Friday, August 23, 2013

Review Me Twice: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I had no idea what to expect from this book when I selected it, other than teenagers and some kind of supernatural vibe since it's classified as sci-fi. There's an alien thing going on, but - bear with me here - I Am Number Four approaches aliens in the kind of way Twilight approaches vampires and werewolves, in the sense that it is aware of the stereotypes, discusses them very slightly, and does not conform to them. Which is nothing unusual, but it feels the same way as Twilight because of how it's done, if that makes sense.

The storyline is nothing special: aliens ran away from their homeworld because bad guys were after them, and they were chased to Earth. The characters are nothing special: protagonist who, despite his special abilities, is pretty much an everyman; protagonist's love interest with few identifiable attributes of her own; protagonist's loyal friend who is a little quirky; typical parental figure; typical bully at school (because aliens and vampires and whatever have to go to high school too, you guys).

The biggest problem I had with the book stemmed from the two authors thing, even before I knew there were two authors. The first several chapters had a back-and-forth in the writing style. A large section would be good, then the next large section would be almost unbearable, then I'd get a reprieve just in time with another large section I liked. The moment I noticed that trend was when I put down the book and looked up who Pittacus Lore was... and learned that the book was suffering from two-author syndrome. This went away after a while. I'm not 100% sure whether I just got used to it or if it really did even out, but it just wasn't a problem after a few more chapters.

It sounds like I'm giving the book a hard time, but I really did enjoy it. It's fun, it's compelling, and I'm interested in the rest of the series, especially with the newest installment, The Fall of Five, being released next week.

I REALLY liked this book.  I liked that there's still a mystery by the end of it, but not SO much mystery that it's frustrating.  I liked the excitement and I like the different powers we see and I like that the back story is explained, but not in a way that bogs you down with exposition.

The strength of this book is definitely in the action scenes.  I can SEE everything happening: the fights, the swords, the storm that rages so intensely that faces were appearing.  The author is amazing at having me on the edge of my seat, wondering what in the world is going to happen and is everyone going to survive?

The biggest weakness of this book?  The romance.  It was just so... sappy and unrealistic.  I mean, ok, I get that Lorien's are supposed to fall in love for life, but it's HIGH school and I just have a hard time taking it seriously.  And Sarah wasn't really all that likable.  I didn't DISlike her, but I wasn't exactly a fan of hers.

I really want to pick up the next book to see what happens.  I'm glad that the next book is out so I can do that. 

My Bottom Line 4 out of 5

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