Title: I Am Number Four
Series: Book one of the Lorien Legacies
Author: Pittacus Lore
ISBN: 9780061969553
Pages: 440 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: August 3, 2010

In the beginning we were a group of nine.
Three are gone, dead.
There are six of us left.
They are hunting us, and they won’t stop until they’ve killed us all.
I am Number Four.
I know that I am next. (9)

John one of nine Loriens that traveled to Earth with their caregivers, and after a scar on his right ankle appears, he knows that he is next on the list to be hunted down and killed by the same enemies that attacked their home world almost ten years ago. A charm on each of the nine guarantees that as long as they stay apart, they can only be killed in numerical order. John and his caretaker Henri try to hide in a small town in Ohio, waiting for John’s abilities to develop that will help keep him safe. Finally making friends — and a possible girlfriend — John isn’t looking forward to their next move. He doesn’t want to leave behind the people he’s begun to care about. But every day they are getting closer, and John might not be able to keep his secret, or himself, safe for much longer.

I had heard some horrible reviews of both the movie and the book, so I was a little hesitant to pick this one up. Other reviewers had talked about it being an unedited piece. And yes, there is one glaring typo on page 5, where “a soft wind bxlew” instead of blew. And something that is supposed to be invisible is suddenly visible with no explanation later in the book. But overall, I didn’t find that many typos that interfered with my reading pleasure.

I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would. John is a likeable character who is struggling with the constant moving because he sees what he’s missing. He wants a normal life, instead of moving from small town to small town, loosing track of how many small towns he’s passed through in an effort to stay unnoticed. I liked the romance that blossomed between him and Sarah, their real estate agent’s daughter who happens to be in some of his classes. I liked Sam, another classmate who is obsessed with aliens and conspiracy theories for his own reasons.

I was reading along fine and was engrossed in the book until the battle scenes, which, to be honest, is when I started losing interest. Maybe I was just too tired at that point, since I’d been reading for a couple of hours. More than likely though, it was the numerous improbable saves that occur, where John is ALMOST killed, and then not, and the he’s almost killed again, but someone or something comes to his rescue at the last second every single time. Once or twice, maybe, but I think he was saved from death four or five times. I honestly lost track. I don’t feel bad revealing that he’s not killed, since there’s a sequel coming out on August 23, 2011 titled The Power of Six that according to different website stars Number Seven, but something does happen during the fight at the end of I Am Number Four that might affect readers.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, and while I’m shocked that the movie rights were picked up for the book before it was even published (according to Wikipedia, the rights were purchased in June 2009), I don’t doubt that there was interest in the story as it was being written. It’s an interesting story, even if the aliens with special abilities hidden among us plot has been done before. While I might pass on the movie, I might pick up the next book after the die-hard fans get their chance at the library’s copies.