Friday 17 December 2010

I Am Four by Pittacus Lore

Pages - 360
Published in 2010 by Penguin Group
This book was sent to me as part of the UK Book Tour run by the lovely Lynsey.

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 lift their heads to listen, a fourteen year old boy and a fifty year old men, who everyone thinks is his father but who was born near a different jungle on a different planet hundreds of light years away. They are lying shirtless on opposite sides of the hut, a mosquito net over each cot. They hear a distant crash, like the sound of animal breaking the branch of a tree, but in this case, it sounds like the entire tree has been broken.

Oh, how I loved this book. This was a completely different type of genre for me, I am not normally interested in sci fi or alien orientated books but this one had me gripped from page one. It was like being on a space ship hurtling to the Earth and having no time to catch your breath.   I could not put it down and I am sad to part with it.

I think the best way to describe the book is to reprint the blurb from the back of the book, as I couldn't possibly write it any better.

In the beginning we were nine.
We left when we were very young, almost too young to remember. Almost. And now...
Three are gone.
We are here to keep our race alive, which was almost entirely obliterated. We're just trying to  survive.
Six are left.
Bur we are hunted, and the hunters won't stop until they've killed us all.
They caught Number One in Malaysia
Number Two In England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
I am Number Four.
I know that I am next.

The aliens within the book look and act just like us, but they all have some extra abilities which would be lovely to have.  Number Four is known as John for now, but he changes his name with every town he moves too. He has to move a lot, because he never knows when he might be attacked. He has grown up as a normal boy and all he wants to be is a normal teenager with friends and a girlfriend. You cannot help but love him and feel sorry for him at the same time. He has never seen the aliens chasing him, so he has no idea what to expect. 

The book is very descriptive and action packed and I can understand why it is being made into a movie. It reads like an action packed Arnold Schwarzenegger film.   You are on edge from the first page. Hoping that John will survive the unknown. 

I think one of the main reasons that I loved this book, was because I used to be a huge fan of the alien series Roswell, with the three aliens living in Roswell who were not sure where they had come from and were trying to be normal teenagers. If you loved this series too, then this book is definitely one for you. It was lovely to see the alien races stepping forward to take on the vampire/fairy/angel books that have flooded our book shelves recently.

The author of the book, Pittacus Lore is fictional. Supposedly an alien seeking to warn us about the danger that lies ahead for the world. It adds to the suspense of the books. 

I can highly recommend this book and I can't wait to read the next in the series. As I understand it there are to be six books and the next one will be out in Spring 2011.  Once again, can I thank Lesley for sending me a fantastic YA book to read.


  1. I'm normally into that kind of book either, but your enthusiasm makes me want to read this one.

  2. I read something about the true author of the book and how another guy had used him and taken all the credit, so not cool

  3. This book was handed to me at BEA but I gave it away because it didn't sound at all interesting to me. Later I found out this is part of James Frey's fiction factory stuff intended to make money (movie rights were sold before the book was written, descriptions of weapons were put in the book just so they could make toys and sell them, etc) which turned me off this book even further. I'm glad to hear it was good, though. I know i won't read it, but I'm glad you enjoyed the book!

  4. Bermuda onion - It was really good.

    Blodeuedd - I hadn't heard about this. Mmmm

    Amanda - Oh dear, this is not good. I haven't heard of James Frey. No wonder the book is so good. I don't remember any weapons being included in it though. A lot of the main character's powers are internal.

  5. Even the author is fictional! Your enthusiasm is wonderful and I'm glad you enjoyed this book. I may investigate Amanda's statements further if I read I Am Number 4.

  6. Hm, no weapons? In the articles it said there were details added to swords so that they would make good toys. Maybe that's in a sequel or something...

  7. I haven't heard about the "fiction factory" stuff either, but then again, I haven't been following this book much. I have a copy of it from BEA that I gave to my husband, and I may read it at some point.

  8. SO MUCH controversy surrounding this one. The Fiction Factory reports sound absolutely horrific and it's hard for a lot of readers to dissociate their feelings about that with this book.

    I read it before I heard about all that and liked it OK, was even looking forward to the sequel. And yet..

  9. What Clover said - it's so hard to dissociate the book from all that controversy! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it, though. I wish I could approach it without knowing any of that stuff.

  10. This book sounds awesome, I am definitely going to have to read it!

  11. This sounds like a great start to a series. And how cool that the author isn't 'real' either. I'm adding this to my wish list.

  12. Hmm, I have to say that I was really interested in this book before I heard about the James Frey debacle, and now I'm not so sure if I want to read it. I probably should still give it a read, but the whole things just feels tainted to me now.

  13. What an interesting story. I'm normally not into sci/fi books either but this has that end of the world type thing going on and I do like dystopian fiction. I hadn't heard of the whole James Frey controversy surrounding this but I guess that's a good thing!

  14. I picked this one up on audio after an Aussie blogger recommended it but then I saw some 'meh' reviews and I put it on the backburner. It's definitely moving back to a priority read now!


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