Guest Reviewer: Ami (@mama_roach)
This fast-paced science-fiction novel tells the story of teen alien John Smith (Number Four), who is living on Earth after his home planet, Lorien, was destroyed in a devastating war. Accompanying him is his guardian Henri, who helps John to live on the run from the evil alien race, the Mogadoriens. They come across a small-town ‘Paradise’, Ohio, a perfect place to settle temporarily, where he meets the girl of his dreams, Sarah and his best friend, sci-fi nerd Sam. However, the Mogadoriens are still after him!
Not only does John have to contend with secret identities and romance, he has started to develop his Legacies, which are unusual powers that could help defend against the Mogadoriens, or reveal who he truly is. Three have already been killed, which means that Number Four is next.
The plot itself sounds predictable, the characters are fairly stereotypical (cheerleader girl-next-door Sarah, nerdy Sam and football player bully Mark) and the writing is straightforward, but I really enjoyed this book! As I read, I wanted to know more about the planet Lorien, about the Legacies and whether John Smith’s real identity would be revealed. The pace is quick, there’s plenty of action and there’s lots of special effect sequences. Yes, it does get a little silly, but if you read it with an open mind, you do begin to appreciate the bigger picture.
The main characters are quite likeable – my favourites being Henri and Bernie Kosar (the dog). They don’t give up in the face of evil and they always have hope, despite the circumstances being less than favourable. As well as the themes of hope, good vs. evil and friendship, I enjoyed reading the descriptions of Lorien, the conspiracy theories and the surprise near the end.
I am looking forward to reading the next stories in the series to find out more about the Loriens and whether they make it back home. I think many teen science-fiction fans would like this one, as it includes fantastical creatures and weird happenings, but is also action-packed from start to finish.
Buy from Waterstones.com
Out now Penguin Books