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Book Review – I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Search for Sam by Pittacus Lore

August 10, 2013 Leave a comment

Book Description:

Before Number Four, there were One, Two, and Three. Until now we’ve only known that the Mogadorians caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya. But all of that is about to change. . . .

In this heart-racing companion novella to the New York Times bestselling I Am Number Four series, discover what happened to Malcolm Goode — the one human on Earth who can help the Garde learn the truth about their past and help them save our planet.

No one has seen Sam Goode’s father, Malcolm, since he mysteriously disappeared years ago. Sam had always fantasized that he was abducted by aliens. But that was before he knew the truth: aliens do exist, and some of them seek to destroy our world. That was before he himself became another one of their captives. Now father and son are both missing. . . .

But when a rogue Mogadorian named Adam, who now has Number One’s memories, decides the only way to make up for his past atrocities is to return home and infiltrate the Mogadorian stronghold, he’ll find the key to saving both Sam and Malcolm’s life.

*

I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Search for Sam picks up almost immediately from the cliffhanger where The Lost Files: The Fallen Legacies left off. The events in The Search for Sam eventually parallel the last part of The Rise of Nine (the 3rd novel-length book in the series), but it’s not necessary that you’ve read The Rise of Nine first.

In the previous novella The Fallen Legacies, the Mogadorian-with-a-heart-of-gold Adam was left for dead by his father and brother… and since Adam is pretty much the only likable character I’ve met in the series, I was plenty glad that his character survived to live another day. Honestly, if he had died, I would have just given up on the series. The Rise of Nine was so bad, with the surviving Garde continuing to act like spoiled immature idiots and the main Mogadorian villain Setrakus Ra turned out to be so lame. At this point, I’m pretty much only interested in finding out what happens to Adam next.

Adam continues to be a character I can root for, at least, and there’s some interesting developments in this novella about his relationship with the long-dead Garde One whose memories Adam shares after the mind-meld experiment in  The Fallen Legacies. I’m glad that Adam’s character continues to grow and mature, and maybe, he’s also a favorite character of the writers… since he’s really written much better, more defined, than the other Garde characters.

It’s kind of misleading to have titled this The Search for Sam though, since the novella is pretty much still Adam’s story, even though we do meet Sam’s missing dad Malcolm Goode. So, fans of the Sam character may be a bit disappointed since he doesn’t even figure in the story until the very last pages.

At any rate, this one ends in another cliffhanger as to Adam’s fate, and was much too short besides. I really wish that the author (s) had just combined the Lost Files stories into one book, or at least, Adam’s story into one full length novel. His story is definitely the most interesting for me in the I Am Number Four universe.

I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Search for Sam by Pittacus Lore is available on Amazon as a Kindle Edition ($3.99).

You can also get the ebook at B&N, Kobo, Sony and the Apple iBookstore.

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Book Review – I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Fallen Legacies by Pittacus Lore

August 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Book Description:

Before Number Four, there were One, Two, and Three. Until now we’ve only known that the Mogadorians caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya. But all of that is about to change. . . .

In I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Fallen Legacies, you’ll learn the true story behind these ill-fated members of the Garde. Before they were murdered by the Mogadorians, before Number Four was next, they were all just kids on an alien planet called Earth—discovering their powers, trying to stay hidden, and running for their lives.

About the Author:
Pittacus Lore is Lorien’s ruling Elder. He has been on Earth for the last twelve years, preparing for the war that will decide Earth’s fate. His whereabouts are unknown.

*

I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Fallen Legacies by Pittacus Lore is the latest released prequel novella in the YA SciFi/action series I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies) . Now I’ve been pretty critical before, but this one I really enjoyed (and can actually recommend). I still think it’s overpriced at $3.99 (given how short it is), but if you are a fan of the series, I think this one may be required reading (unless an abbreviated version appears in the next book The Rise of Nine). Unlike the previous prequels, The Fallen Legacies actually offers new information and insight on not only the Loric Garde, but their mortal enemies, the Mogadorians (who have apparently been secretly living the high life on Earth all along without anyone noticing them).

Given how the previous prequels (Six’s Legacy and Nine’s Legacy) were written, I had expected this one to also be a straightforward first person POV retelling of the (extremely short) life stories of Numbers One, Two and Three – like an anthology of three short stories maybe. Thankfully, whoever’s ghost writing this latest installment got a little creative.

