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Literature / Lorien Legacies

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A vision... the nextnote  book will be called The Victory of Ten!

Kick-started with the relatively successful I Am Number Four, author James Frey (with ghostwriter Jobie Hughesnote  under the pseudonym 'Pittacus Lore', who's also a character) kept it no secret that the whole franchise was designed to latch onto the success of Twilight and Harry Potter.

The film rights to the first novel were bought up a year before it was published, so it clearly worked.

While the film series has been shelved due to relatively-poor performance at the box office (The Power of Six had been planned for release on May 26th 2016), the novel series has continued, and was planned to consist of six books. This was extended to seven and the final book was released in June 2016. The series consists of the following novels:

  1. I Am Number Four (2010)
  2. The Power of Six (2011)
  3. The Rise of Nine (2012)
  4. The Fall of Five (2013)
  5. The Revenge of Seven (2014)
  6. The Fate of Ten (2015)
  7. United as One (2016)

The number was secretly extended again, albeit under a "Lorien Legacies Reborn" banner, instead - this sub-series would appear to be set up to continue for some time, with the first released in June 2017. The Reborn series features a Garde training academy and would seem to be the Divergent or The Hunger Games version of the original book series. It contains:

  1. Generation One: Lorien Legacies Reborn (2017)
  2. Fugitive Six (2018)

Also included is a string of e-novellas and short story collections called I Am Number Four: The Lost Files. These are:

  1. Six's Legacy (2011)
  2. Nine's Legacy (2012)
  3. The Fallen Legacies (2012)
  4. The Search For Sam (2012)
  5. The Last Days of Lorien (2013)
  6. The Forgotten Ones (2013)
  7. Five's Legacy (2014)
  8. Return to Paradise (2014)
  9. Five's Betrayal (2014)
  10. The Fugitive (2015)
  11. The Navigator (2015)
  12. The Guard (2015)
  13. Legacies Reborn (2016)
  14. Last Defense (2016)
  15. Hunt For The Garde (2016)

The first three of these were re-published in print in the summer of 2012 (to promote The Rise of Nine) as I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Legacies. A second print compilation, Secret Histories, was released in July 2013 with the same title and containing numbers 4, 5, and 6 of the above. A third set, titled Hidden Enemy, contained the next three novellas and was published in the summer of 2014 alongside the fifth novel. The fourth set (books 10 through 12) were only in print and collected as Rebel Allies with the release of the sixth book. Pre-empting the final novel in the series, a fifth collection (13-15) was released in May 2016 as Zero Hournote .

In addition, there are a string of supplementary works. These are:

Cash-Cow Franchise it is, these are all successful-ish, but not as far as the actual stories. Or The Film of the Book.

The stories follow the last of the Loric/Lorien, a race whose home planet of Lorien was destroyed by the Mogadorians, as they try to prevent the same fate ravaging Earth. There is also the ulterior motive that it is the nearest life-sustaining planet that they're welcome on. The children are members of the Garde and will take on the role of the Elders of their planet at some point whilst the adults are their keepers, called Cêpan. They also gather some kindly human friends, as well as some unkindly human foes, like any other person.

Unfortunately they're not just any other people. Instead, these teenagers have to single-handedly or within small groups fight off armies of the warrior race Mogadorians, also known as Mogs, who are hunting them down to wipe them out, as well as militant terrorist groups and the FBI - who have put aside their differences to fight the good guys together - with their main weapon being their developing Legacies. The Legacies are their inherant abilities received from the planet Lorien itself, which are basically superpowers.

Speaking of which, the "Lorien Legacies" is a Double-Meaning Title, or a poly-meaning title, as both elements to it have multiple meanings: Lorien meaning of Lorien, of lore, or of Pittacus Lore and Legacies meaning Heroic Stories, Dynasties, inherited responsibilities or positions, the Inheritances, the actual Garde members or, of course, their powers.

Not to disappoint, of course, with a large cast of teenagers, there are Romantic Sub-Plots for everybody. There are love-triangles and the development of heterosexual and platonic life partnerships.

