Thursday, February 17, 2011

I am Number 4

I am Number 4
Pittacus Lore
ISBN: 9780143205135
Penguin Books
Published 30/08/2010

Action, Adventure and Aliens...young adult readers are guaranteed to immerse themselves in the world of I am Number Four!

John Smith looks like your average teenager, is trying to fit into a new school, dodge the attention of the resident bully and learn the lingo of love. Add to that pressure the fact that he is a Lorien (an alien) and other aliens (Magodorians) are trying to hunt down the last 9 of their kind after destroying their planet. It also doesn’t help that they are killing them numerically – 1,2 and 3 are dead...and of course John is ‘Number 4’.

I am not surprised that a movie adaptation of this book is due for release this month AND it was in the works before this book was published in 2010.

I am Number Four (the book) is a young adult science fiction novel that screams ‘make me into a movie’. The book calls for loads of special effects, has larger than life characters and a thrilling, adventurous pace and storyline.

The first of a proposed 6-series book deal, the two authors James Frey (yes, he of the controversial A Million Little Pieces) and Jobie Hughes have created a clever, somewhat original take on the ‘alien on earth trying to survive amongst humans’ scenario. The twist, however, is that these aliens are hunted down by other aliens...not humans thus far (humans are blissfully unaware at this stage that Earth is also home to Loriens and Magodorians!).

The novel is written by the so-called Pittacus Lore a Lorien elder ‘entrusted with the story of the Lorien Nine’ and the preface to the novel reads ‘The events in this book are real. Names and places have been changed to protect the Lorien Six, who remain in hiding. Take this as your first warning. Other civilizations do exist. Some of them seek to destroy you.’

With enticing real-event qualities, this tale is sure to suck young adult readers in.

I was eager to read the novel when I first heard about it (before I knew of the movie) because I too was impressed with the mysterious storyline – 9 were alive, 3 are they are after Number 4 and this is his tale. Helps too that I am always happy to relive ‘teenage years’ through young adult books that have thrilling storylines and a dash of science fiction and fantasy. Nice to have a break from Vampires and Witches, Angels and Fairies!

I wanted to know more about this Number 4, the Magodorians and Loriens and why they can only be hunted in numerical order? I was also after an easy, fun, fast-paced, quick read and that is certainly what this book offers. The characters are ‘cool’ and likeable. The teenage issues John deals with ring true and will resonate with teenage readers, and even if the dialogue is a little weak and predictable, you can overlook this because you are swept up quite easily in the storyline.

I look forward to seeing the movie – mind you I am one for action and aliens – but if you are after something more in a book, this might not be your thing.

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