The Fallen Legacies is narrated instead by… a teenage Mogadorian named Adamus Sutekh (nickname: Adam) who’s a true born son of one of the Mogadorian generals out hunting for the Garde. I thought it was really refreshing to get a different perspective from the I Am Number Four universe, and I liked the peek into Mogadorian life that Adam provides us. Short version – if you’re a sensitive kind of guy, it really sucks to grow up Mogadorian.

We first meet Adam as an obnoxiously smug thirteen-year-old (but then, who wouldn’t be, given the way he was brainwashed – er, reared), but during an experiment in mind-melding, young Adam is unexpectedly forced into reliving the memories of Number One. This experience changes Adam’s worldview drastically, and he is a very different guy at the end – when the novella abruptly (and frustratingly) ends on a cliffhanger.

Adam is the first boy character from the I Am Number Four series who I found to be genuinely likeable and admirable. And I really, really hope that he plays a big part in the soon to be released full length novel The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies) out August 21.

I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Fallen Legacies by Pittacus Lore is available on Amazon as a Kindle Edition ($3.99).

You can also get the ebook at the Apple iBookstore.

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Book Review – I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Nine’s Legacy by Pittacus Lore

June 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Book Description:

Number Nine—when John frees him from his cell in the power of six, he’s ferocious, reckless, and ready to fight back. But being held captive changes a person—even a Lorien. See what Nine was like before his capture, and read about his dramatic escape from his point of view.

In I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Nine’s Legacy, discover the story behind Nine. Before meeting John Smith, aka Number Four, before being held prisoner, Nine was hunting down Mogadorians in Chicago with his Cêpan, Sandor. What happened there would change Nine forever. . . .

About the Author:
Pittacus Lore is Lorien’s ruling Elder. He has been on Earth for the last twelve years, preparing for the war that will decide Earth’s fate. His whereabouts are unknown.

*

I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Nine’s Legacy by Pittacus Lore is yet another prequel novella to the YA SciFi/action series I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies) . At an inflated $3.99, my suggestion is to only get this novelette/short story if you (or rather, your child) is a huuuge fan of the series and wants the complete collection.

This prequel gives us the back story of Number Nine (the Lorien captive with anti-gravity powers who was freed in The Power of Six.) Nine is one of the original nine ten Lorien children sent to Earth and hidden from the murderous alien Mogadorians while they developed their legacies (aka magical talents). The children were protected by a charm such that they could only be killed in sequence (1, 2, 3 and so forth). In Nine’s Legacy, we get to see how the ferocious Nine ended up being captured by the Mogadorians.

I thought that it’d be hard to top the character of Number Four in the ‘Annoying’-scale, but Number Nine does a good job of that in this story. Unlike the other Lorien kids we’ve met, Number Nine actually had a really successful Cêpan in Sandor who was able to provide Nine with a cushy, safe life in a penthouse in Chicago. No running around as fugitives or being stuck forgotten in a convent for him! All the time in the world to train and work with Sandor’s inventions! But no – Nine is far from grateful for his good fortune. No wonder this kid got caught – he almost welcomed it – Number Nine was basically this bored-out-of-his-mind reckless kid who was even more immature and stubborn than Number Four.

Basically, it’s really the girls who rule in this ‘verse since the boys definitely needed growing up. 🙂 We only got to meet the new-and-improved Number Nine briefly in The Power of Six, so hopefully, he redeems himself in the next installment!

Nine’s Legacy is another complementary installment to the series, an IMO overpriced way (it really should be priced at $1.99) to whet the appetite of existing fans who are looking forward to the next full-length book in the series – The Rise of Nine (out in August, and where presumably the surviving Lorien teens get to finally reunite and fight back against the Mogadorians).

* Interestingly enough, there is yet another soon-to-be-released prequel novella The Fallen Legacies (out in July, and which is about Numbers One, Two and Three who were tragically murdered at the start of the first book I am Number Four). Guess this is how the authors mean to finish their six book deal – with a bunch of novellas 😉

I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Nine’s Legacy by Pittacus Lore is available on Amazon as a Kindle Edition ($3.99).

You can also get the ebook at the Apple iBookstore.

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Book Review – The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies Series #2) by Pittacus Lore

September 1, 2011 2 comments

Book Description:

I’ve seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he’s a mystery. But to me . . . he’s one of us.

Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us — if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We’re hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we’ll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I’ve been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?

They caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya. They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio — and failed.

I am Number Seven. One of six still alive. And I’m ready to fight.

About the Author:
Pittacus Lore is Lorien’s ruling Elder. He has been on Earth for the last twelve years, preparing for the war that will decide Earth’s fate. His whereabouts are unknown.

