United as One – Pittacus Lore

The final book in the series “I am Number Four” following a group of alien teenagers from the planet Lorien as they finally make their move against the Mogadorians, distorted aliens led by a dark and seemingly all powerful leader. This review will certainly look at the final book in detail but, I hope to be able to share my own experiences with the whole series.

“United as One” begins following the death of Sarah, John’s girlfriend who over the course of the books has become more badass and an important part of the groups dynamic. One of the only “Earthlings” to be privy to the Garde she steps up when it’s needed and proves to the group that she is able to help them despite Six’s protests at the start. One of the other humans is Sam, John’s first friend from Paradise High he begins to develop legacies at the final of the “The Fall of Five”, something that neither human nor alien has heard of before. I was so glad when Sam began to develop legacies, unlike John and Sarah’s love Sam’s need to understand and help runs deeper than Sarah’s need to be with John. After his dad is abducted Sam stops nothing to finally be reunited again and along the way saving John’s and the others lives more than once. But, Sam isn’t the only one to develop legacies. All around the globe teenagers begin to develop them randomly, only arriving when they are in desperate need.

The Garde are gearing up towards their final battle in “The Fall of Five” and when it becomes clear that Setrakus Ra is too powerful for them to defeat individually they come together at Niagara Falls to train the new Human-Garde. This of course does not go as expected as Mark- a human who helped the Garde- goes rogue after Sarah dies and leads the Mogadorians straight to their door. Two of the Human-Garde die and the others are whisked away to safety.

If you haven’t already guessed the book is fast paced, moving from action scene to action faster than most other books I have read. It feels like no time at all has passed when the final showdown happens with John’s reckless and endangering attitude putting the lives of them all at risk. Whilst we, the reader, and John know that this is a necessity for the death of Sekratus Ra his all-consuming grief drips on the pages and doesn’t leave much from for us to explore what other characters are going through. That is one of the things that disappointed me about the book. The focus in previous books has been spit to incorporate the other Garde but this book’s focus seemed to be entirely on John making the other view-points almost add-ons instead of a main narrative. We see Marina’s devotion to Lorien through other people’s eyes with annoyance rather than seeing it through her eyes with reverence and how she finally deals with Eight’s death internally.

The conclusion of course ends with John and Setrakus Ra entwined together as John pushes his healing energy into the mutated Mogadorian trying to push out the black goo that courses through his veins. This couldn’t have been possible with Marina, Nine, Six and Adam but Lore fails to give them the recognition they deserve instead pulling the focus onto John’s supposedly dead body.

The series has been a rollercoaster and I hate to say it but this book may have failed to deliver. It has been hinted before and then confirmed that John and Pittacus Lore share the same legacies suggesting subtextually that John can be the only one to final defeat Ra which in turn defeats the whole point of the series; that the Garde work together to defeat him for the hope and life of their planet instead of for the revenge of a teenage boy.

Please don’t think this means that the book is bad, it’s not. It’s full of fleeting moments of happiness that you cling on to through the darker times such as Sam’s and Six’s blossoming relationship, something that I didn’t think would happen; or Nine’s boisterous and hard headed attitude bringing about more comedic moments. Their individual character progression has been amazing to watch and due to how long the series is, I have been able to grow with them. The book’s ending may not have been what I was hoping for but it delivered on so many more levels. I only hope that more young people will pick up “I am Number Four” and go on this incredible journey with them as it is most defiantly a journey worth taking.

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