Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review of I Am Number Four

In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now.

The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

I Am Number Four is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.


[from Goodreads]
Rating:   2.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  YA sci-fi searchers
High point:  The ending action
Low point:  The unbelievable plot points and archnemesis
Reader maturity: 13+

When I first heard about I Am Number Four, I was very excited. The premise seemed unique and well-coordinated, and I read a lot of good things about the novel. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to the hype. I think one of my cousins summed it up well when he said [talking about the movie, but it's applicable]:  "The action at the end was the reward for having to sit through the first hour and a half."

I'm hard pressed to diagnose the exact problem I had with the novel. Symptomatically, it didn't draw me in. That may have been due to the male narrator, his male mentor, his head-over-heels, love-at-first-sight paramore or the fact that it took the narrator months to figure out something I guessed within two pages. Number Four, along with being somewhat mentally addled (due to the girlfriend?), was also reckless and impatient and frequently ungrateful for the sacrifices made for him to survive. He also creates an archnemesis within hours of arriving at school, an archnemesis with unbelievable  and impossible emotional growth potential.

The events of the end were pretty exciting and contained some great action sequences. The arrival of a new character piqued my interest and showed promise as a leading character. Ultimately, if the sequel, The Power of Six, fell into my hands, I'd read it, but I won't be waiting in eager anticipation.

Title:  I am Number Four
Author:  Pittacus Lore
Genre:   Fiction - Science Fiction
Year:   2010
Book Source: Borrowed


  1. So sorry to hear this book isn't for you, I enjoyed it myself.

  2. I've heard less than stellar things about this series, so I wasn't too surprised that you didn't like it. I am surprised that there are so many people who -do- like it.

  3. I've been debating about reading this one. There are so many mixed reviews, and the movie did not blow me away. Thanks for the thoughtful review!