Commentary, Lead Commentary

The Power of Six

I didn’t see “I Am Number Four.” I was vaguely intrigued by Dianna Agron as the love interest, as she is quite possibly one of the prettiest women on Earth. However, the movie looked like every other young-adult sci-fi wannabe out there. And I’m really bored with Hollywood’s attempts to make Alex Pettyfer happen.

I also didn’t read the New York Times-bestselling novel on which “I Am Number Four” was based. That said, I’m a sucker for young-adult fiction. When the Yap was sent a review copy of “The Power of Six,” the sequel to “I Am Number Four,” I decided to take a crack at it.

The verdict? I wasn’t exactly depressed, but I was far from impressed.

“The Power of Six” continues the story of John Smith, who is part of an alien race of nine young people sent to Earth when their home planet is overtaken by evil forces, living in hiding throughout the world with assigned adult guardians. When the first three were hunted and killed by the evil forces, John (Number Four) had to make some difficult decisions and eventually go on the run with the female Number Six and his best friend Sam, whose father was a human ally to the race and mysteriously disappeared.

The book has two parallel stories: John, Six and Sam’s cross-country travels and combat training in the States, and Marina (aka Number Seven), undercover in a Spanish convent school and discovering her own unique abilities (called Legacies, which develop when the individual needs them most).

Though “The Power of Six” is a sequel, catching up on important plot points isn’t an issue: Everything a new reader needs to know is scattered throughout the book. Action pops off nearly every page, and the relationships — Marina’s struggle with her now-reluctant adult guardian; John’s conflicting feelings for Six and for Sarah, the girl he left behind; John and Sam’s mourning for their lost father figures — are never boring. Technically, Pittacus Lore (a pen name that figures into the book prominently) does everything right.

And yet, I was never completely drawn into this fictional world. Though I kept turning pages, I couldn’t bring myself to care about the characters. Like standout series such as “The Hunger Games” and “Harry Potter,” “The Power of Six” seeks to create a parallel universe with oddly named characteristics but grounded-in-reality issues. Unlike these other series, “The Power of Six” has drier prose and slower pacing, which contributes to a sense of distance from its characters and conflicts. Yes, it’s cool that John can illuminate things with his hands and Marina can breathe underwater, but why should I root for them?

Clearly, the author wants “The Power of Six” to transition to the silver screen. The novel has a cinematic quality: long on action and dialogue, short on description. I don’t know if “I Am Number Four” did well enough at the box office to warrant a sequel. I do know I wouldn’t pay $12 to see it.

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46 Responses to “The Power of Six”

  1. […] Also, this was not the first time I’ve encountered a barrage of negativity from one of my revi… […]

  2. Chris Sundman says:

    Stupidest reviewer ever. I’d try and be eloquent, but all the other comments have stated everything that needs to be said. So I’ll stick with being crass. Put a bit of effort in Douche and start the first book. Saying that, I look forward to your review of the tenth book in the Thomas Covernant series, as you’ll probably start on that book when it comes out. Cheers.

  3. Sara says:

    I loved I am number four. It is by far the best movie and book EVER!!!!!! I dont get how this critic can say that she doesnt think that I Am Number Four wasnt good enough for them to make the sequel, when she hasnt even read the book or see the movie. If she reads the book or watches the movie then she can have her opinion, but until then what her opinion doesnt really matter. Im not just saying this because she gave it a bad review, its just common sense that you can judge something that you have never seen.

  4. Alex McDonald says:

    Your credibility went out the window when you said you haven’t read the first book or seen the film. The books are great and the movie was decent enough to hopefully spawn a sequel film.

  5. me says:

    u know what actually a big fat 9.9

  6. me says:

    ummm u critics dont know a thing it is a very good book with good twist and relations and if you have not read the first it will not make sense there is action page after page a very good plot and well i give it an 8.5

  7. samantha says:

    i have seen "I am number four" and im in love with the movie & cant wait to see the next film,i love a good film & spend alot of $$$ on movies and the only reason i found this page is cause iv been going on google trying to find if they have made another movie?? does anyone know if the power of six is out on film yet??? and who ever bags out these films has issues ;)

  8. jeremy says:

    I am one who does not read very often but when i watched I am number four when it came to the big screen i decided i would readthe book and ever since i have been hooked on the series so i am very much so looking for the second movie to come out and so on!

