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I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies Series #1)
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I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies Series #1)

4.4 5481
by Pittacus Lore

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Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong


Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. we have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

I am next.

Editorial Reviews

The narrator of this action adventure novel calls himself Number Four, but the three previous numbers have all been caught and killed. Each of these superhuman entities resembles we mere earthlings, but that resemblance conceals powers new to our weakling planet. Pittacus Lore's unconventional fantasy will cause you to look closely at suspicious strangers. Editor's recommendation.
Publishers Weekly
In this action-packed but formulaic novel, first in the Lorien Legacies series, John Smith appears to be a normal American teenager, living in Ohio with his father, attending high school, and falling for a local girl. But he's really something much cooler: an alien from the planet Lorien, and one of the last survivors of a race that was nearly wiped out by its enemies. And now the evil Mogadorians have traveled to Earth looking for survivors, with an eye toward wiping out this planet as well. John is destined to fight them, but will his superpowers manifest before it's too late? Lore (a Loric elder in the book, and a pseudonym for writer James Frey and a coauthor) provides a fast-moving plot and some genuinely creepy bad guys, though the basic premise is clichéd and the science won't pass muster with diehard SF fans. However, a Michael Bay-produced movie is planned for 2011, and for those looking for an undemanding, popcorn-ready read, this "guy--okay, alien--gets the girl and saves the world" adventure should do the trick. Ages 14-up. (Aug.)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The intense pace, bigger-than-life fight scenes, and good vs. evil showdown set up a series that will easily draw in action-oriented sci-fi fans, who will eagerly await the next round."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“The intense pace, bigger-than-life fight scenes, and good vs. evil showdown set up a series that will easily draw in action-oriented sci-fi fans, who will eagerly await the next round.”
Chicago Tribune
“There’s genuine suspense…it’s easy to get lost in the world of the sweet teen from another planet.”
The Horn Book
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The intense pace, bigger-than-life fight scenes, and good vs. evil showdown set up a series that will easily draw in action-oriented sci-fi fans, who will eagerly await the next round.”
Justine Magazine
“This is a can’t-put-it-down book.”
“Terrifically propulsive.”
Children's Literature - Heather Kinard
John Smith acts, looks and talks like a typical teenager, but he is far from a typical teenager. John is one of only nine children who escaped to earth after the destruction of his home planet, Lorian. Now he and his guardian, Henri, are living in hiding from the Mogadorians while he waits for his Loric powers to develop in hopes that they may return to Lorian to seek revenge. But the Mogadorians are looking for him. They have already found and killed three of the nine Loric children and John is number four. His enemies are closing in, but John is tired of running. He is happy in his new home of Paradise, Ohio, and is reluctant to leave his new friends, loyal dog and beautiful girlfriend behind. His Loric powers are beginning to develop, and with them come memories of the destruction of his home planet and family. John realizes too late, that by staying in Paradise he has put his friends in danger. The Mogadorians have found him and will stop at nothing to destroy him. In desperation, John reveals his true identity to his friends and finds that they not only believe his story, but are willing to risk their lives to help. Unfortunately, not all of them will make it out alive. This is a great science fiction read full of suspense and creativity and even a little romance. There is some swearing and foul language making it more appropriate for an older audience. Reviewer: Heather Kinard
VOYA - Matthew Weaver
"John Smith" is actually Number Four, one of nine children of a dying alien race (Loric) on the run from another, more powerful alien race. John and his guardian, Henri, hide out in Paradise , Ohio, where John finds love with a local girl and begins to come into his alien powers. In a clever twist, to protect the children from the villainous Mogadorians, the Loric cast a protective spell: the children can only be killed in order of their numbers, so long as they are kept separated. Unfortunately, the first three have already been murdered, which John sees in his dreams and feels in the form of a scar on his right ankle. Henri and John try to live below the radar, but with John occasionally glowing and practically invulnerable to fire, plus the Mogadorians closing in, it may not be long before they're back on the run. This lively new spin on Superman and space invaders feels uniquely clever for the majority of the story, captivating readers with mystery and romance alike. So committed is the author to the cause, he eschews the typical biography in favor of a pseudonym claiming to be the last ruling elder of the dying planet Lorien. (Internet searches suggest Lore is actually James Frey of A Million Easy Pieces [Anchor/Doubleday, 2005] notoriety.) So it is disappointing the story turns into a routine battle scene in the final chapters, when we've been built up to expect something greater than an everyday sci-fi thriller. Reviewer: Matthew Weaver
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Despite the amazing powers that many of the people of Lorien possess, the planet was defeated and its natural resources looted by Mogadorians in a matter of days. Only nine children escaped with their guardians to Earth, where they planned to hide until they developed their powers in order to defeat their enemies and revive Lorien. The Mogadorians hunt the Nine and have already killed three of them. And that's just the backstory. When Number Four, bearing the name "John Smith," moves to Paradise, OH, he runs afoul of the school bully, falls for the most beautiful girl in town, and befriends the local alien conspiracy nerd in short order. There is plenty of great action, but the dialogue is average, as is the character development. With its interesting premises and a fast-pace telling, the story will grab readers who are willing to suspend quite a bit of disbelief. Others, who like their science fiction with a bit more science and internal logic, will have to search elsewhere.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Kirkus Reviews

