I remember concluding my review of "I Am Number Four" by saying I enjoyed the book, but I would not be buying the sequel. But sometimes the passage of time makes you realise that there was more that you liked about a book than the things you didn't, and overall my experience of the book was a good one. So when I found myself with the chance of receiving a free advance copy my immediate reaction was to jump at it, because I genuinely wanted this second book to be better so I could enjoy without any disappointments finding out what happens to the characters.
Thankfully, The Power of Six is a big step up in terms of plotting and pacing, and although you know there has to be a big battle of some sorts at the end, there's no "read this all before" feeling, and there are some interesting turns along the way, whereas in the first book if you took a guess at where a plot point was going, you were usually right. The best thing about this second venture into what is now being called the Lorien Legacies series is that it focuses much more on character, and for the most part it gets it right. I felt with the first book that I only really got to know part of John's character, largely because when it focused on his relationship with his Cêpan / adoptive father Henri, the characterisation was well realised, but when away from Henri it followed the well trodden path and, though fairly enjoyable, was predictable and didn't always ring true. Second time around, the writers have fixed this and for the first time really allow the reader to really get to know the characters of John, Sam and Number Six and how they relate to each other. Plus, which also works in the books favour, it brings in a new character - Marina, who is a Garde living in a convent in Spain, where her Cêpan has abandoned her role as protector and joined the order, leaving her charge not only worried about the dangers that she perceives may be catching up with her, but also desperate for news on the locations of the others like her.
The two stories are well balanced, and you never feel that you want the chapter to end so you can get back to reading the other. Without spoiling anything for you, at certain points the two stories intersect, and by the end of the book you know that this series is gearing up for a third book where all the surviving Garde come together and start to plan their fight back. If you were a fan, or perhaps not a fan, of the superpowers and monsters elements of this series, know that both feature heavily in this book. I haven't seen the film of the first book, but can make a guess that a film of this one would need double the special effects budget.
It's worth noting that the Mogadorians continue to be the mysterious and unrelenting threat that they were in the first book, and if you want deeper information as to what they are and their wider motivations, you're not going to get it here. But before you jump to conclusions, let me tell you that in the context of this particular book, and of the ongoing series itself, this is actually a calculated risk that pays off. The continuing mystery behind the Mogadorians and the lack of any central villain works in the favour of this book, and when you reach the end, there are strong hints that a major bad guy will come to the fore in book three, and with him a greater understanding to the reader of what this whole conflict is about. The writers achieve that difficult balance between bringing the book to a satisfying conclusion and making you look forward to what you'll discover next time round.
This is the second of the Pittacus Lore series, which is supposed to be the recounting of Garde of the planet Lorien, who were sent from their planet as young children, with a view to protecting them, and their developing gifts or Legacies from the invading Mogadorian race, a warlike race out to destroy Lorien and any other world that takes their fancy. Pittacus Lore is alleged to be a Lorien elder, which adds to the telling of the story.
This book follows on from the fantastic "I am Number Four", which has now been turned into a movie. The timeline is immediately after the events of the first book, with Number Four having met up with Number Six. The Mogadorians have to kill the Garde in their numerical order, so having killed Numbers One to Three, Four was next on their list. If they attempt to kill a Garde out of numerical order, whatever they are doing rebounds onto them, leaving them rather dead instead. Each Garde has a Chest, which contains essential items relating to their developing Legacies, which was in the keeping of their accompanying Cepan (adult guardian). Four's Cepan was killed at the end of Book 1.
In this story, he and Number Six are trying to retrieve her Chest. At the same time, the book has a dual story, which is that of Number Nine and, latterly, Number Ten, who are on the other side of the Atlantic in Spain.
The book deserves five stars because there is a lot more about the Legacies and how they work, how the individual Garde have found out about their Legacies, and what they do with them. It also introduces a bit more about why the Elders of Lorien sent the ten Garde and their Cepan away and what they hoped to accomplish by doing so. The extent of the Mogadorian entrenchment in our world is also clarified, which adds a further twist to the story. The story hops between what is happening with Number Four and Number Six, and what is happening with Nine and Ten. This added to the tale because it would have been a bit boring if the only focus was on Four and Six, because the first book was already very Four oriented. The introduction of additional Garde means that the potential tedium is avoided.
