Wednesday, January 19, 2011

'I am Number Four' by Pittacus Lore 
Science fiction, 358 pages 
Published 2010 by Penguin

A few years ago I heard about a movie called "District 9' The majority of people I spoke to seemed to love it. One day my dad brought a copy home from the DVD store, and against my better instinct decided to watch it. I firmly believed that-being about aliens, spaceships and full of action-I would hate it. I thought it would be a 'geekish' movie, but none the less decided to give in to my dads pestering and watch it.  
Aliens are really not my thing...112 minutes later, the movie had ended and I walked from the room with a giant smile on my face. Turns out I completely misjudged the movie. It wasnt bad or geekish, It was amazing. I added it to my list of favorite films, and decided to never judge sci-fi movies again. 

Skip forward to early 2011. 
I had received a copy of 'I Am Number Four' for Christmas. I had my eye on this since September, but when I found out about the main character being an alien, and having a lot of backstory about a sort of space-war, I wasnt so sure. 
But remembering 'District 9', I decided to try some space/alien books, hoping it would be a similar experience to to the previous said film. 
And it was. 
It was amazing. 

Okay, enough bad movie comparisons, onto the proper review: 
WOW! My mind was blown. I loved this book! Pittacus Lore-whoever he is-did everything right. 
The pacing was perfect, I cared for the characters, the style was perfectly readable and the scenery was wonderfully visual. 
Firstly, I am going to rant about the good stuff, and at the reviews end I have a tiny complaint. But first, the characters: 
Number Four/John Smith: He is my favorite character all year. Mind you, the competition is fairly weak 'Reckless', 'Extras' and 'The Running Man', but still... 
He is a pretty cool. And I liked his personality. I agree with one of my friends reviews, he would make a good boyfriend :) 
Sarah Hart: I loved Sarah :) She was so likable! The whole time I was reading, I kept picturing Dianna Agron as Sarah. Later, whilst watching the trailer I am pleased to see Dianna Agron! They cast her as Sarah! PERFECT CASTING MOVE! Whoever was behind that deserves a pat on the back. 
Henri: Possibly my favorite character, at least in the top two.He was the awesome, kick-but, protective, chilled back father figure. I kept imagining him as a cross between Stanley Tucci and Henri Leconte. 
Number Six: I liked her appearance, but would have loved some more information on what she has been doing for the past 10 years, where she has been hiding, how her guardian was killed etc etc. BUT, I saw that in the film's cast she will be portrayed by Teressa Palmer. This is awesome for a number of reasons: 
1) She is Australian. Like me. 
2) She is from Adelaide, South Australia. Like me. 
3) She went to the same school as me :)

But I digress, moving on: The pacing. As I previously mentioned, this was spot-on perfect! 
The book starts with a short, well written addicting hook. Then we are filled in on the characters and their lives, and presented with a problem. For a hundred pages or so, their is a focus on a cute relationship between characters, whilst the suspense of being hunted down rises-and we learn important facts about the main character. Then comes a 50 page block of suspense, and a bit of action, which is a small preview of what is to come. Then there is a crisis-important stuff happens (cant say or it would be a spoiler!), and finally there is a big-epic-awesome climx where all the shit hits the fan. 
There was not a dull part, and Mr. Lore did a fantastic job at writing the fight scenes.

The writing style was great. Descriptive scenery, suspenseful prose , and surprisingly sweet romantic scenes. 
I could clearly see the the small town-John's house, the school, the forest. All wonderfully written-or maybe it was just me over imagining things? 
Oh, and John and Sarah were incredibly cute together :) 

Now, onto a few problems I had with the book: 
-Characters. I know I said that this book has had the best characters ive read about all year-but they still need work. They still need some more depth. Especially Sam, Mark and Number 6. The battle was almost hard to read with these characters involved, since they seemed so darn flat. 
Hopefully we see all the characters develop in the highly anticipated sequel 'The Power of Six'. (The title either means we see loads of #6-the character-Teressa Palmer making us Adelaidian's proud!-or the remaining 6 Lorien kids reunite, which would be totally awesome! (I wish I had a dollar for everybody who just though of A Very Potter Musical) .  
And their names should have been better. I understand #4 wanting a common name, but all the others? Sarah, Mark, Sam? The author should have chosen better names...-Plot holes. Okay, so this is the main thing that holds this book down from 5 stars. 
I never found out WHY The Mogadorians wanted to kill Number 4? We are told that the Mogadorians Lorien and killed most of the Lorics dor their resources, and they want to do the same to Earth. But WHY do they need to kill the numbered Loric kids? Cant they just let them be? Roam on Earth until its destroyed? And even if the numbered Lorics (cant think of anything else to call them) return to Lorien, then they would be killed anyway, by the thousands of Mogodorians already there? Even if all nine of their Legacies had developed, it would be no match for the thousands of Mogadorians who had fought thousands of Lorics (also with developed Legacies) years before. 

Oh yeah, and the Bernie Koaler (sp?) twist didnt surprise me. I did see it coming. 

All in all, I really enjoyed the book. I cared for the characters and loved every second of reading it! 
Highly recommended to all (except for those who have an un-dying, sever hate for aliens). 
The movie trailer looks mediocre, but maybe they are just aiming it at the wrong audience?, iI still want to see it though. Fingers crossed its amazing :)

Oh yes, And I feel lots of awesome fan-fiction coming on. Stay tuned.  

1 comment:

  1. *sing-song* TOTALLY AWESOME!
    Glad you enjoyed this, Jess! Can't wait for the movie <3
    I imagined Viggo Mortensen as Henri for some reason, but I love Stanley Tucci - good casting idea! Personally, I am NOT a fan of Alex Prettyface, who's playing Number Four. He doesn't look "sweet" enough for John.
    Totally get what you mean by "depth" with the characters, and I'm definitely looking forward to more Six!