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.
I AM NUMBER FOUR.
I AM NEXT.
I’m not sure why, but this book is a miss for me. The first problem is with the motivations. I don’t get the Mogadorians or their reasoning behind attacking Lorien, and I don’t get how the Loriens were able to smuggle children and their protectors off the planet. Mostly, though, I don’t get what nine earth children can do against a race of super-soldiers that a whole planet of adults couldn’t figure out. The whole premise seems very off to me. John is not much of a redemption either. His character seems rather flat, and he’s always reacting in a logical, boring manner. His romance of Sarah is almost scary. She is really a cardboard cutout for John to fill with his expectations, and at the end it’s revealed that John has “bonded” with her and she is the only person he will ever love – a heavy thing to put on a teenage girl, imo. The only character I really liked was Henri. The author seems to have thought a lot more about who he is and what he thinks of the world, so he’s a lot more believable as a person. Perhaps the pretentions of the author have a bit to do with things, too. “Pittacus Lore” is an alien elder, and putting him forward as the author of the book seems rather arrogant, and this arrogance kinda extends through the story as well. It’s not very tangible, but there were definitely times I felt the author was saying “Look! Amaze at the cleverness of me!”.
I have to admit that I read the book right before seeing the movie, so the two kinda blended together in my head. I did think that the movie was more choppy than the book, but it did flesh out 6 a lot better than the book, so thank goodness for the trend of injecting a sassy female. Henri suffered, though. The movie makers seemed to take the pretentions of the author and try to cram it as full of explosions as they could manage, whether it made sense or not. In all, I think both the book and the movie are a pass.