*

The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies Series #2) by Pittacus Lore (aka James Frey with Jobie Hughes) is the follow-up to the popular YA SciFi book I Am Number Four. This is the second of a planned  six book series about the adventures of some young aliens on Earth – the survivors from the planet Lorien who are being hunted to extinction by another alien race – the evil Mogadorians.

Based on the book description and the two-chapter excerpt from the prequel novella The Lost Files: Six’s Legacy, I thought that book #2 would be focused mainly on Number Seven (aka Marina), but actually the POV alternates between the characters of Number 7 (Marina) and Number 4 (John) throughout the book. I hadn’t been too impressed by the writing in I Am Number Four (even though I did find the overall storytelling interesting which is why I checked out the sequel), but I have to say that The Power of Six came off to me as even weaker than the first book. I kept on getting confused since the POV (written in the first person singular by the way) kept on awkwardly switching off between Marina and John, and honestly, the author(s) isn’t good enough of a writer to give them distinct enough voices (and no, it’s not enough to differentiate them by using a different font). Oddly, the narrative voices sounded exactly the same whether it’s Marina or John telling the story (Incidentally, this was also my problem with James Patterson’s Witch & Wizard wherein the two main characters would speak in the same exact narrative voice too)!

Anyway, the action picks up almost immediately from where we left off in I Am Number Four with a grieving John going on the run together with Number Six and John’s human friend Sam Goode (plus John’s pet chimera Bernie Kosar). Aside from the Mogadorians, John and company are now also pursued by the FBI for being suspected terrorists. Meanwhile, Number 7 (Marina) – who has been left to fend for herself by her useless guardian in a convent in Spain – anxiously scours the net for info about any of the other Lorien kids, while impatiently biding her time by developing her legacies (or magical gifts) on her own.

And basically, that’s it for The Power of Six – seriously, nothing really interesting happens in the first 3/4 of the book (basically lots of teenage angst and confused feelings, with the action moved along mainly by some really idiotic decisions by John), and then, as if to make up for lost time, the last 70 or so pages fly by – crammed to bursting with exciting action, fight sequences, revelations, and ending of course in the requisite cliff-hanger(s). Looks to me like the author/publisher are stretching the story as much as they can to fill the planned six books.

Fans who loved I Am Number Four will still enjoy this one though – although fair warning, they’ll have to wade through a whole bunch of nothing before they get to the all too brief good parts in the end.

The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies Series #2) by Pittacus Lore is available on Amazon as a Kindle Edition and Hardcover Edition. (HarperCollins)

You can also get the ebook at the Sony eBookstore, B&N, Apple iBookstore. * The iBookstore also has an enhanced version called The Power of Six w/ Booktrack (Soundtracks for Books) which is powered with synchronized music and sound effects (I personally find that a bit silly – what happened to old-fashioned imagination?)


For a second opinion – here’s some reviews of The Power of Six by other bloggers:


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Book Review – I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Six’s Legacy by Pittacus Lore

July 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Book Description:

Number Six — when John meets her in I Am Number Four she’s strong, powerful, and ready to fight. But who is she? Where has she been living? How has she been training? When did she develop her legacies? And how does she know so much about the Mogadorians?

In I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Six’s Legacy, discover the story behind Six. Before Paradise, Ohio, before John Smith, Six was traveling through West Texas with her CÊpan, Katarina. What happened there would change Six forever….

About the Author:
Pittacus Lore is Lorien’s ruling Elder. He has been on Earth for the last twelve years, preparing for the war that will decide Earth’s fate. His whereabouts are unknown.

*

I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Six’s Legacy by Pittacus Lore is the prequel novella to the YA SciFi/action book I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies).

The prequel gives us the back story of Number Six (who played such a pivotal role in I Am Number Four.)  Like John Smith (Number Four), Six is one of the original nine Lorien children sent to Earth and hidden from the murderous alien Mogadorians while they developed their legacies (aka magical talents). The children are protected by a charm such that they can only be killed in sequence (1, 2, 3 and so forth). The fiery Six is a very different character from John (who basically just wanted to fit in as an ordinary human). Six is a tough little soldier,  and in The Lost Files: Six’s Legacy, we get to see how she became this scary, strong warrior who was so ready and able to do battle with the Mogadorians.

I have to say though that The Lost Files: Six’s Legacy is a pretty overpriced prequel at $3.99 (given how short it is). I read it in less than 30 minutes while eating lunch. It’s not something I’d recommend to be read on its own, but fans of the series who’ve wondered about who Number Six is would probably enjoy it. It’s better written in some ways than I Am Number Four (which really only shone in the action sequences). I liked Six‘ no nonsense character and her narrative voice came through stronger than John’s (plus I definitely appreciated the absence of the cliched ‘love interest’ here).

