Having just missed one hundred books in the first year of The Book Challenge, in 2010, I made the full tonne. Still reading, but without the challenge, take a look at the reviews for the books that I have read this year.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Book 15 - I Am Number Four

Book - I Am Number Four
Author - Pitticus Lore
Year - 2010
Genre - Young Adult Science Fiction
Pages - 374
Series - Lorian Legacies
Recommended to me by Katie Minnett

Since the explosion of film franchises such as Harry Potter and Twilight (shudder), there is a bit of a feel that Hollywood is looking hard for more pieces of young adult fiction to plunder for films.  This is never a bad thing, as it means that more books get read, but often the increase in book sales is balanced against a film that isn't really all that good (Percy Jackson, I am looking at you).  Sometimes the book - no matter how amazing it is - is not quite suitable for filming.

I have never seen the film version of I Am Number Four, but I imagine that it works well.  From the very offset you get the impression that a big screen adaptation has been in mind.  The story is that in the dying moments of their planet, the Lorians send nine of their children with carers to the nearest populated planet - Earth - in order for them to grow, develop the awesome powers that their race get, and repopulate Loric by defeating the evil race of Mogadorians that have taken over the planet.  To protect them, a charm is placed on them which means that they can only be killed in order.  In thirteen years or so, the first three have been killed, and we now follow number four.

Why does is feel like a film already?  Well, as well as the big battle set pieces that crop up the whole way through, we are also introduced to our hero's supporting cast early on - Sam, the geeky, skinny guy with thick glasses; Sarah, the beautiful cheerleader, and Mark the quarterback and jock with an attitude - who could have been taken straight from any teen film released in the past thirty years.  There is very little new in any of this, and in fact the whole book is made of a mish mash of Percy Jackson, Glee, Twilight, Heroes, Transformers and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Note however, that at no point to I say this is a bad thing.  One of the great joys of teen fiction, is that even when ideas seem hackneyed, they often transfer over to make a great novel nonetheless.  And this really is that.  Some of the plot points are obvious from the start, and you rarely feel a real sense of danger or urgency, but few series such as this actually do in their first book.  Instead we are left with a thoroughly enjoyable action book, with enough backstory and history to expand into the seven part series that is hoped for.  This is a series that I will certainly be keeping an eye on and keeping very much up to date with.

8/10

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