How did I get it: HarperTeen (Harper Collins). The Power of Six comes out on August 23rd.
Why did I get it: I have been longing for this book since I finished I Am Number Four so I was beyond thrilled when I was able to get an ARC of it. Thank you so much, Harper Collins! (This title will also count towards my Speculative Fiction Challenge for 2011.)
How I would rate it: 4 out of 5 stars.
I’ve seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he’s a mystery. But to me . . . he’s one of us.
Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We’re hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we’ll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I’ve been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?
They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio—and failed.
I am Number Seven. One of six still alive.
And I’m ready to fight.
Review: (Note: This review contains mild spoilers.)
I was so happily surprised to find that The Power of Six was just as enjoyable as I Am Number Four. More so in a lot of ways since this book moved away from Four stagnating in a small town to dealing with larger, more pressing matters. Plus he continued working with Sam and Six who, along with Henri, were the best parts of the first book in this series. Four’s point of view chapters were also broken up by the point of view of yet another Lorien, Number Seven who is struggling to reconnect to her Cêpan, Adelina, while working to find herself and aiding a young girl named Ella, a new edition to the orphanage/nunnery she’s been living in.
I really liked the differences between Seven and Four as well as their similar struggle to become young adults as well as develop their own powers. The way they are pitted against adults, both in terms of their guardians and the Mogadorians was really fascinating. I think it also worked out much better here than it did in I Am Number Four because Four has to grow up and learn from Henri now that he’s gone and Seven has to grow up and find herself in spite of her Cêpan’s focus and faith in an Earth-based religion. I do sort of wish that some sort of heading or even their name had been given to their alternating chapters, but for the most part it was very easy to figure out who was narrating when. Either way, neither of them could possibly distract me from how awesome Six remained. I was so glad to see her maintaining a pivotal role and continuing to kick butt even if none of the sections were from her specific point of view.
I am so excited to see what happens next! I don’t want to give too much away in terms of the actual plot developments for those who prefer to know very little before going into the book. But there is plenty of action here, a lot of revelations, and very little in terms of a strong romantic vibe. The love that was focused on with much more regularity and emphasis seemed to involve friendships, team-building, sacrifice, and makeshift families, which I think is always a really great choice for an author or authors to make. Particularly when writing a series about alien teenagers charged with saving not only their homeworld but Earth as well.
On the presumption that the decision to not focus as hard on romantic love continues and winds up meaning what I want it to means for Four in regards to Sarah, I would like to be among the first to applaud both authors for allowing their teenage protagonists to learn that romantic love happens all the time and does not cease to matter simply because it doesn’t always last forever. Or that often what adults pass on to teens is their own personal truth, which is not always the same thing as an universal truth or even a truth that may play out properly in the life of said teen. I don’t feel that the authors do not rely this in a heavy-handed way and this might not matter much to all readers, but it really mattered to me. The fact that any teen book is transmitting a message like this at all, provides me with no end of relief or happiness. Regardless of the target audience or genre, I would love to continue to read books that do not pass along harmful messages that love is a one time forever thing and that, if you loose it, your life will be over.
In conclusion, a great, solid sequel to I Am Number Four. And in of itself, The Power of Six was well worth my while and I feel that it will make a lot of readers –teen or otherwise– very happy.