Try as they might, Bryan and Robert can’t get their hands to light up, but they’ll drown this week’s sorrows in a review of I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.

Bryan’s quick summary:

Nine Loriens came to Earth a decade ago, and while they look like humans, they’re faster and stronger than any person alive. 15-year-old John Smith, a.k.a. Number Four, has been protected from the murderous Mogadorians due to a charm that prevents the Loriens’ enemies from harming them out of order. When Numbers One through Three fall, Number Four is now vulnerable. He’s next, but he’s not going down without a fight.

I Am Number Four is by Pittacus Lore

So what did we think? (From a reader’s perspective)

1. (Bryan) The climax of this book is probably the best one we’ve read so far. Tons of action, and I’m surprised the movie bombed so badly, because the final scene was destined to be filmed.

2. (Robert) John’s superpowers are fun; we start right in the action and mystery, and the “Lorien Legacy” unfolds nicely throughout the book. I love an underdog who is forbidden to fight back, even though he could whip that bully’s butt!

3. (Bryan) Sarah loved John Smith so easily and quickly that it made me wonder if she was evil. I guess she was just boring and meant to love her. Very high school boy fantasy if that was the case, though I’m hoping she turns out to be evil later on.

What did we think from a writer’s perspective?

1. (Bryan) Man, the action scene lasts like 5 chapters in this one, and it’s crazy and wild. Definitely check this out if you’ve had trouble writing believable action.

2. (Robert) The story is a great example of conflict in every scene. Some reviewers claim it was slow – I really don’t get why! There might not be action scenes on each page, but there is a goal-conflict-disaster mechanism at play, and a nice romance sub-plot.

3. (Bryan) This is truly a seven-book series worthy starter, because there’s so much more to this world that we are hankering to learn. What happened to 1, 2 and 3? Where are 5,7, 8 and 9? Who are they and will the Loriens be able to stop the Mogodorians? I feel like this had even more intrigue than The 5th Wave because there are so many exciting, unanswered questions left to come.

Bryan and Robert’s Famous Takeaways:

1. Let your action develop naturally and don’t feel the need to end it in a single scene.

2. Forget the movie: read the book. There’s a lot to learn as a writer, and it’s entertaining as a reader (if you like superpower action). Certainly along the same lines as our previously reviewed book, Meta.

3. Build your world richly enough that readers want to know what happens next.

Prompt of the Week:

Your best friend has just told you that he or she is an alien. How do you react? What do you do when your friend needs your help and why?

Write your response to the prompt or the show in the comments!

Click here to check out I Am Number Four on Amazon

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