If it were a Golden Age comic, this tale of ridiculous science, space dogs and humanoid aliens with flashlights in their hands might not be bad. Alas... Number Four is a fugitive from the planet Lorien, which is sloppily described as both "hundreds of lightyears away" and "billions of miles away." Along with eight other children and their caretakers, Number Four escaped from the Mogadorian invasion of Lorien ten years ago. Now the nine children are scattered on Earth, hiding. Luckily and fairly nonsensically, the planet's Elders cast a charm on them so they could only be killed in numerical order, but children one through three are dead, and Number Four is next. Too bad he's finally gained a friend and a girlfriend and doesn't want to run. At least his newly developing alien powers means there will be screen-ready combat and explosions. Perhaps most idiotic, "author" Pittacus Lore is a character in this fiction--but the first-person narrator is someone else entirely. Maybe this is a natural extension of lightly hidden actual author James Frey's drive to fictionalize his life, but literature it ain't. (Science fiction. 11-13)

Michael Bay
“Number Four is a hero for this generation.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The intense pace, bigger-than-life fight scenes, and good vs. evil showdown set up a series that will easily draw in action-oriented sci-fi fans, who will eagerly await the next round.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Lorien Legacies Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

I Am Number Four

By Pittacus Lore


Copyright © 2011 Pittacus Lore
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780062116550