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    Series-wide tropes 
  • Action Girl: The female Garde, especially Six.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Nine calls Four "Johnny", referencing his chosen name from the first book.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Paradise, Ohio? This is quite the point of moving to these places: whod'a thunk it?
  • Alternate Landmark History: And how! Think up a wonder. Except the Great Wall of China, they're alien.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The books mainly feature a symbol on the cover, reminiscent of crop circles. In the Dutch translation, they feature the character who the book is named after on the cover. For example, the Dutch version of Revenge of Seven looks like this.
  • Ancient Astronauts: The Mogadorians and Lorien.
  • Artistic License Physics: Lorien is mentioned to be a thousand times older than Earth. Earth is about 5 billion years old, making Lorien 5000 billion years old. The universe is estimated to be 13.7 billion years old. For sake of easier math let's asume the universe is 15 billion years old, this makes Lorien still 333,33 times older than the universe.
    • Another problem with the age of Lorien is that there are no stars that can grow this old.
    • Also Lorien is said to be 10 times smaller than Earth. The smaller a planet is the faster it cools and is unable to sustain a magnetic field, making it very hard and unlikely for life to exist.
  • Bloodless Carnage: When the aliens die they turn to ash.
  • Book Ends: Both the prologue of the first book and the prologue of the fifth book start with a shaking door.
  • Call-Back: Any time New Mexico is mentioned will be one, whether it be Roswell or Dulce.
  • Chekhov's Skill: All the Garde members find a use for their Legacies and Inheritance. Justified in that it's the entire point of them having them.
  • The Chosen One: One of them will become Pittacus Lore. (Unless it was one of those that died already, eh?)
  • Colon Cancer: The print release e-novellas.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The good guys use blue bullets/power/sword. The bad guys use green stuff (red in the film).
  • Doomed Hometown: Lorien, Paradise.
  • Elemental Powers: The Loric horoscope at the end of some editions of Book 1 (essentially the Western horoscope with exotic names) alludes to this. Like, those born under fire signs are most likely to have Lumen as a legacy.
    • The covers of the books also carry elemental motifs relating to characters with large roles in the novel in question.
      • Book 1: Fire, shown by a Flaming orange-red sun for Four and his Lumen (which comes with heat/fire resistance.)
      • Book 2: Water. Seven, aka Marina doesn't have hydrokinesis so far, but she can breathe underwater, and she can also heal the sick and injured. In Book 4 she becomes An Ice Person.
      • Book 3: Earth (more specifically sand, which is likely a reference to the site of this book's climactic battle in the secret desert facility in New Mexico.) Nine is a strong and stubborn type, but it's all just a facade. Number One is a more obvious example of Earth power: as revealed in the e-novella The Fallen Legacies, she could cause earthquakes.
      • So far, the best representative for Air would be the weather-changing Six. She claims she can control all four elements, however. So far we've only seen her manipulate fire, but only in that one iconic movie moment.
      • Other, lesser-known elements are at play here. We have Space (Eight's teleportation, Nine's anti-gravity), Beast (Four and Nine can both communicate with animals), and Life (a strange variation with Ella/Ten's Aeternus ability.)
  • Everything Fades: In the film, all aliens (conveniently) leave no corpses. This is probably a substitute for Henri's funeral pyre from the novel.
  • Everything Is Online: Actually played fairly realistically; one of the things that keep Number Four from staying in one place is that whenever something big happens to him that exposes the fact that he's an alien is because people record his powers and upload them to YouTube.
  • Extruded Book Product: The books are "produced" by James Frey (of A Million Little Pieces infamy) and his production company Full Fathom Five. While the quality of the novels is consistently good, the series was developed specifically to make money, with the initial marketing made to major publishing houses in order to spark a bidding war. Full Fathom Five (and Frey himself, by proxy) has come under fire in recent years for the notoriously stingy contracts and crushing deadlines the ghostwriters must endure, which is the likely reason the planned film series has has gone stillborn.
  • Fighting for a Homeland
  • Human Aliens: The Loric and the natural-born Mogadorians.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Mogadore.
  • It's Personal: Subverted in Six's Legacy. Six wants to say, "That's for Katarina!" when she dispatches a Mog, but she can't because she's really doing it for her own satisfaction.
  • Kayfabe: The very first page of the book is a "disclaimer" stating the events depicted in the book are real. Also the author bio states the "Pittacus Lore" is the ruling elder of Lorien currently in hiding.
  • Le Parkour: The Loriens, it would seem, are fond of this.
  • Logging onto the Fourth Wall: Sadly averted; only redirects to the film's website.
  • Made of Iron:
    • The only things that seem to be able to kill a Mog is a Mogadorian blade or one of their weapons.
    • Five can literally become Made of Iron. One of his legacies is that he can take on the qualities of any material he's touching. He can also use this to become a Rubber Man.
  • Meaningful Name: Several of the characters, and Dulce Base. Dulce being Spanish and Latin for sweet. In Spanish more literally as dulces=candy, in Latin more abstract, e.g. Dulce Et Decorum Est=It is sweet and fitting. That poem is about dying for one's country.
  • Oddly Named Sequel: You might call it Sequel Number Snarl, but the numbers are names. I Am Number Four followed by I Am Number Four: The Power of Six or The Power of Six, depending on where you got it and which edition, then I Am Number Four: Lorien Legacies: Six's Legacy, The Rise of Nine, the rest of the Lorien Legacies pre-titled books, The Fall of Five, The Revenge of Seven, etc. The I Am Number Four and Lorien Legacies bits kept moving and disappearing. The final book of the six-part series just takes the biscuit, though: "I Am Number Four: The Fate Of Ten: Lorien Legacies, Book 6 (Lorien Legacy)".
  • Only in Florida: The amount of times Four and Co. keep moving to Florida isn't really a coincidence; when they do weird stuff there, it's blown off easier as "it's Florida".
  • Perplexing Plurals: Changing a concrete noun to a plural or a collective one doesn't seem to happen on Lorien. You can have a Lorien, Chimaera, Garde, Cepan or two Lorien, Chimaera, Garde, Cepan. A group of them are also known collectively as Lorien, Chimaera, Garde, Cepan. Compare this to having a Lion, two Lions, a Pride. These are the only Loric words in the series, so its all we have to go off, too.
  • Power Glows
  • Sequel Hook: These guys certainly can write some cliffhangers.
  • Shout-Out: The name of the Spanish village "Santa Teresa" could be one to the identically-named location in novel 2666 where a lot of mysterious things happen.
    • Number Four taking the nickname "Johnny" might be one to Short Circuit when the main character, Number Five, calls himself Johnny.
  • Unobtainium: Loralite, but it's in abundance within the stories.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The Lorien names again.
  • You Are Number 6: Remarkably only number Six, out of them all, treats the number as her actual name. The others take on more human ones but she doesn't like hers: Maren Elizabeth.
  • You Can't Go Home Again

