Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books-- but we are real.
Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.
But they know.
They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.
I am Number Four.
I am next.
Why I read it: I won this book from HarperCollins through inkpop.com. I had seen tons of advertisements out for it and the movie and I love sci-fi action stories, so this seemed perfect.
What I liked: The premise of the story is really intriguing. Nine aliens have come down to earth with a protective charm saying they can only be killed in order. The tagline, “Three are dead. I am number four,” is just so cool, and the plot really follows up.
The writing isn’t bad, and the plot is kept moving fairly quickly. Since the main character is a superhero it could easy have turned into a whole battle of magical ‘legacies’ but luckily these ‘legacies’ don’t develop until half way through the book so it never feels like the author is just using the magic to get his characters out of trouble when he’s too lazy to do it properly.
What I disliked: If you read any review on Amazon they’ll say exactly what I’m saying now: no character development. It’s true. I was expecting Number Four to be a really cool character (he is an alien from Lorien, after all) but he just feels like a plain ordinary boy. His girlfriend is a fairly flat semi-popular girl, and his best friend is a stereotypical nerd. Altogether, there were no original characters in here, and very little in the way of character development.
From a Christian Perspective: There was a fair bit of swearing in this book. It felt like the author was trying to fill the pages with certain swear words just to make it feel like he was a real teenager. There was no sexual content, though, besides for a couple kisses.
This book does contain a number of fight sequences, but nothing too graphic. I wouldn’t give this to little kids, but any teenager can handle it.
To buy or not to buy: This is a classic example of a book with incredible promise which fails… as a book. The lack of character development ruined it for me. However, there’s a movie out which I plan to go see. This is probably the only time I’ll ever say this, but, don’t read the book! Go see the movie!