A sequel to the popular teen novel I Am Number Four (which was later made into a movie), The Power of Six picks up right where that story left off. John Smith isn’t your ordinary teenager. He is, in fact, one of the few survivors of the planet Lorien, and he and his kind (there are nine Garde, who are the future leaders of the planet) are getting picked off one by one, in order, by the Mogadorians who invaded his home planet. Numbers One, Two, and Three are dead, and John Smith is Number Four. The first story left his high school in Paradise, Ohio a crater and his “Cêpan” (a sort of teacher/mentor/protector) Henri dead. The Power of Six follows John Smith, his best friend Sam, and the hot badass chick Number Six on the run through North America.
But The Power of Six also introduces, and alternates storytelling with a new character named Marina (Number Seven) who lives hiding in Spain in a convent (yes!) with her Cêpan that is in denial of their past in the planet Lorien. Marina’s powers are coming into maturity just as the Mogadorians become a true, frightening threat, and she has no one to turn to. While John and Six are on the run in the U.S. as fugitive “terrorists”, Marina follows their story in the news, hoping that they are like her, and if so, that they can join forces.
I really quite enjoyed I Am Number Four, and found the story to be fun and engaging. I was really looking forward to the sequel, but have to admit that I found it to be choppy, rushed, and a tad disappointing. All of the elements were there: action, a bit of romance (John claims to be forever in love with Sarah from Paradise, Ohio, but there is an undeniable sexual tension between him and Six), and a slowly unfurling mystery. But the story was trying to do too much.
The back-and-forth between John Smith’s storyline, and Marina’s in Spain was a bit confusing at first (despite the kind of cheesy technique of changing font styles between the two characters). And honestly, I found Marina’s story to be much more interesting and fresh than the one of the I Am Number Four characters on the run. Sure, Sam is more developed, and actually gets more of a back-story as some questions about his disappeared father are answered. But John Smith, and his plodding fixation on Sarah, compared with the much more interesting Six was maybe a bit too teen-angsty for me (and honestly not very well-written).
But I look forward to the continuation of Pittacus Lore’s Lorien Legacies series. I just cross my fingers that the author won’t feel so rushed in plot next time. Hey, Pittacus, take a breath and stick to one major character per book rather than trying to cram as much as possible between the covers. Give Marina her own book, and in the meantime, follow up with John Smith and Co. in their own time.