Cost aside, I think it’s a good way to whet the appetite of existing fans, especially since the novella includes an excerpt (the first two chapters) from the next book in the series – The Power of Six (which is going to be Number Seven‘s story and where presumably the surviving Lorien teens unite and fight back against the Mogadorians).

I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Six’s Legacy by Pittacus Lore is available on Amazon as a Kindle Edition ($3.99).

You can also get the ebook at the Apple iBookstore.

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Book Review – I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

October 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Book Description:

Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real. Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know. 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.

About the Author:
Pittacus Lore is Lorien’s ruling Elder. He has been on Earth for the last twelve years, preparing for the war that will decide Earth’s fate. His whereabouts are unknown.

*

I pick books to read for many (stupid) reasons (sometimes just because I like the blurb or the cover), but I think this is the first time I picked a book solely based on the trailer for the movie-based-on-a-book, and it wasn’t even a real trailer, just a teaser one (Watch it on YouTube!). I Am Number Four (the movie) stars Dianna Agron and Alex Pettyfer, so I guess I can be forgiven for being utterly surprised to find that Number Four (or John Smith) is just all of fifteen in the book. The actors look way older.

I Am Number Four is a very quick & easy read, it’s possible to read it in a couple of hours and at one sitting. It’s written for the teen/ YA crowd, and it’s a quite exciting start for an action-oriented SciFi YA series (Lorien Legacy). Who wouldn’t be intrigued by the story of a young alien boy, one of only nine children who escaped the destruction of their home planet Loric, spirited to Earth, in hiding for the past ten years since they are being hunted to extinction by an evil alien warrior race called Mogadorians? Due to a charm that protects the children, the Mogadorians can only kill one child at a time according to their number. In the meantime, the children (now teenagers) hope to survive long enough to develop their powers (or Legacies) so they can properly defend themselves. I dare you not to be charmed by the concept of the book at the very least.

The book opens with the murder of Number Three, prompting the flight of Number Four (aka John Smith) and his teacher/guardian Henri to hide at some invisible place in the USA called Paradise, Ohio where hopefully, John can stay safe for a while, blend in, hide, and train for his upcoming confrontation with the Mogadorians since he’s the next up. The story is narrated in first person by John himself, and if you know any 15-year-old boys, that’s kind of bad news since very few 15-year-olds are particularly good at communication. It makes for a clunky uninspired start since the narrator is very fond of speaking in very short sentences/paragraphs, and isn’t very fond of giving us much detail about anything. Everything is kind of a cliché or not expounded on, plus the dialogue is kind of laughable. That minimal style only works well later on in the last half of the book, where it’s basically breathless non-stop action and fight sequences, and the substandard writing style isn’t so glaring anymore.

John is actually a very sweet innocent alien teen-ager, he’s awkward & insecure, bully bait (since he’s the new kid), totally mushy when he falls in love at first sight with his classmate Sarah, loves his guardian Henri and his adopted dog Bernie Kosar, and all he wants is to be left alone to be a real teen-ager. The story starts to pick up when John’s special powers slowly appear (and I liked that John doesn’t develop the usual super powers, and that the gifts appear in a staggered fashion & have to be honed). When the Mogadorians finally appear on the scene, the sense of danger spikes dramatically, and the action speeds up & becomes exciting enough that the inferior writing style is compensated by the can’t-put-it-down suspense. Can John survive to fight another day? Will he lose all he holds dear?

I won’t spoil what happens, except to say that the latter part of the book goes a long way to making up for the slightly insipid start. I have no idea if the other books in the series will introduce more of the Loric children, but whoever author(s) is/are hiding behind the pseudonym of Pittacus Lore, I hope he’s hard at work at Book #2. My nephew who hardly ever reads anything really enjoyed the story (minus all the ‘romance’), and that’s great in my book that anyone can get that boy to read anything.

(Update: Okay, just found out who Pittacus Lore is – it’s James Frey – of the fake memoir ‘Million Little Pieces’ fame – “co-writing” with rookie author Jobie Hughes under Frey’s Fiction Factory! Interesting article on NY Mag about him!)

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore is available on Amazon as a Kindle Edition ($9.99) and Hardcover ($12.23).

You can also get the book for $9.99 at Sony eBook Store, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Borders and BooksOnBoard.

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