I’ve recently been listening to the audiobook of I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore and I’ve been very impressed with it (despite the male narrator making all the female characters sound simpering). Despite the simpering sounding females, the narrator was actually very good, aided by a very long and dramatic finale, where both the narrative and the narrator were making everything sound so exciting and high tension, it was hard for me the listener to draw breath.
So, what’s I am number four about? It’s a young adult sci-fi novel about the fourth in a group of nine alien children who had escaped to Earth 10 years earlier after their planet was destroyed by the evil Mogadorians, now the Mogadorians are on Earth hunting the children who have been protected by a charm that means they can only be killed in numerical order and as we join the story something is about to happen to number 3. We follow number 4 for the rest of the story as he flees once again across country, this time to Ohio. But this time number 4 decides, once settled that he doesn’t want to flee again.
I am number 4, is like a few young adult sci-fi books I’ve read recently, a thinly veiled allegory about growing from child to adult, as the alien children mature into their ‘legacies’ (superpowers), fall in love, deal with bullies and gain independence from the parental figures in their lives. However there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with that and I am number four handles the issues in a far less preachy tone than The Lost Gate, which has a similar allegory, although considering how preachy The Lost Gate got at points, that’s not exactly hard.
I am number four is apparently the first in a series of six, I will be reading (or possibly listening) more.
On one final note, there was an interesting play with pseudonyms in the book; the author Pittacus Lore is a pseudonym for the collaborative authors James Frey and Jobie Hughes and I may be wrong (bit difficult to go back and check when it’s an audiobook) but I am pretty sure that James Frey and Jobie Hughes are both names used on fake identities set up for number 4. And as for the name Pittacus Lore, that itself pops up within the book as the name of one of the alien elders.