Category Archives: Book Review

Reviews of the latest books I have read because the key to writing is reading.

I Am Number Four (Novel)

It's not the cool cover but still it's a wicked book.

AUTHOR: Pittacus Lore

PUBLISHER: Harper

DATE: 4th January 2011

The Review:

It’s a bit weird to be finally doing a book review on the Authorial, it was mostly games and CDs back on Blogger and now, instead of doing my work for tomorrow’s university lectures or anything of the sort I really want to try something different. Well, that and the fact my girlfriend is cutely snoring away in my bed; although she has stopped…

I’m back, a day later actually, she didn’t die; she’s ok but back to business. After watching the film of I AM NUMBER FOUR (which from the trailers did actually look rather terrible but when I watched it, it was actually alright) I really wanted to read the book. The only problem with the film was that like most book-to-film adapatations I AM NUMBER FOUR as a film was quite the broken narrative, due to the depth that a sci-fi novel needs that can never be transferred onto screen there were more questions then answers really. So then, reading the book should answer posed questions and fill in the gaps, right?

It did.

The book unlike the film was a whole narrative and after being bugged by both Jennifer and my friend Thomas Di Domenico to read it; I thought that I may as well give it a shot. At first glance though, throughout the books opening; I was rather sceptical, raising an eyebrow to my partner and asking her “Is it all written like this?” If she’d have turned around and said “Yes. Yes it is.” I would have probably put down the book there and then. I wasn’t quite sure what it was but the writing style of the opening was strange, I’m not sure what really put me off it; was it that it was clumsy or that it lacked power? Like I said I was not sure but people I talked to all assured me that “Yes, it starts weird but gets better.” I couldn’t go and doubt the majority now could I? So, I plodded on and they were indeed right.

I was rather glad that the book began to… how do I put it? Become stronger as the story developed, I was quite enthralled by the adventures of Number Four or “John Smith”, our young out of place narrator and I personally believed that you grew to love the book as he grew. The power of narration that the author used within I AM NUMBER FOUR was amazing because not only was it believable but it was also constantly developing. Whether it was Four as a character or the growth of your love for Four as a character; the narrative style of I AM NUMBER FOUR was if anything: Amazing and was one of the highlights of the book for me. It was this narrative that then gave birth to the other elements that really made the book stand out from all the other books I have read within the past couple of months; without the narrative style I think the fast paced action and moments of tension would have been lost without the close relationship we felt with Number Four as a voyeur and audience to his story. Which is great. Beyond great even. Because as a writer, we all know how hard it is in order to get people to gel well with a character; especially if it is that character taking them on their journey through the story. But as I have already stated with Number Four you genuinely grew to love him and feel for him and just want to be with him whether he was falling in love or running for his life which was a true testament to the writer’s abilities.

The novel in comparison to the film seemed more whole, more complete and even though it was fast paced did not seem as rushed and forced as it did on screen; we really did as a reader take the baby steps with Four as he was put into these brilliantly described real scenes and places and totally believable situations in comparison to being in them with bizarre sci-fi elements such as powers and aliens and the like.

RATING: AAAA and a Half

It’s weird to be giving something half an A; it’s even more weird to try and imagine what half an A looks like. I mean you could write it on a piece of paper and stuff but it’d still be weird. Anyway, I AM NUMBER FOUR was a great book even though it had such a strange beginning for me and I really did grow to enjoy it. There was just something missing for me in order to give it that 5A rating though, maybe I’m just sore because I haven’t got THE POWER OF SIX yet. But all I know is that I better make room in my reading list for the next installation of Number Four’s adventure because if the characterisation is anywhere near as good as it was in I AM NUMBER FOUR, then, I want to be with him every step of the way.

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