    The Power of Six 
  • Chekhov's Gun: Four's comment about the ten Elders of Lorien - there really are ten Garde children.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Whilst there is a Chapel of Santa Teresa in the Picos de Europa mountains, it's just that: a chapel in the mountains. The village of Santa Teresa would probably be more based on one of the villages that makes up the sparse collection of Valdeon. One of which is called Santa Marina, at that.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: The second book has duel narration between the Spanish Marina and American John. All of Marina's part is in English, until John hears her speak during his narration, when her speech is in Spanish (the English translation is a page before when she shouts it during her narration) and he doesn't get it because he doesn't speak Spanish.
  • The Reveal: Ella is Number Ten.
  • Slow-Loading Internet Image: A point of tension is the really bad internet in Santa Teresa, so much that it takes computer usage over several nights for Marina to get good visual updates on her favorite 'conspiracy sites' that have images of John.
  • Toros y Flamenco: None. Spain is presented pretty well.

    The Rise of Nine 
  • A God Am I: Eight, who some believe is Vishnu.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Nine
  • Ironic Echo:
    John: "You have... no idea... what I'm capable of."
    • Nine mockingly says this to the Mogadorians' human henchmen, before Nine and Four take them out.

    The Fall of Five 

  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Downplayed, Five saying that Marina and Eight were the only ones who treated him with genuine kindness and so he won't kill them with the other Garde, offering for them to join the Mogadorian force with him instead, as their powers could be useful.
  • Confirmation Bias: (In-Universe) Five isn't treated particularly badly by a lot of the Garde, he just isn't used to their different approaches to teamwork, but he takes anything but the complete acceptance he receives from Marina and Eight to be confirmation that the Mogs were right and his own kind are awful, something they brainwashed him to believe in order to completely turn him to their side.
  • The Mole: Five for the Mogs
  • Not the Intended Use: When the Mogs storm the penthouse where they had been hiding, Sam and Sarah lead them towards the training room, where Sandor had set up several training devices. Simply setting it to difficulty 'Insane' helped them cut down a lot of them.
  • Precision F-Strike: Happens twice during the climax, particularly striking as the first F-bombs dropped in the series. First by Nine while fighting a huge monster. The second is by Marina, directed towards Five after he killed Eight.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Eight.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Five
  • They Were Holding You Back: What the Mogs brainwashed Five into knowing would happen when he teams up with the Garde.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The massive signs that Five leaves for the others to find him are much more obvious than other things that have led the Mogadorians to fallen Garde. Of course, the Mogs already knew they were going to happen and just had to wait around for the Garde to get to Five before showing up and putting in a lame effort to maintain the illusion.

     The Revenge of Seven 
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: At the start, they follow a lead of Dale, who they met in Trapper's (the bar). They borrow his boat, but on the way they get into a brief stint with the Mogadorians (which doesn't even last a minute), where Dale, after the sight of their Legacies, promptly jumps out of the boat.
    Dale: I'll figure something out that don't involve mutant powers, thank you very much!

Alternative Title(s): Lorien Legacies Reborn