 9 "Cepans" or guardians who were sent with each Garde to keep them safe until they grew up and came into their powers.  Henri is John's guardian.  The Mogadorians have hunted the Gardes to Earth which is where the last of the Loriens fled and now are hunting John and his fellow guards one by one.  Due to a special protective charm put in place, Gardes can only be killed in numerical order.  The "Mogs" have already found and killed the first three.  John is Number Four.  

Usually when the baddies start getting close, John and Henri pack up and skip town creating new identities for themselves.  This time though, John has formed attachments in his latest home of Paradise, OH-namely best friend Sam and pretty Sarah.  He doesn't want to leave even when the Mogs get closer and the danger increases.   

Personally I think the book was much better than the movie.  There is a lot more character development going on here and the movie left out a bunch of parts (as they normally do).  Although certain plot points left me underwhelmed (the underdeveloped romance-why does Sarah like John so much?  They know nothing about each other!) and the fact that it didn't take too much to get John to reveal his super hush hush secret to those around him when it became more convenient to do so-the book wasn't bad at all.  Also Henri's mantra throughout the whole book is "You're not ready! You're not ready!"  Then the bad guys show up and he's like "I think it's time".  I liked the introduction to #6 and think I will continue on with the next book to see where this series goes.  This book was better than I thought it would be and it was a pretty quick read.

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