Monday, August 16, 2010

I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore

Penguin's big new release for the autumn is I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, the pseudonym of James Frey ( A Million Little Pieces and Bright and Shiny Morning) and a new young writer Jobie Hughes. The book is also currently being filmed as a movie and clearly Penguin are hoping for great things from this projected 6 book series.

John Smith is a teenager new to Paradise, Ohio. His documentation says that he was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. John is not a normal teenager and his place of birth is far from Tuscaloosa, in fact its far from anywhere on Earth. John Smith was born on Lorien, a planet ravaged by the Mogadorian. He is a Garde, one of nine children that survived the Mogadorian invasion that destroyed his home world. Due to a charm placed on the nine they can only be killed in number order. Three of those survivors are dead, John is number four and he is next!

Whilst trying to come to terms with new powers that he is developing John must also try and blend in in the new school he is attending, difficult to do when your hands start glowing when stressed. Unfortunately not everyone in Paradise is friendly and as John's terrestrial problems mount it seems that his extra terrestrial problems are just about to explode with devastating consequences for friends and enemies alike.

This is a rip roaring read full of action and adventure for the 13+ age group, a plot driven story which will have the intended audience lapping up not just this book but it's sequels. It is also nice to see not only 'the love interest' but the introduction of, what I hope in future books, will be a kick ass girl - number 6.

The relationship between John and his guardian Henri is one of the best features of this tale. Henri has cared for and tried to guide John through 10 years of hiding on earth but, as with most teenagers, Henri's control over John is slipping as John moves closer to adulthood. As John makes more of the decisions on his own and Henri disappears we see just how frightening the adult world that Henri has shielded John from, can be.

Keep an eye out for two of my favourite characters Bernie Kosar and Sam Goode and for the sequel of this book which I am sure is going to be huge.

In the beginning we were a group of nine.
There are six of us left. The first three were killed in the order of their numbers.
They won't stop until they've killed us all.
I am number four.
I know that I am next.

Catch up with all the info on the book and movie here

My thanks to Penguin for sending me an advance copy of this book for review.


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