I Am Number Four
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (March 2015)|
The American cover of I Am Number Four
|Author||Pittacus Lore, aka James Frey & Jobie Hughes|
|August 3, 2010|
|Followed by||The Power of Six|
I Am Number Four is a young adult science fiction novel by Pittacus Lore (the pseudonym of James Frey and Jobie Hughes) and the first book in the Lorien Legacies series. The book was published by HarperCollins on August 3, 2010, and spent seven successive weeks at #1 on the children's chapter of The New York Times bestseller list.
The novel is the first of a proposed seven-book series.
A prelude of the killing of one of the Garde children — presumably Number Three — by Mogadorians.
Most of the book is told in the first-person by Number Four, who takes the name John Smith. As the story begins, he and his guardian, Henri, learn of the death of Number Three and move to Paradise, Ohio, assuming new identities. There, John befriends conspiracy theorist Sam Goode and 'adopts' a dog identified by its name tag as Bernie Kosar. He also meets and is attracted to a fellow student who is an amateur photographer, Sarah Hart. Sarah's ex-boyfriend, football player Mark James, is a bully who torments both John and Sam.
During the best Halloween festival (according to Sam), 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. It is not clear how much Sam saw.
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 as John is late in developing his telekinesis, a power which he will need to fight the Mogadorians. Later, it is revealed that Sam had indeed seen enough to arouse his suspicions, 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 text messages. In his agitated state, John's telekinetic power manifests, though uncontrolledly, 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's 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 adamance, 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, so John used his powers to rescue her. He then reveals his secret to Sarah, and they lied 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.
But 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 that Sarah is in danger. He finds Sarah, but the Mogadorians have already arrived. The Mogadorians have brought an enormous beast called Piken, and smaller, but still deadly, creatures called Krauls. These creatures are sent to track and kill the Loric. John and Sarah are joined by Number Six (who has been looking for them since Three's death) and later by Henri, Mark, and Bernie Kosar ("the dog"). 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 a Chimæra. Chimæra are able to grow to roughly the size of a Piken. Sam arrives partway through the battle.
John defeats a soldier, Bernie Kosar battles a Piken, and at key moments John is helped by his human friends, but in the end they are depleted and weakened by numbers and power. Six is wounded and taken to relative safety. 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.
John leaves Paradise, along with Number Six, Sam, and Bernie Kosar, after promising to return to Sarah.
This series includes both Main Titles and Novellas called The Lost Files. The novellas were originally released only as eBooks; however, The Legacies is a compilation of the first 3 novellas and is available in paperback. Additionally, there are 3 Extras found on the official website giving additional background information about the characters Eight, Sam, and Sarah.
- I am Number four - Published July 26, 2010
- The Power of Six - Published August 23, 2011
- The Rise of Nine - Published August 21, 2012
- The Fall of Five - Published August 27, 2013
- The Revenge of Seven - Published August 26, 2014
- The Fate of Ten - expected release September 1, 2015
- The End of Eight - Expected to be released in the fall of 2016 
The Lost Files Novels
- Six's Legacy - eBook released July 26, 2011 
- Nine's Legacy - eBook released February 28, 2012 
- The Fallen Legacies - eBook released July 24, 2012
- The Search For Sam - eBook released December 26, 2012
- The Last Days of Lorien - eBook released April 9, 2013
- The Forgotten Ones - eBook released July 23, 2013
- Five's Legacy - eBook released February 11, 2014
- Return to Paradise - eBook released April 15, 2014
- Five's Betrayal - eBook released July 22, 2014
- The Fugitive - eBook released December 23, 2014
- The Navigator eBook released 4.21.15
- The Guard eBook will release 7.28.15
Extras available online:
- Eight's Origin - release 2012
- Sam's Journal
- Sarah's Journal - release 2011
- Malcom's Journal
- Pittacus Lore's Transmissions - release 2012
- Rich, Motoko. "James Frey and Co-Writer Sell Series to HarperCollins". New York Times. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- "Best Sellers". The New York Times. January 30, 2011. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
- Rich, Mokoto (June 26, 2009). "James Frey Collaborating on a Novel for Young Adults, First in a Series". The New York Times. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
- "Three are dead. I am number four". HarperCollins. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "I am number four". Indigo. Enrich your life. HarperCollins. Retrieved 14 March 2013.