Written by Pittacus Lore
Published August, 2010 by HarperCollins
Genres: Aliens, Sci-Fi
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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.
Three are dead. I am Number Four. I know that I am next.
In my opinion, Am Number Four doesn’t live up to the hype. I expected a lot more since the movie was in the works before the book was even published. Some key plot points were very predictable and most characters were hardly likable. I probably won’t follow the rest of the series.
I was first intrigued by this book long before I saw it on the shelves. I heard about the film, did a little research and decided that this was the kind of story I was interested in! It reminded me a little of Roswell – the whole ‘alien on the run trying to blend in with humans’ etc.
I waited a few months for it to come out, searched stores and finally found it. I was very disappointed…
I found the action scenes baffling to say the least. I’d finally wrap my head around what was happening, after many short sentences and lack of character development. Let’s just say instead of saying “Kevin ran towards me” we get “another guy ran towards me”. It made everything way too confusing to follow. I can only keep tabs on so many another guy’s before my brain begins to mush.
That being said, the final action scene was way too long. I just wanted it to be finished already. It wasn’t gripping, it wasn’t intense, it was tedious. Just when you think ‘finally, that’s over’ oh wait, theres another monster… and not in a good way. The end result could’ve been much more polished to flow better, but it just didn’t.
Now we move on to the very unbelievable relationship between John Smith (I’m not going to comment on how nobody cracked a joke in the slightest about the common-ness of the name) and Sarah. It was all too predictable for my liking. She’s the quarterback’s ex girlfriend who just happens to be blonde and the prettiest girl in school. I can get past that with as little as a quirked eyebrow, but, then we get elements that keep appearing throughout every other teen drama novel/television show/film known to man.
All the plot points were so easily solved, yet our main ‘hero’ remains ignorant until the end, where we have this huge realization where everything is explained. We don’t need these explanations, especially so late in the novel. We’ve already figured it out!
Which brings me to the Mogadorians. If they are so hell-bent on killing the Loric Garde, then why did they taunt John so much when they actually had him? There were so many points in which the Mogadorians could’ve killed him, but instead they threw him around like a rag doll and gave him way too many chances to get help or escape. In no means did I want them to win the battle, but seriously?
I could go on and on about the things that annoyed me in this book, but I won’t. I’ll let you decide for yourself. This story had so much potential, and quite frankly I was expecting a lot more since the movie was in production before it was even published!
I only recommend this book for people that want a lighthearted escape. It’s good enough to finish (although I got bored in many parts and put it down until the next day) but I don’t think I’ll be following the rest of the series. For once, I’m hoping the movie adaptation is better than the book.
Recommend to: Ages 8-16. Anyone older will find themselves rolling their eyes.