Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: The Power of Six

The Power of Six
By Pittacus Lore
Expected publication August 23, 2011 by HarperCollins

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the first book in the Lorien Legacies series and some spoilers for this title as well.

This was one of the books I was most excited to come home with after ALA. I had read and really enjoyed I Am Number Four, the first book in the Lorien Legacies series, right before the film adaptation came out. I, along with many of my friends, was relatively surprised by how much I enjoyed the book - I don't traditionally go in for books about aliens. Or movies about aliens. Or aliens in general. But I got sucked in by John Smith's (a.k.a. Number Four) story and was beyond eager to see what happened next.

The Power of Six picks up almost right where the first book left off, though you may not realize that right away. This one opens with a new narrator, Number Seven, who is currently assuming the name Marina while living in a convent in Spain. The book then proceeds to alternate narratives between Marina and John, as John lives on the lam after his exploits in the first book and Marina struggles with a guardian who refuses to acknowledge their heritage any longer or prepare her for the upcoming battle. This book keeps up the unrelenting pace of the first, even through the expository sections as we get to know Marina better. I think Marina's narrative provides a greater depth and excellent contrast to John Smith's - Marina's guardian, Adelina, is a direct foil to John's, Henry. Adelina has fully embraced life in the convent, taking the teachings of the Bible directly to heart and choosing to forget her Loric past. She is no longer supportive of Marina, does not make any attempts to train with Marina, and nearly deprives her of her Inheritance. I really enjoyed this contrast and the thoughts it provoked - how long can you live on an alien planet before you totally acclimate to its culture? How long can you keep running from a terrible past before you get tired? At the same time, Marina's story now parallels John's, as he no longer has a guardian to teach him about his Inheritance or prepare him for what's to come. One of the strengths of this novel is watching how these characters try to figure out the intentions of ancestors they don't remember, tools they've never seen, and destinies they can't fully comprehend alone.

This book was full of revelations that furthered the story and took it in a direction that I quite enjoyed. One of my favorite things about this book was the increased focus on Sam - he's a great character to have along for the ride and I was heartbroken by the situation he is left in at this novel's end. I love the interactions between John and Sam - they have a natural chemistry that is great to read. Additionally, I liked the theory about why John and Sam have found each other and any new information about Sam's dad feeds my desire for his backstory.

For me, the novel's greatest weakness is John's sudden attraction to Six (which, really, wasn't that hard to see coming) and his constant ruminations about what that means for his love of Sarah. It just seemed out of place in this otherwise enjoyable and action-packed novel.

As expected, this one really kicks things up a notch. I loved John and Sam's heroic quest into the den of the Mogadorians. Additionally, I love the idea of having all the survivors coming together to gear up for the final fight. The Power of Six ends in the middle of the action and I am beyond impatient for the next book.

As a final note, I want a Bernie Kosar. SO FRICKING BAD.

Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.

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