  9. paul says:

    I was wondering if the production of the sequel the power of six has started cause many I believe of the public around the world would want to know the next chapter.

  10. Dwayne says:

    Once again critics put there own personal opinions out there and totally get it wrong.I stumbled across this site looking for information on the movie.Please do not confuse this critics opinion with the opinion of the general public.Had this happened before we would only ever seen one Star wars movie made.Enough said.

  11. me says:

    ok LAUREN WHALEN r u messed that is the best book ever and i am hoping it will be turned into a movie cuz would pay anything to watch that

  12. Ken says:

    I am far from a teen, in fact my youngest child is 14. I saw I am number 4 in the movies and I also bought the DVD. I think it was a great movie; and, although I haven’t read the books, my wife is waiting for the entire series to be released to buy them. Myself, I am waiting for the movies. I can’t find anywhere that says definitely whether or not they sequel will be released, but I am hoping they decide to go ahead and take a chance. I for one will go see it at the movies and buy the DVD.

  13. Rob says:

    How can you base your opinion on the second book only? You say there is no character development, and you have no reason to care for the characters yet you did not read the FIRST book!!!! That is where character development/back stories begin!

  14. Anonymous says:


  15. Bob Sherman says:

    I LOVE the "Twilight", "Harry Potter", and "The Hunger Game" series!!!!!!!! I just saw the I am number four movie and I LOVED IT!!!! It was sooooooo good!!!

  16. anonymous says:

    i lovvvve alex pettyfer!! This is deffently worth $12! Though i only ask that this movie is more like the book, because in the last movie they changed a lot of stuff. Like… the house it was so post to be 1 floor, BK wasn’t so post to come on the frist day, that’s not john was so post to meet sarah, the house was so post to catch on fir, and a lot more. Some of these i don’t mind other make me want to sceam. though my friends and i are waiting until the next movie to come out!i♥ alex pettyfer! ☻☺☻

  17. anonymous says:

    alex Pettyfer DID happen… I LOVE him!!!

  18. tatiana says:

    hey you crazy waqt ever you who in the devils name do you think you are I AM NUMBER FOUR is better than harry potter who just uses his little wand to solve everything and well i cant say anything about the hunger game cuse i havent read it yet but i love Alex Pettyfer more than any other actor there is and he is sertenly way BETTER looking than eny of the harry potter gays
    so shut the hell up

  19. Steve says:

    I saw the film first and loved it. I then went on to read both the books and I fell in love with the series, and now i just can’t wait for the next book to come out in August!!! And I don’t think it’s just me but LM you sound like a right muppit. Opinions are for stupid people??? Grow up and hate on another series.

  20. Another Nicholas says:

    Also LM the only reason everyone is at such ends with the critic is because he’s reviewing something without really knowing what’s going on. Where is his credibility?

  21. Another Nicholas says:

    I saw the movie first. I simply loved it and despite what you say about Alex Pettyfer I thought he did a wonderful job. There were some parts that, if like you, inspect every little thing you can there are some flaws. If it wasn’t for the movie I would never had known about the books. I managed to hold myself off until Christmas and got the first two and nearly cried when I realized the next one doesn’t come out until August. I HATE waiting for the next book in a series when it is as phenomenal as this one.
    And like everyone else has said, who are you to judge this? You don’t even know all there is to know. As for why you cheer for them it’s the same reason for Katniss, or Harry, Ron and Hermonie. You got to know them, the author let you inside there head. If you start from the beginning and learn with them then it’s hard not to get attached. I’m Bernie Kosar all the way man. If it wasn’t for him then four and six would have been dead, and seven and nine would never have been saved.

  22. Nicholas says:

    This book is absolutely amazing. This is by far the best series i have read. i Can not wait to read the rest and see the other movies!

  23. Princess says:

    I’m not even a sci-fi person but THE MOVIE WAS GREAT! THE BOOKS WERE EVEN BETTER! I have yet to come across something like this that holds my attention that long. I’m a romance But really this was great I can’t wait for the Rise of Nine to release and I sure as heck hope they make more movies. Great job everyone that was involved with the projects at all. Keep making them pleaseeee. I am now a fan.