Chapter One

In the beginning there were nine of us.
We left when we were young, almost too young to
I am told the ground shook, that the skies were full
of light and explosions. We were in that two week
period of the year when both moons hang on opposite
sides of the horizon. It was a time of celebration,
and the explosions were at first mistaken for fireworks.
They were not. It was warm, a soft wind blew in from
off the water. I am always told the weather: it was
warm. There was a soft wind. I've never understood
why that matters.
What I remember most vividly is the way my grandmother
looked that day. She was frantic, and sad. There
were tears in her eyes. My grandfather stood just over
her shoulder. I remember the way his glasses gathered
the light from the sky. There were hugs. There were
words said by each of them. I don't remember what
they were. Nothing haunts me more.
It took a year to get here. I was five when we arrived.
We were to assimilate ourselves into the culture before
returning to Lorien when it could again sustain life.
The nine of us had to scatter, and go our own ways. For
how long, nobody knew. We still don't. None of them
know where I am, and I don't know where they are, or
what they look like now. That is how we protect
ourselves because of the charm that was placed upon us
when we left, a charm guaranteeing that we can only
be killed in the order of our numbers, so long as we stay
apart. If we come together, then the charm is broken.
When one of us is found and killed, a circular scar
wraps around the right ankle of those still alive. And
residing on our left ankle, formed when the Loric
charm was first cast, is a small scar identical to the
amulet each of us wears. The circular scars are another
part of the charm. A warning system so that we know
where we stand with each other, and so that we know
when they'll be coming for us next. The first scar came
when I was nine years old. It woke me from my sleep,
burning itself into my flesh. We were living in Arizona,
in a small border town near Mexico. I woke screaming
in the middle of the night, in agony, terrified as
the scar seared itself into my flesh. It was the first sign
that the Mogadorians had finally found us on Earth,
and the first sign that we were in danger. Until the
scar showed up, I had almost convinced myself that
my memories were wrong, that what Henri told me was
wrong. I wanted to be a normal kid living a normal life,
but I knew then, beyond any doubt or discussion, that I
wasn't. We moved to Minnesota the next day.
The second scar came when I was twelve. I was in
school, in Colorado, participating in a spelling bee.
As soon as the pain started I knew what was happening,
what had happened to Number Two. The pain
was excruciating, but bearable this time. I would have
stayed on the stage, but the heat lit my sock on fire.
The teacher who was conducting the bee sprayed me
with a fire extinguisher and rushed me to the hospital.
The doctor in the ER found the first scar and called the
police. When Henri showed, they threatened to arrest
him for child abuse. But because he hadn't been
anywhere near me when the second scar came, they had
to let him go. We got in the car and drove away, this
time to Maine. We left everything we had except for the
Loric Chest that Henri brought along on every move.
All twenty-one of them to date.
The third scar appeared an hour ago. I was sitting
on a pontoon boat. The boat belonged to the parents of
the most popular kid at my school, and unbeknownst
to them, he was having a party on it. I had never been
invited to any of the parties at my school before. I had
always, because I knew we might leave at any minute,
kept to myself. But it had been quiet for two years.
Henri hadn't seen anything in the news that might
lead the Mogadorians to one of us, or might alert us
to them. So I made a couple friends. And one of them
introduced me to the kid who was having the party.
Everyone met at a dock. There were three coolers, some
music, girls I had admired from afar but never spoken
to, even though I wanted to. We pulled out from the
dock and went half a mile into the Gulf of Mexico. I
was sitting on the edge of the pontoon with my feet in
the water, talking to a cute, dark-haired, blue-eyed girl
named Tara, when I felt it coming. The water around
my leg started boiling, and my lower leg started glowing
where the scar was imbedding itself. The third of
the Lorien symbols, the third warning. Tara started
screaming and people started crowding around me. I
knew there was no way to explain it. And I knew we
would have to leave immediately.
The stakes were higher now. They had found Number
Three, wherever he or she was, and Number Three
was dead. So I calmed Tara down and kissed her on the
cheek and told her it was nice to meet her and that I
hoped she had a long beautiful life. I dove off the side of
the boat and started swimming, underwater the entire
time, except for one breath about halfway there, as fast
as I could until I reached the shore. I ran along the side
of the highway, just inside of the tree line, moving at
speeds as fast as any of the cars. When I got home, Henri
was at the bank of scanners and monitors that he used
to research news around the world, and police activity
in our area. He knew without me saying a word, though
he did lift my soaking pants to see the scars.
In the beginning we were a group of nine.
Three are gone, dead.
There are six of us left.
They are hunting us, and they won't stop until
they've killed us all.
I am Number Four.
I know that I am next.


Excerpted from I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore Copyright © 2011 by Pittacus Lore. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Michael Bay
“Number Four is a hero for this generation.”

Meet the Author

Pittacus Lore is Lorien's ruling Elder. He has been on Earth for the last twelve years, preparing for the war that will decide Earth's fate. His whereabouts are unknown.