Is this a children's book? I think it is one of those books that can make the transition between adults and children. I shall look forward to further additions to the series.
Second in a series of young adult science fiction novels, this follows on from I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies), which was the story of John Smith. AKA number four. One of a group of children from another world that was under threat and who were taken to Earth to be raised there and hidden from the aggressor aliens who were attacking the world.
All the children will gain special abilities when they grow up, and thus the nasty aliens have been trying to track them down.
There is enough exposition at the start of this volume for anyone who hasnt read the first book [or seen the film version] to get up to speed.
Recommended reading age would be twelve and up since teen romance rears it's head and one very mild expletive is used on a couple of occasions. There is also one since that suggests the nasty aliens aren't adverse to torture, but it's only mentioned not seen.
At the end of the first book John, his friend Sam plus number six were heading off to find the others of their group.
The narrative here begins by introducing us to number seven. Aka Marina. Who has been living in an orphanage in Spain ever since she and her protector sought sanctuary there. The protector has fallen into the ways of the place and seemingly forgotten why they came to Earth.
The narrative uses her and John both as viewpoint characters, and both tell their stories in the first person present tense as it jumps back and forth between them.
John and friends have to contend with the police being on their tale, plus developing love interests. Marina has to find a way to get out of the orphanage and get to America, as news reports have convinced her that John is one of her kind.
And so the story goes.
This seems to be a typical middle book in a series for the first two thirds, in that it seems to exist just to move things along and set up future developments. But then it changes gear nicely in the final third. A great deal happens, and there are some surprises and interesting revelations [one that answers a mystery set up in the first book].
There are spectacular fight scenes, and some good supporting characters, particularly in Marina's half of the tale.
The whole thing does end on a very big cliffhanger, as the stakes of the ongoing story are upped very nicely.
This is entertaining science fiction for younger readers, and the kind of thing that older ones can easily get into as well. It's not great literature, but it's an entertaining read. And science fiction has always had books like this that act as an entry point to the genre for the younger generation. So it's good to see that tradition being kept alive.
on 6 November 2014
Once upon a time there was a film called the power of four. I watched it and thought it was great take on the whole superman theory, with nine instead of one. Now this film was based on a book it seems. And the power of six is part two of the great adventure. A grand series with lots of battles to keep the bloodthirsty happy and plenty of feisty females not wearing bust enhancers and tight corsets to act as superwoman. What's not to like?
Having devoured the first book in this series at a truly alarming rate, I was very excited to get my paws on The Power of Six. And there's a lot of good stuff going on here, but I don't think it's as strong an outing as the first one.
This time, instead of exclusively focusing on Four's journey, the action is split between Four/John (travelling with Six, who is a VERY PRETTY GIRL AND REALLY COOL etc and Sam, his best friend, who of course fancies Six), and Marina, Seven, living in a convent with her minder, who appears to have decided not to work to further the cause of the Lorien any longer.
At first, Four's little band seem to be wandering a bit aimlessly, trying to stay ahead of the law (who have branded them terrorists) and the Mogs, and training up. Aliens they may be, but there are plenty of hormones flying around, and Four and Sam are clearly both very taken with Six. Four finds plenty of time to angst about Six vs Sarah, his girlfriend in the last book, as his now-dead minder said that Lorien only fall in love once in their lives, so HOW can he POSSIBLY like Six?!?! (As you may be able to tell, I didn't have a great deal of patience for this stuff.)
I found Marina's sections far more interesting, as she tries to hide her fledgling abilities from the nuns, deals with bullies, and gives up on her minder and starts to make her own tracks to move on alone. When a new girl arrives at the convent, Marina takes her under her wing, but things start to go south as she suspects the Mogs have caught her up, and she can't convince her minder to help her train/open her chest/do anything remotely useful.
