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

4.4 5479
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

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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, 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.”

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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.

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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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