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I Am Number Four 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5481 reviews.
EdmundDantes More than 1 year ago
1st - I bought this book when I saw the preview for the movie. 2nd - I am not a lover of stories about teenagers. That said, I really enjoyed I Am Number Four. It had my sci-fi element, my good versus evil, and a few elements of surprise. The older, my cynical side of me thinks it could have kept the teen love aspect. It just made it seem like the boook was written specifically to be turned into a movie. Unintentional snobishness aside, I was pleasantly surprised at the way the story had me from the go. Was it the most involved, moving writing I have ever seen? Nope, but it didn't need it. I appreciated the story first and foremost and quickly got over the fact that Isaac Asinov didn't write it. I found myself moved in parts and speeding through pages in my Nook, trying to find out what happened next. This is obviously a part of a series, and I'm anxious for the next Chapter. There are many secrets to uncover. Grab this for a quick read on an airplane or a lazy Sunday.
theReader278 More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours. Loved also the movie.
BluHawk More than 1 year ago
I love the ideas behind this book and was hooked from the very first page! Even though this one was a great read, I am truly excited for the next book because I can definitely see its potential to be the next ground-breaking series! Fans of Hunger Games, The Host, and Graceling should definitely give this book a try!
olive_oyl More than 1 year ago
I Am Number Four is a well written science fiction book by Pittacus Lore. In this book, John Smith is an alien from the planet Lorien. He came to earth when his planet was destroyed by the Mogadorians, with his guardian Henri who was sent to keep anyone from harming him. There were 9 Lorien children sent to Earth to preserve the species. These nine have been separated most of their lives. They are connected through a Lorien charm that protects the nine children from the Mogadorians. The Mogadorians are hunting down the Lorien children one by one. The children are numbered one through nine. The Mogadorians can only kill the children in order of their number. Three are dead. John Smith is number four. They will come for him next. I really enjoyed this book. I felt that it was well written and did a good job of drawing the reader into another world. When I first heard of this book from my friend, I was somewhat skeptical about how well the book would be written. However, after I read it, I have found that this has become my favorite book. I can't wait for more! The setting in I Am Number Four was very well manipulated. The book starts out with John and Henri living in Florida. They have to abruptly leave their home there and move on to somewhere else, do to the fact that they know the Mogadorians will soon catch up with them there. John and Henri leave their pristine private beach in Florida and move to Paradise, Ohio. John and Henri's home in Paradise is surrounded with dense forests and gives the feeling of being snug in their home. Paradise, Ohio really comes to feel like a home to John. All throughout the book Lore gives a very vivid description of the setting and allows the reader to fly across the country and enter the world that involves Paradise, Ohio and John Smith. This book is very good and I would certainly recommend it to anyone out there looking for a good book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book in its original form, but the movie tie-in has been fun, too. Lots of extras thrown in, including Sarah's journal entries, which are linked to the coinciding chapters of the book from Number Four's point of view. Worth the extra couple bucks if you like this series and movie!
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
I Am Number Four is an exciting read! I loved the characters and the author did an awesome job explaining the story and making an alien invasion seem believable. I can't wait for the sequel!
Book_Lover_108 More than 1 year ago
I love sci-fi and post-appocolyptic books, and I am number four didn't disapoint it was very well written and made my wait for mockingjay much easier and harder all together, because I finished I am number four extremely fast, but I had another amazing book. I highly recommend this book to everyone!!
KK7L1 More than 1 year ago
I recomend this book to people to people who like adventure and mystery. It is a long book but it always had something happenging. I really enjoyed reading this book. This book drags you in. It is kinda slow in the bigginging but after that it is really amazing. I would highly recomend to read this book. There was always things going on and it was vdery detailed. I really enjoyed this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really the only thing that annoyed me was, at times, the writing was pretty cheesey. Especially the dialog between John/Four and Sarah. Other than that the story is amazing and I'd recomend it to anyone, especially young readers. Easy read, great story.
