Hnnggrrrr. I’ve been trying to avoid reviewing this because I feared the spewing rant that would take over the moment I typed up my thoughts. So instead, I took a deep, seven-day breath (because I am obviously supernatural), researched the “author”, tried to put things in perspective.
I don’t think the researching helped much in my opinion of the book, but at least putting things in perspective gave me less urge to bulldoze a harmless kitten over with a firetruck on acid. That is a good sign.
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.
Disclaimer: It was probably a bad idea to have read into the pseudonym and the sweatshop controversy that surrounds this series, but in spite of bias, I’m reviewing the book as it is.
I saw the movie first, and seeing Ryan “Pretty”fer play the lead role of Four was like watching this:
And alright, the movie wasn’t super amazing or anything special, and the damsel-in-distress was pretty much a cookie cutter damsel/romantic-interest, but I thought it was just because they cast Diana Agron, who is pretty much typecast into the same damn roles over and over (granted, I did like her psychotic side in The Family). I was, overall, entertained, and I figure, maybe the book gave more depth that the movie couldn’t really encompass due to limited time, etc.
Nope. No. Now that I think about it, Diana Agron was pretty spot on, because whatsherface-romanticinterest (whose name I can no longer remember because she wasn’t at all very memorable) was as uninteresting as a brownie container that no longer holds brownies. At least watching Agron in the role wasn’t too bad, because I actually like the actress.
That is not my full problem with the book, though.
I thought I Am Number Four had a pretty good premise, kind of Superman-y with Lorien being the series’ Krypton, what with Legacies and some such used as superpowers. If that wasn’t all, there’s a charm on each Lorien Gard: they have to be killed in numerical order, otherwise any attacks rebound on the jerkwads–the villainous, planet-conquering Magadorians–hunting the endangered aliens. Pretty cool, albeit I’m not sure where the science fiction stopped and the fantasy began. I say this because there are a lot of questions I could ask about how the Legacies are inherited. Actually, I’m still pretty confused over how each Gard inherits his/her Legacy, and why it takes time for Legacies to unlock. Plus a hundred experience points maybe?
Also, lots of incompetence all around. I liked the resident Nerd, he was cool (also another plain name I didn’t bother to remember…Sam maybe? I know too many other cool Sams in other cool books, so I’m just flailing here). And Henri was pretty decent as far as non-superpowered aliens went, up until he decided it was a good idea to go “check out a lead” in some shady place without ANY BACKUP. Oh, and Six! Six was totally not incompetent. The rest of the time, I mostly shook my head wondering why people were doing stupid things.
And then there was the romance, which dragged on the plot for OVER HALF THE FRELLING BOOK. Yes, I’m aware Loriens mate for life once they find their “soul mates.” Okay, kind of like werewolves imprinting on mates, right? Or, well, I suppose, swans are the best examples. In any case, the romance was boring. The dialogue for the romance was boring. Even the concept of the cookie-cutter romance was boring. I was BORED.
And when things finally did start happening, the book was pretty much over within fifty or so pages. And I sat there at the end going: “Um. Well, the purpose was clearly to draw out the series to a gazillion books later.”
Not compelled to complete the series. But at least the movie entertained me?
2 out of 5 cookies!