Think Twilight meets long-since canceled WB drama Roswell – but more bloody and less girly. That’s the best description I can give for I Am Number Four. Considering I was/am a fan of both Roswell and Twilight, I was excited for the opportunity to review this title. I wasn’t aware of the sizable hype around this project though until my visit to Comic Con last month, where the book (which hadn’t even been released yet) was already being discussed at a panel. Kudos to the PR team behind this one. In fact, the powers that be associated with this book were so confident with its story that the movie is already underway and will be released this coming February.
So does it live up to all the hype? Let me tell you a bit of the story before I answer that.
I Am Number Four focuses on the fourth alien in a group of nine. The first three have been killed, and now Number Four’s life is on the line. This group of aliens (from the planet Lorien) arrived on earth roughly eleven years ago. Their planet was destroyed by a group of aliens (Mogadorians) that yearned for resources that they had used up/destroyed on their own planet. In order to save the Lorien race, nine Garde (aliens with special powers) are matched with a guardian and sent to earth. And due to a special spell that has been cast, the Mogadorians can only kill them in a certain order. They’ve gotten the first three, now it’s Number Four’s turn.
Number Four is just trying to fit in and live as normal of a life as he can. He’s in high school, and has just moved with his guardian, Henri, to Paradise, Ohio. Paradise soon becomes a rather ironic name for the town – but you’re not going to catch any spoilers here! 🙂
Number Four soon adopts the identity of John Smith, super original right? He falls for Sarah Hart pretty much the first moment he sees her. And this is where I noticed the first problem with the book. The writing in their first encounter just seemed to underwhelm me. Perhaps I’m used to Edward starring into Bella’s eyes and saying epically romantic things in order to perpetuate an unhealthy obsession that we all have to admit we kinda enjoy reading and watching – if you’re a girl. However, in I Am Number Four I’m just not impressed with the detail in the writing. It seems to be missing that something “special” in certain places – and his relationship with Sarah is one of those.
So you might be assuming that this is a story about an alien boy falling in love with human girl, but there’s more too it than that. There’s a bigger battle that is impending and higher stakes that are at risk than just high school love. This part of the story is the part that will have your boyfriend making slightly less fun of you for reading this book than Twilight.
Overall, I found the story to be quite interesting. While the writing could have done more to pull me in as a whole – I still really enjoyed myself and found myself not wanting to put it down once I was halfway through. It’s so action packed in the later half that you keep reading looking for closure, but it’s not going to go come until the very end – and even then it’s going to leave you hanging.
This is the first book in a series of six. I could easily see it becoming the next book series of great hype such as Twilight or Harry Potter, and it’ll be interesting to see if that happens. The story is definitely there, and I think if the description in the writing can pick up a bit more in the future books – they may be on to something.
The book is supposedly written by the head elder from the planet Lorien. The elders are a group that completely disappeared before the attack on the planet – so I would assume somewhere in this series there will be an interesting twist as to why the author of the series is being marketed as an alien.
As far as the film, I don’t know how the hell they’re going to pull this stuff off and it not look crazy and fake. But I guess I shouldn’t doubt special effects… I will say that I’m definitely going to see the film, and I will definitely read the next book which hopefully will come out sooner rather than later.
Bottom line, it’s a young adult’s book. If you like Twilight or the long since canceled Roswell and are a female – then chances are you’ll enjoy this title regardless of your age.
Your Pop Culture Junkie,