Book: I Am Number Four (The Lorien Legacies 1) by Pittacus Lore
Original Release Date: January 1st 2010
Reading Format: Paperback
Edition: Dutch edition from A.W. Bruna, released February 2011
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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.
This series has an interesting setting, and one that has always made people wonder. Do aliens exist? Are there aliens living amongst us? There are various books and tv shows that have explored portions of this already. So in that sense it isn’t anything new. But it still appeals to me personally.
The execution leaves a bit to be desired though. There are some parts that don’t sit well with me. For instance the formula that they have to be killed in order or that they are still being hunted even though there are only nine (+ 9 guardians) left and the enemy got what they wanted. Do nine of them really pose a threat if they already defeated entire planet of them? So some of the motivations are a bit flimsy. There is also a lot of action, especially nearing the ending. Sometimes a tad on the long side, but overall they are good scenes.
The characters don’t stand out too much. John or Four is a bit on the bland side. I don’t think I’ve gotten to know him too well. What does he like to do? What are his interest? He doesn’t seem to have a passion. The other characters like Henry, Sarah and Sam are likeable like Four but remain a tad one dimensional. They could use more deepening out. Hopefully for some of them this will happen in the next few books. The dog however was a great addition. I want one of those.
I was sad to see that Mark was positioned as the bully because he was jealous from day one just because Four and Sarah spoke. It was a bit too typical for me. I was glad to see that his role in that changed in the ending, and he wasn’t just that selfish guy. The romance was obvious from the start. It was a bit too cute for me, and also a bit too typical.