jflower More than 1 year ago
I was ready to really enjoy this book. What a great concept! The idea alone hooked me and drew me in quickly. The first few pages start strong and are exciting. Unfortunately, the main characters are somewhat boring -- and little items that are intriguing about them are never really used to their full potential. The love story seemed forced and too "easy." I expected more twists and turns. The antagonist element was present, but didn't give the reader someone to really despise. Finally, the ending was frustrating -- to tell you why would be a spoiler...
CiciBear26 More than 1 year ago
You know those books that you read, and they end up staying burned in your memory for days, if not weeks? I Am Number Four is definitely one of them. Admittedly, I didn't think I would read this. For one thing, I hate guy POVs, for some reason I just can't relate, since I'm a girl. But, Number Four (aka, John) was a really interesting character to read about. The idea alone is.just so outrageous and ludicrous it's amazing. In the end, it is what really draws you in: I mean, c'mon, how can you resist a book about "aliens" on Earth? I think though, that the most interesting thing was how the 9 kids couldn't be killed out of sequence: and if someone tried, what they had tried on the Number would happen to them (I think that makes sense.) instead. Another thing: Being a resident of Ohio myself, I couldn't get over all of this happening in my home state! I kept reading the stereotypical things that John said about our state to my family, and they, like me, shook their heads in amusement. (I mean, cows and deserted towns? Yea, they're here, but not EVERYWHERE!) And anyway, I think that James Frey putting the setting in his home state is pretty cool as well. Pseudonyms are fun and baffling things: and Pittacus Lore is actually James Frey and Jobie Hughes. And because of this, I had my eyes peeled for references to them. I finally found them in the book (Look for them: Jobie Frey & James Hughes) and I couldn't stop laughing for some reason! Okay, back to an actual review: I also liked Six. (Cool name, eh?) She was my kind of girl. Kick ass and just awesome, I loved the stuff about her, and can't wait to see more of her in the next book (coincidently called The Power of Six). One more thing: This is definitely not your happily-ever-after kind of book. The ending is as shocking and wonderful as the rest of the book.which is just the perfect way to end a book. I look forward to the next in the series.and the movie.
Harry Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
The story reminds of the Smallville T.V show, the only difference is that the kid is being chased by an alien race that destroyed his planet. The writing was pretty good, kept interested in the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is FAR better than the movie, get the enhanced edition it has more stuff like Sara's journal and what is your legacy. JUST GET IT OK, NO DOUBTS ABOUT IT.
SLSGGIRL123 More than 1 year ago
I Am Number Four is about a 15 year old boy Daniel/John that has came from a planet called Lorien which was destroyed about 10-15 years ago. Lorien was destroyed by other planet citizens from the planet, Mogadorians, they destroyed the planet for their natural resources. John and his "dad" Henri escaped from Lorien the day it was being attaced, a total of 9 people made it off of Lorien. Now John will face a bigger challenge when they decide to move to Paridise, Ohio. Where he finds love and a true friendship, when he knows that any secend they may have to pack and move somewhere else so will he be able to leave everything behind, IF taht becomes the case. THERE WHERE NINE OF US WHO ESCAPED... NUMBER ONE WAS KILLED IN MALAYSIA. NUMBER TWO WAS MURDERED IN ENGLAND. NUMBER THREE WAS HUNTED DOWN IN KENYA. BEFORE THEY COME FOR THE OTHERS, THEY'LL COME FOR ME... I AM NUMBER FOUR
LNelson05 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book. It's my new favorite book. I was sad to finish the book because the next book isn't coming out until August. I saw the movie with my friend and we were head over heels in love with the movie. When we got out the theater, I told my mom we need to go to the bookstore to get the book, so we went the next day. One day we're going to see it again. I can't really tell what the genre of the book. There are some science fiction aspects then there's a bit of romance and since the main character blends as a regular person there's a realistic aspect to it but if I say its realistic fiction then it contradicts what I said about it being science fiction. I think this book would appeal to a broad range of people. Basically if you like any of the genres I mentioned above then you might like the book. I'll just say it's a unique book that you can't label it with a specific genre. I would read other books by the author if he had any other books out now but I have to wait until August 