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PopEntertainment.com > Miscellaneous > The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore

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 Everyday Beautiful

The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore (Harper Collins)

Young adult novels have sure come a long way since The Hardy Boys and Go Ask Alice.  Teen books are big business now – see the Twilight series or The Vampire Diaries if you have any doubt. 

Perhaps the most scrutinized new series of books (six are planned) are “The Lorien Legacy” novels.  The first novel I Am Number Four became a best-seller last year and spawned a moderately successful film adaptation. 

It was the story of John Smith, an alien being living on Earth after his home planet was destroyed.  He is one of nine surviving young warriors from his planet who are to be trained to fight the Mogadorians – an enemy race that is determined to kill the remaining survivors.  The warriors, only known by numbers, can only be killed in numerical order.  Therefore, when the first three are killed, it falls to Number 4 (using the name John Smith) to survive, all the while finding puppy love with Sarah, a beautiful outcast local photographer at his new high school.  He also finally meets up with another of his kind – a kick-ass girl warrior who is Number 6.  When the Mogadorians find them and together they trash the local high school, Number 4 is forced to disappear again, going on the lam with Number 6 and his nerdy but brave new Earth friend Sam. 

It certainly wasn’t high art, but I Am Number Four was a rather exciting and swift-moving novel. 

The Power of Six picks up right where the original ended.  It also takes us deeper into the story of Number 4’s world.  In fact, about half of the book is narrated by Number 7 – a new character who was not introduced in the first book.  Living at a Spanish orphanage, Number 7 (using the name Marina) has been searching for information on other survivors and becomes sure that John Smith must be one – but she has no way to reach him. 

In the meantime, Smith must deal with life on the run, missing his human girlfriend, a growing attraction to Number 6, his guilt about putting Sam in danger – oh and of course the crazy aliens looking to kill him. 

Like the first, it moves swiftly, is rather well-written and is mostly rather imaginative.  Once again it goes a bit overboard in the climax, and the book leaves you in a cliffhanger towards the end, the better to get return readers for the next volume. 

The books were “written” by Pittacus Lore – who wins a special award for the most unlikely pseudonym in modern literature.  (Even if you couldn’t guess that Pittacus Lore was a fake name, the book also names a distant planet the same thing.)  Actually Lore is two writers, Jobie Hughes and James Frey (who is probably best known for being castigated by Oprah Winfrey on her show for fabricating part of his memoir A Million Little Pieces.  Winfrey apparently apologized years later). 

The Lorien books are light-years from where Frey’s career seemed to be headed about 5-10 years ago, however in his new mission to make family friendly adventure novels, The Power of Six is a pretty impressive success artistically, and undoubtedly will be in popularity as well.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright © 2011 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: August 23, 2011.

 
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Copyright © 2011 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: August 23, 2011.

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