|I Am Number Four|
|Publication date||3 August 2010|
| Preceded by|
| Followed by|
The Power of Six
I Am Number Four is the first of seven, in the Lorien Legacies young adult science fiction novel series by Pittacus Lore (the pseudonym of James Frey et al). The book was published by HarperCollins on 3rd August 2010 and spent seven successive weeks in the number one spot on the children's chapter of The New York Times bestseller list. In 2011, DreamWorks released a film adaptation with the same name.
I Am Number Four follows the titular character Number Four after the death of another of his kind, Number Three. His kind, the Loric, were all but wiped out by the Mogadorians, but nine gifted children and their keepers managed to escape with a charm that stops them from being killed out of order. Number Four starts another new life in Paradise, Ohio and decides to try and fit in but it's only a matter of time before he is found.
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.
THEY KILLED NUMBER ONE IN MALAYSIA.
NUMBER TWO IN ENGLAND.
AND NUMBER THREE IN KENYA.
John Smith is not your average teenager.
He regularly moves from small town to small town. He changes his name and identity. He does not put down roots. He cannot tell anyone who or what he really is. If he stops moving those who hunt him will find and kill him. But you can't run forever.
So when he stops in Paradise, Ohio, John decides to try and settle down. To fit in. And for the first time he makes some real friends. People he cares about - and who care about him. Never in John's short life has there been space for friendship, or even love.
But it's just a matter of time before John's secret is revealed.
He was once one of nine. Three of them have been killed.
John is Number Four. He knows that he is next...
The planet Lorien has been invaded by the belligerent Mogadorians, who coveted its resources and slaughtered it's people. During the invasion, a rocket was sent from Lorien to Earth, containing nine Garde children, each accompanied by a Cêpan to act as guardian and to help them when their Legacies develop. On Earth they live in disguise, hunted by the Mogadorians who have followed them. Each of the children is protected by a charm, and, so long as they remain apart, they can only be killed in order, one through nine. Whenever one of them is killed, each of the others receives a scar.
Number Four, who takes the name John Smith and his Cêpan, learn of the death of Number Three and move to Paradise, Ohio, assuming new identities. There, John befriends conspiracy theorist Sam Goode and his 'adopted' by a dog identified by its name tag as Bernie Kosar. He also meets and is instantly attracted to fellow student Sarah Hart. Sarah's ex-boyfriend, football player Mark James, is a bully who torments both John and Sam.
At the first day of school John develops his first legacy, Lumen. His hands light up and he can't control them. He locks himself in a classroom. Henri quickly arrives and gives him gloves to cover his hands. He tells the principal that John had an asthma attack and takes him home.
During the Halloween festival, Sam mentions that he knows about Mogadorians from a magazine, They Walk Among Us alarming both John and Henri. Mark and his friends organize a nasty surprise during the haunted hayride: Sarah, John and Sam are left stranded in the woods, where Mark plans to beat John up. John uses his legacies to fend off his attackers in humiliating fashion, and rescues Sarah. In the darkness Sarah does not see John use his legacies, and he quietly warns Mark not to talk (or let his friends talk) about what happened.
Sarah and John's relationship develops. Henri continues training John to use his legacies, now with an increasing sense of urgency. Henri is unsettled, and tells John that it is not safe to stay. He is also concerned John is late developing his Telekinesis, a power he will need to fight the Mogadorians. Later, it is revealed Sam had seen enough to arouse his suspicions on Halloween, but John allays them by bluffingly 'admitting' to being an alien. He finds out more about the magazine Sam reads, borrowing a copy. Sam speaks of his belief that his father was abducted by aliens.
Henri discovers where the magazine is printed, and drives the two-hour car trip to Athens, Ohio, to find out more. John attends Thanksgiving dinner with Sarah's family, but worries about Henri, who does not answer his text messages. In his agitated state, John's telekinetic power manifests, though uncontrollably, and he leaves. He calls Sam for help, and they take Sam's father's long-unused truck and head for Athens, where they succeed in rescuing Henri. During the rescue, Sam is made fully aware of John and Henri's alien secret, and John's legacies develop significantly. On their return, Henri insists they must leave Paradise. John refuses, using his newfound powers to express his ademance, and Henri relents.
Some months pass, during which John trains in the use of his legacies. Henri gradually relaxes as John becomes more adept. At a party at Mark's house, a major fire breaks out, trapping Sarah: John uses his powers to rescue her. He reveals his secret to Sarah, and they lie to the police and a reporter about what happened. Later on, John also lies to Henri, in order not to reveal how much he has told Sarah.
John's lies are revealed when a video is released on YouTube. Henri is furious, and demands they leave immediately. John again uses his powers to stop him, and races to the school, desperate in the knowledge Sarah is in danger. He finds Sarah, but the Mogadorians have already arrived. They are joined by Number Six (who has been looking for them since Three's death) and later by Henri, Mark, and Bernie Kosar. John sends Mark off, exhorting him to protect Sarah. A furious battle ensues, during which Six exhibits powers of invisibility and control of the weather, and Bernie Kosar is revealed to be his own chimæra who followed him from Lorien. The Mogadorian soldiers arrive with their swords and their beasts.
John defeats a soldier but with great difficulty while his friends battle at the school, John can see storms brewing which shows the amazing power of Six but also sees that giant beasts are destroying the school. Another Piken charges after John and he leads it away from the school but is struck by a Soldier's twisting dagger. Bernie Kosar battles with the Mogadorian beast and is almost killed before John stabs the beast in the eye. Soon John and his allies are weakened by the number of Mogadorian troops and their power and weapons. Six is wounded and taken to relative safety by Sam. John uses an ability he was barely aware of to communicate with a beast brought by the Mogadorians and to turn it against them. Henri is killed, but before dying, exhorts John to read a letter he left for him. John survives, though he is very weak, and the Mogadorians are defeated when the final soldier is stabbed in the back with a kitchen knife by Sarah.
After resting and cremating Henri's body, John leaves Paradise, along with Number Six, Sam and Bernie Kosar, after promising to return
The Audio version of the Novel is performed by Neil Kaplan, reading Number Four's Narration. The Audiobook has a run time of 11 Hours and 32 Minutes.
- "Number Four is a hero for this generation.” –Michael Bay, director of Transformers
- “A very universal love story.” –D.J. Caruso, I Am Number Four director
- “I was hooked from the opening pages . . . Earnest, sincere . . . and quite epic in scope while being an incredibly personal story. Look forward to seeing where this series is going. For fans of Percy, Twilight, the old WB TV show Roswell, and Terminator. Definitely recommend.” – Andrew Jacobson, co-author of The Familiars
- Main article : I Am Number Four (film)
DreamWorks Pictures bought the rights to the film in June 2009; it was released on February 18, 2011 and was the first DreamWorks movie to be distributed by Disney's Touchstone Pictures.
Plans for any future installments for the series have been shelved.