23. Until that day I just have to reread this book; it's definitely worth it. I also wanted to mention that I love the author's biography it's really cool and I think it's really mysterious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very choppy and derivative. I can handle derivative if the story is good (see Eragon) but this didn't have any real meat. And I feel no desire to read the subsequent books, which is telling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was one of my favorite books and i dont read very often but this book really caught my atention. In this book it is kind of drama but not alot it very few parts theres more towards the end of the book. I would reccomend this book to people who like to read sci-fi. This book tells about a teen named john smith but has a ceapar which is practicaly just his guardian. John Smith was not his only name before John Smith he had 16 other identities including different ages. Other than number four there is other people/aliens like #4 there is #5,#6,#7,#8,#9. the people #1,#2,#3, died in the begining of the book .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i first started reading this book i thought it was going to be terible, just another book about a teenaer with powers. But as the book unfolded some more i became addicted to the story line, and i realized that a lot more thought was put into this book than others similar books. It was a little slow at times, but soon picked up the pace. Due to language, i do not recomend this book to anyone under the age of 10.
Abbylinn16 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I am Number Four is a fast paced fiction book that is very interesting and keeps you reading for hours. Pittacus Lore does a great job of creating a vision of characters and setting in your mind. I am number four has a unique and mysterious plot that made the read very interesting. At sometimes, the plot can get a little bit confusing since it is so strange, but once you understand all that is going on, the book flies by! I am just starting on The Power of Six, the sequel, and it is great so far! I really enjoyed I am Number Four, and I would reccomend it to reader who enjoy both fiction and sci-fi books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I would give it a 20 out of 10. If you are reading this review you should read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I enjoyed this book there was a considerable lull in the midle, in between the Halloween party and Henri going to the headquarters of the magazine They Walk Among Us. Sam was a little too odd for my taste, and Sarah seemed a bit fake. Besides these slight qualms this book was phenomanal and I cant wait to read The Power Of Six.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I borrowed this book from a friend after it came out and she encouraged meto read it all the way through. I will admit that it was a bit of a slow start, like a quarter of the book, and the main character to me didn't seem to have much personality,but it doesn't change the fact that after a certain point it had me on the edge of my seat! Movie does it no justice in my opinion and I look forward to purxhasing this and the second book!
Michael Hess More than 1 year ago
This is mpy favoriite book ever. It has so much detail and is a book you can't put down. I would highly reccomend this to anyone.
Dani33 More than 1 year ago
I actually found out about this book because I was looking at a movie trailer for the movie "Beastly" and Alex P. is the lead actor in this movie. Then I saw he is starring in "I Am Number Four" and I thought there was no way this isn't a book first, so I checked it out. It reeled me in right from the beginning! The story is so cool and different from all the now regular vampire books. I always say that if a book can make me cry or at least a string of emotions then it is a good book. I Am Number Four made me cry and feel for the main character, John. However, it was a bit repetitive at times when John was explaining his emotions, but the story, I thought, was very well done. I Am Number Four had me itching for the next book as soon as I was done! Read this then go watch the movie!
Lyranny More than 1 year ago
Fantastic Read!  I bought the first 5 books (of the series - not the supplemental books) and read all 5 in 5 days.  The story is highly addictive and fast paced.  There was one fight that I felt dragged on for a little too long, however, I was already invested in the story and characters that I was easily able to push through.  The story only gets better with the books that follow so for those who didn't like the first book, I honestly feel 100% that they would find themselves changing their minds if they continued the series.  It is well written and I think it's a great first read for those like me who have never considered themselves a  sci-fi fan.  It isn't too alien and so I felt at ease before it got into the truly alien portions of this story.  Well done and I cannot wait for the rest of the series to come out!