  24. Joe Randim says:

    Gotta love it when a reviewer begins a review with "I didn’t read the book, and I didn’t see the movie – yet somehow this sequel just failed to draw me in…"


  25. LM says:

    Wow. All of these comments posted by faithful series readers have made me reconsider whether I should venture into the books, as I am afraid I will come out the other end sounding equally as ignorant.

    Oh no, a critic doesn’t LOVE the book the same way you do. They must be STUPID! Let’s write that a lot and use ALL CAPS to get our point across! Opinions are for STUPID PEOPLE!

    I’m sorry to burst your angry little bubbles, but at not point did this author outwardly hate on the series. In fact, there was more disdain aimed toward the film version of I Am Number Four than the sequel book. In fact, The Power of Six was often complimented in this piece, with the only negative being that perhaps the author didn’t personally identify with the characters as much as they should have. I’m sure it’s not the first time this has happened, nor the last. For instance, I would never take away from the value of the Harry Potter books but for some reason I was never able to properly invest myself in the characters. Oh well. It happens. Grow up.

    Also, for all those avid readers who incorrectly referred to the author as "he" or "they" or my personal favorite "he/she" (as though there were some question in the matter) the byline clearly says "Lauren". My guess would be she’s a female. Way to stay sharp, guys.

  26. Cupcake says:

    This critic is really STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The books are amazing and even though the movie wasn’t as amazing as the books, it was still pretty good!

  27. Waspo says:

    I was surprisingly impressed by I AM NUMBER FOUR which I thought translated very well to the screen from the book. THE POWER OF SIX shouldn’t be any different so long as they follow the same principles and I must say reading this book has been such a joy being. Yes, it does read like a movie but that just makes it better for me because I only have the first movie to reference off not having read the first book. The down side of the first movie is that it didn’t get the publicity it deserved making it sluggish at the box office. It was one of those movies you would only fully appreciate if you happen to see it by chance. Which is a shame I think. I definitely want to see THE POWER OF SIX get turned into a movie as long as they bring back the original actors and director too. I’m sure many fans feel the same way too; and why not? There’s certainly far worse movie’s being made today.

  28. Darla says:

    I completely agree with the author of this critic. These books didn’t exactly do it for me either. To me, this may be the only time this has ever happened but the movie was actually better than the book. This thought has never even crossed my mind but after reading and watching I Am Number Four, it became my final verdict on the book and film.

  29. Taryn says:

    I don’t know what he/she was thinking. I’ve been with the Lorien Legacies from the start, and am anxiously waiting for the Rise of Nine to come out. I would pay twenty dollars for this movie.

  30. ashley says:

    DREW: VERY WELL SAID! seriously!

  31. Maureen says:

    I Frankly thought these books were amazing…and that they should make a sequel to the movie.If they do not I will be very disappointed and lose hope in the book to movie process.I mean they should of made the movie abit more like the book,but otherwise it was good,maybe even great.I wish the Power Of Six movie will come out and soon

  32. doug says:

    the critic said it did horrible in the theaters probally due to bad marketing and publicity. I never even knew it was in the theaters..

  33. doug says:

    I loved i am number four and cant wait for the power of six to be on the screen

  34. jessica says:

    Alright so I did not resd the first book but I watched the movie. And the power of six is the first book i have ever read all the way through. I ould not put it down to go too sleep. So i found myself up til 2-3 in the morning reading this book. Finished it in two nights. Does ANYONE know when the movie is supposed to be out. I can’t wait til august for the rise of nine.

  35. Abbey says:

    I’m 12, have read WAY more books than anybody I know, including all of the series this critic person put in the review he wrote, and way more than just those. And I "strongly disagree" with the critic, and don’t know why the heck he had to take it out on Alex Pettyfer if he didn’t even see the movie…

  36. Hannah says:

    Who would ever read the second book without reading the first? You say that you dont really care for the characters, maybe if you read the first book you would have a better understanding. Everyone is hating on the movie, I personally loved the movie. Of course it wasnt as good as the book, because they cant fit everything into it. The only thing I didnt like about the movie is that Henri died early and six is fire proof, not four. The books are amazing, i have read them each 3 times, no lie. I cant get enough of it. Maybe if your gonna criticize something, you should do some more research.

