The alien planet Lorien is under attack. The Mogadorians are destroying everything on the peaceful planet, leaving no survivors. A Lorien ship carrying nine children and their guardians takes off in a desperate attempt to protect the race. They travel to Earth, with the hope that they can integrate into society and hide from the pursuing Mogadorians until Lorien is again fit for habitation. They will then return and repopulate. The children are given numbers, one through nine. As the book’s title suggests, this is the story of Number Four.
When we first meet Number Four he is going by the name of Daniel Jones, but he doesn’t use that name for long. Number Four and his mentor, Henri, have been on the run for the past eleven years, ever since they arrived on Earth. Every six months or so they pack up and move across the country, usually at a moment’s notice, change their names and start new lives. They live life on the run from the Mogadorians, and the stakes have just gotten higher. Number Three has just been killed.
Each of the nine children is protected by a charm, which binds them together and forces the Mogadorians to kill them in numerical order. When one is killed, all the remaining children know. With the death of Number Three, Number Four is next. It is time to run again, this time to a small town called Paradise, Ohio, where Number Four is now John Smith. Henri urges John to try not to attract attention to himself in their new home, but that turns out to be harder than either of them expected. Life in Paradise turns out to be both better and worse than John thought it could be.
This book is the first in what is expected to be a six-book series. Although it is attributed to the fictional character Pittacus Lore, one of the founders of the planet Lorien, it is actually written by James Frey and Jobie Hughes. I am Number Four has also attracted some big-name Hollywood attention, and has already been made into a Michael Bay/Steven Spielberg-produced film to be released in February 2011. The second book, The Power of Six, is due out in the spring.
Check the WRL catalog for I am Number Four.