So. Overall, the writing's still engaging, but while Marina's coming of age and struggles were fascinating, and I couldn't help feeling a great deal of empathy for her, by about a third of the way through the book I just wanted to shake Four, as his priorites seemed... confused, at best.
Still, if you can get past the teenage agnst, there's plenty of well-written and very tense action on both sides, and there's some great back-story about Sam's dad and what might have happened to him. We also get to see more of the Mogs, both in the field and at their camp, including their leader, and a bit more explanation into why they're so desperate to kill the Lorien Nine.
The ending leaves things wide open, so it's safe to say that we can expect at least another book in this series. It's a good, light read, and lives up to the first one fairly well. Don't go into it expecting anything profound or deep, but in an over-crowded YA market, it stands up reasonably.
I originally took a punt on the first book, and enjoyed it, but it felt somewhat cut short, clearly it was always designed to be a series of books. Glad to say the second improves on this, really enjoyed it, although again at 300-odd pages it still feels like it could fleshed out more. I would say you should try and read the first book (or watch the movie), before this, as there are quite a few references and plot-lines that would make little sense. My main concern before reading this, was it would be "too samey", thankfully it's not the case.
All in all, a very worthy successor to the original and if you liked the first in the series, you will love this one.
The power of six is the next exciting instalment in the Lorien Legacies series and I certainly enjoyed it as much as book one.
A lot of the hype that has been building up around the release of this book is misleading. People are raving about the fact it isn't focused on Number four / John Smith and how they don't want to therefore read it but they could not be more wrong. Yes the book does introduce another one of the Lorien's Number Seven but John / Number Four gets sufficient air time as is generally as awesome as ever.
The book continues on with John, six and Sam's story where it left off. They are now on the FBI's most wanted list and are on the run from both the authorities and more frighteningly the Mogs. There are some brilliant scenes where they come head to head and you can certainly see that John is growing into his legacies fast. The action continuess to be fast paced and epic throughout the story which is something I was pleased about.
As I said before you are introduced to Marina / Number Seven in this book. I loved seeing her story as much as I enjoyed Number Four's in the previous instalment. Her experience of Earth has been very different as was her relationship with her Cepan. I loved seeing her approach to dealing with the situation she is in and hope to see more of her in future books.
One thing I really liked about this book is that it starts to answer some of the questions raised in book one especially those about a second ship that left the Planet soon after the one carrying Number Four and you start to get snippets of background information about where the characters came from and why there in particular were selected for the misson they are on.
Once again I am left wanting to know what happens next in the story and will be impatiently waiting for Book 3 to be released.
on 16 September 2011
Having read I Am Number Four quite a while ago and having mixed feelings about it I was a bit apprehensive when I picked up the next in the series. What actually happened is that this turned out to be a lot better than the first in the series. There was a lot less wordiness in this book, and the action starts from page one, probably because, as a second book, there's no need for the introductions and preamble needed in the first book. Before I go into detail, here's a brief synopsis for you, as told from the the POV of Number Seven:
"I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he's a mystery. But to me . . . he's one of us.
Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us--if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?
They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio--and failed.
I am Number Seven. One of six still alive.
And I'm ready to fight"
I'm glad this was told from a couple of different points of few as it meant as a reader, I didn't have to wonder what was happening to John and Co whereas I was also able to learn what was happening with Number Seven and Co. This particular style of writing, in my experience, can either work really well or it can fail. The danger being that the plot becomes confusing. This wasn't the case however, and each character and setting was so distinct that it wouldn't have been possible to confuse them, even if you tried too.
I have to admit, the events with Number Six, John and Sam were probably a lot more exciting and heart-pounding than Number seven's story, but I love a change of scene and hearing the story develop from Number Seven's point of view was fascinating. Plus, one of the biggest twists in the story happens around Seven and I could never have seen it coming even if I had tried to think of the most weird and impossible twist ever.