  37. pacsboi says:

    you just can’t make these opinions about the ‘power of six’ without reading the first book. of course, you’ll get confused if you didn’t start the story. for me it is amazing book. it could definitely be lined up with the Hunger Games and Harry Potter series

  38. Josh-sifi fan says:

    I really enjoyed the first book. I am a fan of the hunger games and of Harry potter and to me this is a great series. Harper lee has done an excellent job writing these two books. I’m hoping that there will be a movie for The Power of Six. When I read your review I was confused, because what you did was like reading the 2nd harry porter and the first. If you did that you would be confused. I also read The Power of Six and I loved it, it was a great sequel and i can’t wait for ye movie and the next book

  39. KEI says:

    The Power of Six was a good sequel that followed the first book well. I am a big fan of Sci Fi fiction and as such the Lorien Legacies are well paced and well written. What I do not recommend doing is mixing the films and the movies together – had I not read the books and had I not already been drawn in by the mythology of Lorien, I would not have seen the movie and had I seen the movie (and there were no books to fill in the gaps), then I would probably not have enjoyed the movie much.

    From what I have read on the Internet, even though "I am Number Four" made around $100 in profit for the studios, it was not as successful as the Twilight movies and as such plans for a sequel (movie) have been shelved.

    As for "The Power of Six" being the best book ever – according to one of the user comments here – I implore you to read more books – there is so much more entertaining literature out there. For fans of fantasy fiction, I really recommend "The Tales of Earthsea" quartet.

  40. nick says:

    OOOOO yea the only down side is that it takes a whole year for the new book to come out so every august but its goin to be a 6 part book but it just keeps getting better and better

  41. nick says:

    look i dont read books but after watching the movie my friend told me it was also a book. Once i found this out i thought i would check it out and i really couldnt put the book down. I read it in 1 day and then read the power of six the very next it is the BEST book i ever read.Its action packed and you really understand the people in the book i MUST say everyone try it out u will love it

  42. Phoenix says:

    The Power of Six was wonderful! I couldn’t put the book down. I will pay to see it on the big screen and am thrilled the first movie was released, I never would have known about the books otherwise. Keep them coming! I’m a huge fan!

  43. Jeff Bradford says:

    I have just read the Lorien Legacies series, the mistake i made was watching the movie " I Am Number Four" first. But i know without watching the movie i would have not read the series in the first place. Of course the movie isn’t as good as the books, they never are. But coming from a person who has read the " Harry Potter " series and "Twilight" series, and is currently reading the first installement of the "Hunger Games" series. I think that this series is great and i think the movie was a very well made movie. That can only get better as the series goes on, just like in the books. I believe that the Twilight movies are very poor compared to the books, and i know that viewers out there just like myself want to see these books turned into feature films. FAST !!
    This critic needs to ease up on this series for i think its one of the better books out there today, and i know i can’t wait for August of 2012 to come so i can read the third installement and find out whats next. I hope i get to see " The Power Of Six" soon on the big screen with the same cast.

  44. Strong Rapids says:

    I can’t see how someone could write a review for the sequel of a book, without ever reading the first to begin with. Obviously, you must have some strange feeling in your gut that tells you that this series is "trash" (to put what you say in general),but to write a review for the second book in a series and criticize it without reading the first, I have no idea why you decided to write a review in the first place.

  45. Drew says:

    I am sorry i struggle to trust or believe someones interpretation of this book and its sucess when you have not even started from the begining in giving it a chance. You automaticaly shunned the first book and have not even seen the movie yet you are educated enough on the topic to tear apart the sequal book. Please become fully educated and imersed in a topic and category before throwing out your usless personal quibs. The first book was great and of course as always it does not stick exactly true to the book but that always happens in movie translation. The second book was even better in my opinion and i do hope they come out with the next movie sooner than later.

  46. gmc says:

    um actually, this is THE best book i have ever read. it is so so so so good, obviously who ever this critic is doesn’t have much of an imagination. find a hobby instead of trying to make amazing stories sound bad for your own entertainment. the book was way better than the movie and the power of six was phenomenal.