“The door starts shaking. It’s a flimsy thing made of bamboo shoots held together with tattered lengths of twine. The shake is subtle and stops almost immediately. They left their heads to listen, a fourteen year old boy and a fifty year old man, who everyone thinks is his father but who was born near a different jungle on a different planet hundreds of lightyears away.”
When the Mogadorians attacked Lorien there was no hope for survival. Nine children of the Garde and their nine Cêpan were bundled onto a ship bound for Earth. The nine children were tagged with a number each, when the Mogadorians tried to track them down there would be a legacy in place meaning they could only kill the children in order of their numbers. One was killed in Malaysia, two in England, three in Kenya. Number four is next, but hopefully no-one will find him in Paradise Ohio with his keeper Henri…
In a bout of madness I actually watched the movie “I am Number Four” before I read the book, I honestly thought the book wouldn’t be for me so that’s why but when I finished the movie I knew that I had to read the book, the movie was so good that the book had to be even better, didn’t it? Well now I’ve read the book I can happily say that yes, the book was indeed even better than the movie and I’m so glad I did actually read it!
I love the story and the legacy behind it, John (number Four) and Henri his guardian are in hiding, they go to Paradise to try and fit in, keeping out of notice from the Mogadorians. However as John is the next number in the list it’s obvious that the Mogadorians will be looking for him everywhere. I like that he had to go through all the usual stuff that a teenager should and that his powers caused him problems fitting in and things like that. I really enjoyed the romance element of the story too and how it linked to the way of Johns people on Lorien.
The characters were brilliant and I liked how much depth a lot of them had. Mr Harris, the principal even had a personality even though he only appeared in a few scenes. Sam was an amazing character and I really felt for him: however I thought he was a better character in the movie than the book, unlike any of the others! Henri was just like a father to John and you could tell how much love they had for one another. Even Mark, who is an arse at first, had more to him than being the schools jock and I really liked him towards the end. Sarah was really lovely and I felt a bit sad that a lot of focus was put on how pretty she was rather than her personality, she had more to her than her looks and she was perfect for John. John himself was a great character and a great narrator. It was easy to connect with him and his sense of non-belonging was strong but powerful. I have to say though that the best character was Bernie Kosar, even being a dog he was amazing and had such a strong aura about him. I loved him with all my heart and would love to have a dog like that!!
I have read a couple of reviews that have complained about the writing style of this book saying it was boring and not very impressive but I really enjoyed it. It made the story easier to follow and it was simple yet effective. I really liked how much description was there and that there wasn’t really any repetition in it. The book was so easy to read which is a trait I love when there are 400 pages!
I really do recommend this book, I’m gutted that I watched the movie before I read it but I honestly didn’t think I’d enjoy it as I don’t often do sci-fi. If this sounds like you then please think again before vetoing I Am Number Four, it’s a great story regardless of it you usually don’t do sci-fi!
I am Number Four was published in Feburary 2011 by Razorbill, a Penguin Books imprint. The second book, The Power of Six will be released in paperback on April 12th 2012. My copy of this book was sent in exchange for an honest review by the publisher. This has had no reflection on my opinions.