Back with John, Sam and Six, there was also some back-story for Number Six which was awesome because she was always a bit of an enigma in I Am Number Four, so it was fascinating to hear about how she came to be where she was and what she went through to get there.
I can't really say much about the events throughout the novel without spoiling things, but I will say that there's a lot of new people, the story comes together more and there's enough fighting in this to make action fans bounce in their chairs while reading. For the romance lovers out there, there's a quite a bit of love going on, and not where you might thing either, as well as some heartbreaking potential betrayal that will leave you stunned and a little sad.
I will let slip that there's a lot more insight into the Mogadorians lair and I can definitely say that if it were real, I would not be going there, not even if you paid me.
The ending is, as always, a wonderful cliffhanger that will leave you dying to read book number three. Much to my annoyance, I have no idea when this is released. So I shall have to wait along with the rest of the world. I'm pretty certain it'll be worth the wait.
on 8 September 2011
This is the sequel to 'I am Number Four' and the narration begins with a new 'number'.Marina, is number seven, and she is coming into all of her legacies (powers) all on her own, and not because her guardian has been murdered like Six's was, but because her guardian wants to believe that they are safe and can choose not to be involved in the fight against the 'Mog'. Her frustration with her guardian, Adelina, comes across very well.
The narration switches between Marina's and that of John (Number 4), who is now on the run with Six and his bestfriend, Sam. There were a couple of times I got engrossed with the action and then missed the switch from John's narrative, to Marina's; that marked down the writing style for me.
As a character who hasn't yet taken the lead, Six, steals the limelight whenever she appears. John, starts to have feelings for Six, which is confusing because he loves Sarah, and he knows Sam likes Six too. This love triangle isn't made overly dramatic and works really well.
I am so thankful that the flirtation in this book is not of the John-Sarah variety of the first book. The love scenes in the first book made me cringe, and her the love triangle/ square comes across a lot more realistic. The dialogue flowed naturally and built up both the characters and plot.
Action packed from start to finish; I liked the way the story progressed from the first book and this one too lends itself well to screen adaptation.
The end to this book is a real cliffhanger, as by the end of it we are introduced to more numbers, but have to wonder how they will meet up. The main characters are distinctive and likeable in their own way, so the introduction of new characters didn't get confusing. John gains a new ally, who is actually less level-headed than he is (and that's saying something) and has a huge new mess to sort out.
Writing Style: 3
If you liked the first (I am Number Four), I think you'll like this one.
After reading I Am Number Four, I'd virtually consigned the series to the 'not worth bothering' pile. But whilst the first one is clunky, awkward, predictable - albeit strangely likeable - the second rounds off these corners and adds a little polish. It picks up where the first one left off; John Smith, our alien teenage hero, his human best friend Sam and the mysterious (also Loric / alien) Number Six are fleeing the small town of Paradise after battling a horde of (and I can now read this without cringing) evil Mogadorians, the race which is hunting them down. Six knows the whereabouts of another of the Loric refugees in Spain and wants to pursue them, but there are other clues to follow as well.
Meanwhile in Spain, we meet Marina, settled into a monastic life - but keenly aware that she needs to keep moving. It's not that simple; her Cepan guard has 'gone native' and seems to have renounced her guardian ways. The Power of Six is much, much less clunky than the first in the series. It's still slightly predictable and clearly written for the screen, but the characters are eminently likeable, the plot much less awkward and the pace more or less perfect. More or less, because it's not a long book - compared to it's contemporaries (although I haven't quite figured out which level it's pitched at) there isn't a lot which happens, and the plot isn't terribly complex - but it is very pacey. The book starts off with a few hitches and challenges for our characters and builds to a frenetic climax.
I've got to admit, I think that if this is indicative of the rest of the series, then I'll be waiting for the next one - and re-reading the first one. There are a number of interesting developments, a few hooks to keep you engrossed, and I enjoyed it so much I read it within a few days. Well worth picking up - I could have kept reading once I'd finished it and will be eagerly awaiting the sequel. And given my scepticism on the first, that's quite an achievement.