Science Fiction

Review: I Am Number Four

Cover of "I Am Number Four," featuring the title on top of a glowing swirl symbol
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Title:  I Am Number Four

Series: Lorien Legacies #1

Author:  Pittacus Lore

Genre:  Science Fiction

Back Cover:

Nine of us came to Earth.  We look like you, we talk like you, we act like you.  But we have powers that you can only dream of.  We are stronger and faster than anything on your planet.  We planned to grow and train, then come together and fight them.  But they found us first.  They caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya.  They killed them all.  I am Number Four…I am next.


I’ve heard some conflicting ideas about this book.  On one hand, enough people liked it enough for it to become a New York Times bestseller, and somebody liked it enough to turn it into a movie.  On the other hand, I’ve read a few blogs that totally bash it, even one where the blogger said that you should watch the movie and not bother with the book.  So I started reading it not really sure what to expect.

One of the biggest complaints about it was lack of character development.  I didn’t have such a big problem with it.  Sure, they were underdeveloped, but not unbearably so.  I couldn’t see them as actual people (or aliens), but it didn’t make the book totally awful.

The characters all had personalities, but they weren’t remarkable ones.  They were just…well, my parents would describe them as “vanilla.”  They were kind of bland, boring, and average.  Basically unremarkable.

I enjoyed the plot, however.  I liked watching John try not to draw attention to himself and figure out his Legacies, I enjoyed the mystery around Sam’s dad, and I loved the whole “hiding from evil aliens” aspect.  I almost see how the plot, even with not-so-good character development, could make the book a bestseller – and my guess is that’s what happened.  This is what I would call a plot-driven novel, as opposed to a character-driven one.

Despite its length (over four hundred pages), this book felt like a movie novelization with a lot of detail.  The flat characters contributed to that, I think.  That said, I do plan to read the second book in the series, The Power of Six.  The ending of this book left me wondering what happens next.

UPDATE: I saw the I Am Number Four movie, and actually, I have to agree with the blogger I mentioned at the beginning – the movie actually is better than the book.  I think it’s because the legacies lend themselves so well to TV.  That’s not to say that I’m de-recommending the book, because I did enjoy it, but the movie is SO much better!

The Lorien Legacies series:

  1. I Am Number Four
  2. The Power of Six
  3. The Rise of Nine
  4. The Fall of Five
  5. The Revenge of Seven
  6. The Fate of Ten
  7. United as One

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