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.
The book really did grab my attention. At first. The idea and concept was interesting yet for some reason I can’t help but think I’m reading about Superman and his teen years in Smallville. That’s not to say the book was bad, it was good, yet there just some parts in it where it made me think why the hype over this book?
The writing was good. I liked how John started developing his powers throughout the book. It was also nice to see that he wasn’t about to be bullied around by Mark (who’s a total twit but he eventually does learn the error of his ways). He does stick up for himself and does fight back so at least he’s got a backbone. He is likable although he’s your average every day kid with superpowers. However I couldn’t really entirely like him as a character, it just seemed as if he was lacking in personality and there wasn’t much to him except that he was not from Earth and has tremendous super powers.
I really did prefer the sidekicks in this novel; Henri, Bernie Kosar, and Sam. All three were my favorites. Both Henri and Bernie deserve a lot of kudos for what they went through for John (and their actions literally drove me to tears). Sam also proved to be a very loyal friend and pull through for John, and their friendship is a good one. It does give John a nice stable element in his life where he’s always had to pick up his bags and go whenever things were to go wrong.
The plot was all right. It was really exciting and fast paced for the first part of the novel and as John learns new skills, and learns about his home world and people, you learn more about his background and why he’s here with Henri. I liked reading this part of the book, and it also gives you information on Henri and what his purpose is. Everything seems to be going well, including a couple of scraps with Mark, and some troubles with hiding his real identity. Then throughout approximately halfway through the pace slows down. John’s fallen in love. For some reason this just slows down everything and it gets annoying and infuriating. John seems to be oblivious to the danger surrounding him, and his romance with Sarah, although sweet, just seems to be more of a page filler than anything else.
At this point of the book, I was starting to get frustrated. I don’t really give a dime about Sarah and John. There’s killers out there out for John’s head and all he’s really caring about is when the next time he gets to see Sarah. Oh for crying out loud. Really? you have to have pages and pages of this? I stuck with it, and tolerated it, in the hopes I’ll get rewarded in the end.
Yes, I was rewarded! the last third of the novel focuses on a lot of action (and I mean A LOT) and when another of John’s kind comes into the picture the action is increased threefold. I loved reading this part. There was so much going on at once but it was such a gripping read you couldn’t tear yourself away. The ending doesn’t really leave the reader in a cliffhanger but it does point the way for the second book.
Even though the pace does slow down midway, sticking through with it does end up being rewarding. It is a good book for young adult readers and I’m wanting to know what’s going to happen next. From what I hear, I’d read the book first then see the movie.
I give it a 7 out of 10.