PJVs QUICKIE POV:
Crazy as it is, this book I AM NUMBER FOUR shot onto the best-sellers list from no-where. I saw the movie trailer before I saw the book trailer…which in itself is odd – how does one get a movie deal before they have their book released. I knew the author must be juicy. So interest piqued I downloaded it as my 1 Audible credit and listened to it non-stop while I worked. I was so not disappointed. This book was charming in it’s delivery, interesting in its world-building and the climatic conclusion was heart-stopping in it’s intensity. I’m almost tempted to go out and purchase the book so I can compare it to the audio book.
The main character and narrator calls himself Number Four. He is an alien, sent as a child from a planet that was over run by the most vilest and destructive of alien races. He and a few others are the only ones left from the Lorien race and on Earth hiding from killers of their race. A charm was put on the remaining Loriens, a charm that protects them from the evil race aliens hunting them. They can only be killed in order. Number three has just been killed… he is number four. And while he has his whole race riding on his shoulders and killers hunting his every move, Four is only a teenage boy and all he desperately wants is to just live.
I was very impressed with this novel. The voice of Four was innocent enough to be believable but mature enough to understand the weight that was on his shoulders. I thought his reactions were very on par for a teenage boy in this situation. I really liked Four. I also really enjoyed Henri and Sam, which were very well written side characters.
The story was fast-paced where it needed to be and slow-and-steady when you couldn’t take the intensity any more. The climatic ending was almost over-whelming. I can not wait for the second in this series.
Things that were a bit iffy to me, some of which is a critique on the reader. I thought it was hilarious when he did female voices and kept picturing Sara as a transvestite. I don’t think I’ve noticed anything like this before in an audio book, so I think it must have been off for me. Also, speaking of Sara, I wasn’t too enraptured with her, she was just too perfect. Understandable because the narrator was Four and he was desperately in love with her – so of course she is going to look a perfect.
I was also reminded constantly that this story is very similar to the Superman story-line. Kal-el (Superman) was rocketed by his father to Earth just moments before it’s destruction as was Four. Where it differs was Four’s planet is invaded by an evil race of aliens and they are hunting him down on Earth – where Superman was not being hunted by evil aliens, but his own evil people of his race.
I’m being super picky though, and I’m only mentioning these things because they niggle at my mind and if I don’t write them — who else will I tell them to??
Boys and Girls, adults and teens — this is a cross gender, cross age book that should be enjoyed by a wide range of readers. Fans of the Percy Jackson series, Superman comics or the great Scott Westerfeld should enjoy!
News & Rumminations:
Word on the street that the authors that penned this particular novel are James Frey and Jobie Hughes. You might remember hearing about James Frey, he was the author that wrote the memoir titled A Million Little Pieces and was then dubunked on The Smoking Gun — with the very embarrassing piece called A Million Little Lies. The Smoking Gun claimed that Frey fabricated a lot of the stories that he told in his memoir. No matter if the stories were true or a little exaggerated, Oprah actually defended Frey and said that his book was inspiring to her and her fellow readers. So, because of this it would seem the writer, whether talented or not is reduced to releasing this great title under a pseudonym.
Personally I think it might have worked in his and Hughes favor. The novel is definitely a hit. On top of that they had a movie deal before the book was even released, so obviously Frey is a spectacular example of Bad Press is still Press.
But, while all this is well and good, I’m also wondering…what came first, the book or the movie? And, like the corporately generated Boy Bands and Pop Wonders that gained popularity during the nineties, is this one of those money generating series, much like the Patterson books, generated by Marketing Departments and Creative thinkers and then passed on to talented writers with an outline and a command to WRITE? Something to trump the AUTHOR LADIES OF RENOWN Rowling and Meyers? And should I have a problem with it if it is? Does the end justify the means — this book was a very good end result.