The Sequel of Lorien: The Power of Six

lakingsif
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It reads like fanfiction

I'm gunna start by saying: I love this series. TV tropes has made me cynical. Also, some fanfiction is better than some books. Like when I read Eclipse. That's a story best saved for the road. Note: that phrase, right there. Yeah, the syntactic parallelism of "... Story best saved for the road" appears a lot in the book I'm live blogging so if it pisses you off, read this.

Okay, badly named sequel - check! Coming after I Am Number Four, as explained by One, Two, and Three dying is The Power of Six. Right, Six was introduced in the first book and, if you read the excerpt in the back of it you'll know that Seven is the new narrator. The title is quickly title dropped as there are six of us left. We have The Power of six. And the redundant sentences begin. Again.

So, number Seven is called Marina which means "of the sea". Sort of. The incorrect and Gratuitous Spanish doesn't annoy me as much as it could, and as it won't be written ("La Gorda" *shudders*) in The Film of the Book, I'm obliged to ignore it. I did prefer the first book to, and read it before, the first film, and I'm liking this book and so praying that when/if they make the film it will be better. I can just see so much Spanish being pronounced badly, and this is irrelevant but they should really hire more actual Spanish actors. The only ethnic minority in the first film was a night janitor that got killed in two seconds. Seeing as all the Loric characters were turned into white blondes, though, I don't see this happening. Right.

Now, even before I'd started reading this book I guessed, even without the name, that Seven would have the Legacy to breathe underwater. I've always been Genre Savvy, before having visited this site or read fanfiction, but I'm guessing that even to those who aren't the rest of the book could be extremely predictable.

The constantly shifting narration can get annoying, and all the flashbacks go really slowly. Studying English I could offer deep interpretations of this, but I don't think James Frey and Jobie Hughes had any of that in mind. Like, On page 97 Marina says "I'm a horrible swimmer". It takes until page 99 for her to tell us she can breathe underwater.

What I discovered today, when seeing how far it is from Paradise, OH to Lima, OH because reasons, is that there is a reasonably large town in Ohio called Mogadore — the home planet of the evil aliens in this series. I'm guessing when Frey was googling places near Akron this one stuck in his mind. Seriously, Mogadorians literally live 30 miles from Paradise. I have but one problem with this: It should have been lampshaded.

That's the general discussion. If you want, keep reading.

CHAPTER THREE

There was probably an opportunity to make puns out of chapter titles, but no. I'm skipping the first two because they were the extract at the end of the first book and decent enough. If I were to have made the book better I wouldn't have attempted to replicate Small Island, but... Oh wait, I have had my writing published and so got asked to write for a National quarterly. And I study English. These are my credentials. Don't judge, please. So, Number Four begins narrating again and...

Tastes Like Purple + Abstract given concrete adjective + As You Know = reads like (admittedly good) fanfiction.note 

John has a nightmare. Six explains the nightmare because, conveniently, she knows everything about Lorien and Mogadore (her Keeper did actually care, though John/Four is inconsistent from book one to here, another issue). There's a reference to a football field I would've liked to have been more relevant because foreshadowing. This chapter also sees the return of Sam's NASA t-shirts.

What really gets me? The author(s) seem to have now created Six as their dream girl. It reads like fanfiction.

Six, with her stark hazel eyes that sometimes look blue and sometimes green...

I now imagine the author as a mix of Seth MacFarlane, John Green, and the "They Walk Among Us" nerd from the first book/film. The next description of Six borders on exposition and obsession:

...[Sam's] attraction to [Six] is painted all over his face. She's wearing black cotton shorts and a white tank top with her hair pulled back. A few strands fall loose around her face. A purple scar is prominent on the front of her left thigh...

You get the idea. Well, the rest of that makes up the longest paragraph on the page, at 10 lines, and ends with - in case you weren't aware:

Clearly there's another reason Sam wants to stick around.

At this point they're somewhere in North Carolina, and Four is having separation anxiety, though he's been in bed recovering for a week, from Sarah, who he can't contact. There's some talk about Six' history, incorrect algebra and bad jokes. "Sam is x". Yep. The boys shave their heads and Sam, the only human in the room, looks like an alien, apparently. Ha ha. Suddenly, Four realises that:

"...out of the four of us, three are aliens, two are fugitives with terrorist ties, and not a single one of us has a valid driver's license. Something tells me things might get interesting."

Did anyone else notice that he counted down from four? Nope? Well, that's perfectly fine because none of these references will ever be used in foreshadowing. For some reason, also, The Stoic Bad Ass Action Girl Six "can't help but smile" at that. Really? So far, unfortunately, not the hardest thing to believe in this chapter. Once you assume that the aliens are believable and just the rest of the situation is unrealistic.

CHAPTER FOUR

Still no chapter title puns. Still Four narrating. But it opens with Six having quickly gotten round to those "best saved for the road" stories. We get what she was doing whilst the stuff Seven described earlier happened. We get Four postulating on the same stuff and thus not hearing all of her story, so neither do we and that sucks. References to stuff we already know. Reiterating that. Some As You Know exposition that just feels uncomfortable. Cliffhanger: there's a cop car, they're gunna run for it. Well, I guess. So, yeah.

Next time: back to Spain.

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