Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Am Number Four--Book Review

It’s been a while since my last review ‘cause I’ve been VERY busy doing school stuffs that I hardly find the time to open the book I’m reading. But after weeks of struggling, I finally finished another book. So here it is, my review on the first book of the Lorien Legacies Series: I AM NUMBER FOUR by Pittacus Lore (which is a pen-name, as I believe.)

The story is about Number Four, presently known as John Smith, one of the nine Lorien kids who came to Earth after their home planet, Lorien, was destroyed by another alien species, the Mogadorians. They came to our planet in order to grow and mature so that they may be able to revive their planet and their kind. But their stay on Earth is not a walk in the park as the Mogadorians are now on the planet in order to slay the Lorien kids, and also to make Earth its next victim.

The nine kids separated to different places on Earth and with a charm, the Lorien kids can only be killed according to their numbers, one to three are dead, which leaves Number Four next. So John, along with his guardian, Henri, should do their best to survive until John’s powers mature so that if needed, they could fight back.

But John’s life can get more complicated as it already is as he got involved to some human affairs as well. In his new school, he met and fell in love with a girl—Sarah Hart. How will John live his life without revealing his secret to the ones he learned to love? Will he survive, or will he succumb to the enemy’s powers?

Here is my take on the book:

I found the concept a little intriguing since I personally haven’t tried reading lots of Sci-fi. I guess this was a good start, the only problem that I had with this book is that I didn’t really see it as much of a sci-fi experience; it was more of a fantasy-ride for me. This is because the technicalities of an alien story lacks in it.

The tone used in the book is quite serene and laid back in the start, which I found quite disturbing. This is because the premise of the story is that John and Henri, and the other Lorien kids, are “on-the-run” but the way the story was told in the first half of the book gave a feel that they weren’t really “on-the-run.” I expected a darker storyline but still, it was bearable and the book somehow redeemed itself towards the end with some action-packed scenes. I just thought that this is aimed for teen boys so I guess the romance part on it should be given a little less limelight.

Characterization-wise, the book did an “ok” job. You will be able to understand each and every character, and why they do things they do. But it felt kind of flat, there are no complex character developments involved in the story. Plus, there weren’t any exceptional characters that would be tattooed on one’s mind.

What I totally loved in I Am Number Four are the Legacies, or the powers that the Lorien people possess. It was great watching John as he discovers his powers and uses them in his adventures. Guess I’m a fanboy for superpowers.

Will I read the next book in the series? Probably yes. As far as I can see, I Am Number Four only set out the origins of the Lorien Legacies series. So I am thinking, and HOPING that the next books would reveal more action-packed storyline and pacing.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Artemis Fowl, The Time Paradox—Book Review

Today I’ll review The Time Paradox, the sixth installment of one of my favorite book series, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer.

In The Time Paradox, we see our favorite genius boy go back in time in order to save the last of the Silky Sifaka Lemur species that proved to be the cure for her mother’s illness. The problem is, he was the one who caused the extinction of the Silky Sifaka Lemur almost 8 years prior. Therefore, Artemis of the future should face and outwit the Artemis of the past. Using time travel and escorted by her fairy friend Holly Short, will Artemis defeat his greatest enemy to date, his own self? Can they go back to the past and not alter the future they have known?


My Review:

The book still holds up the same humor and adventurous feel that fans had known from book 1. The adventures that Artemis Fowl goes through are what have driven most part of the book, add clever twists and turns to that and you will get The Time Paradox.  

Like the other Artemis Fowl books, the most impressive part that Eoin Colfer has inculcated in this book is the “reveal.” Colfer still did very well on this one, the wit of writing he used made the twists just make you “Ooooh! That’s cool!”

The book proved to have a much more complicated storyline that seemed to grow with Artemis Fowl. The battle of wit and smarts of the two Artemises is surely a highlight of this book. What could fans ask for more knowing that they can be spectators of an intellectual battle between two characters that they had grown to love and maybe, despise?

What makes this different from prior books is that it showed more on Artemis’ human side. Much more than the genius, here we see how he had grown to be softer. We see how he responds to his emotions and not just his intellectual premise. The book also showed how much Artemis had grown through a comparison of the two Artemises of both time and also how does the relationship between him and Holly develop.

Characterization was never a question when it comes to the AF series as readers are sure to see how Artemis is growing throughout the books’ storylines and how his life has been affected by his involvements with the fairy people. Holly is also given the right and fitting character development. Also, a refreshing thing in this book is the addition of the demon warlock N°1 (first appeared in the fifth book: The Lost Colony) in the lineup of lovable characters.

Reading Artemis Fowl books is like riding the same rollercoaster all over again. But each time you ride it, there are additional features that will make each ride different from the other–a paradox of familiarity and uniqueness in each and every book.

The Time Paradox is surely a must-read for hardcore Artemis Fowl fans! But beware, this book has a little cliffhanger element that will make you want to instantly get the next book: The Atlantis Complex.