Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Article first published as Book Review: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore on Blogcritics.

This book is the first in the Lorien Legacies series about nine alien kids with special powers, or Legacies, from the planet Lorien, who are hiding on Earth from the Mogadorians.

The Mogadorians are sinister beings who wants to kill them and destroy Earth like they destroyed Lorien. Three of the nine kids have been killed, and Number Four, the protagonist of this book, is next.

The mysterious author, Pittacus Lore, is described on the back cover of the book as Lorien’s ruling Elder and having been on Earth for the last twelve years, preparing for the war with the Mogadorians.

Now obviously this book is a work of fiction, but I like the idea that it could be true. Do I believe that there are aliens? Of course I do. The universe is so vast, I think we’d be arrogant to think that we’re the only intelligent life forms living in it.

Do I think that this particular story about the Loriens and the Mogadorians is believable though? Not so much, even factoring in suspension of belief and all that. I mean, forget about all the super powers, healing stones, shape-shifting animals, and all that stuff for a moment. It’s the simple details that gets me.

Firstly, every time Number Four and Henri, his guardian, had to move, they move within the United States. Why? Why can’t they move to some other country in some other continent? Wouldn’t that be more effective if they really wanted to hide from the Mogadorians? I understand that there are nine other Lorien Legacies and if they meet each other, the spell that they can only be killed off in the order of their numbers will be broken, but I’m quite sure that there are more than nine countries on Earth.

Secondly, just how clueless can Number Four be that he fails to notice that Bernie Kosar isn’t a regular dog? The dog runs into one part of the woods and then appears from the other side, don’t you think that’s more than just “peculiar”? Wouldn’t a supposedly intelligent person have guessed that there was more to Bernie Kosar, especially since he had already seen the Lorien animals in his dream-memories?

Also, the way the Mogadorians were described, and the way they killed so easily and so quickly before, with Numbers One to Three, you’d think that with so many of them surrounding Number Four and his friends, that they’d be killed just as easily.

Sure, the difference is that Numbers Four and Six have gotten their legacies already, but seriously, as ruthless and strong as the Mogadorians are, how are Mark and Sarah able to get close enough to hurt them, much less kill them, so extremely easily and without getting hurt themselves?

I won’t even go into character development, except to say that most of the characters were shallow and not very likable. I liked Bernie Kosar though; I thought he was the best character in the book.

There are so many problems with this book that make it hard for me to really enjoy it, but I won’t go into all of them. I’m sure it will make for a great movie with all the special effects and all, but I expected a lot more from the book.


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