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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 12 October 2012
Well, Pittacus Lore keeps on cranking `em out, and Amazon Vine keep on sending `em. And it would be churlish not to admit that Lore's writing gets better with practice. The storytelling is tighter, he's getting the hang of the Dan Brown "alternating cliffhanger" technique, and not least, he's now using a different font for each character's POV, so you can tell who is meant to be who more or less straight off.

New to the scene is Number Eight, whose Legacies include Teleport and Polymorph Self. By the time Number Five appears, you expect he'll be able to cast Limited Wish and Otiluke's Freezing Sphere. Anyhow, the continued non-appearance of Number Five means that we, the readers, know this isn't going to be the final book in the series. But this doesn't stop our heroes from individually going off in the meantime to try and have a pop at Setrakus Ra, a villain who is not only two-dimensional but actually weirdly lo-res with it, like an end-of-wave bad guy in Streetfighter II.

Turns out this is a mistake, as you might have guessed. Unsportingly, Ra's superpowers turn out to include the useful ability to stop the good guys' powers from working. Turns out he's also in league with a sinister wing of the US Government, so cue scenes earlier in the book where our heroes use their telekinesis to fling the CIA goons round like rag dolls. Only to whinge about "cowardice" later on, when Ra does the same thing to them. Clearly Loriens don't do irony.

However, what really raises this book above the 2 star level of its predecessors is the development of the character of Number Nine, who is great. Basically he is a total jerk. With superpowers. He can stand upside down on ceilings. He has an apartment full of cool stuff. He is by far the best character in the book. Lore obviously enjoyed writing him. Still only 3 stars, though, Pittacus, because you've felt obliged to write in some reassuring scenes here and there, to show us that Number Nine is A Good Guy At Heart Really. A failure of artistic nerve about on a par with the American TV station that wanted to re-write Fawlty Towers, so that each episode ended with a brief scene showing that Basil really loved his wife. Note to the author: the redemption comes in the final book, dude. Not before. Still, maybe they'll fix it for the movie adaptation.
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