A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this follow-up to I Am Number Four has a lot more fighting, including two climactic battle scenes with lots of alien deaths and the sad deaths of two characters close to the hero teens. The evil aliens turn to ash when they die but decapitations, incinerations, rapid gunfire, bloody stabbings, and more are all part of the action. While this book shows teens coming together to fight evil, one of the main characters makes some selfish decisions that endanger his friends and allies. Swearing doesn't go beyond a heaping handful of "s" words in sticky situations.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
After destroying his high school battling the aliens called Mogadorians, John (aka Number Four, from the planet Lorien) is on the run with his human friend Sam and Six, a fellow Lorien who is both attractive and a fighting machine. Together the fugitives spend half their time on the run and the other half hiding and training for more run-ins with the Mogadorians. Meanwhile, Marina (aka Number Eight) is hiding out in a secluded Spanish convent with her mentor Adelina. Adelina is supposed to be training her to develop her gifts, or legacies, but refuses. Marina discovers her powers to heal and breathe underwater anyway, and just in time as a strange \"man\" starts stalking her in town. Meanwhile, John and Six discover that Sam's missing father has an important connection with their mission, sending them right back to Sam's town even though they're sure the visit won't go unnoticed by hundreds of ruthless aliens.
Is it any good?
If you take THE POWER OF SIX at face value, you'll have lots of fun -- that is, when the action gets going. There's a bit more setup than necessary, and who cares about some snippy convent girls and cranky nuns? The action is nonstop toward the end, though, leaving all that in the dust. Readers may -- and should -- get annoyed at John more than once as he ditches his friends who need him so he can do what he wants. Book 1 pegged him as much more loyal.
Aspiring writers may not like that this book doesn't have just one author (Pittacus Lore is an alien) and that this series was meant as bait for Hollywood studios, not as great teen lit. Too bad for them that the adaptation of the first book turned out how it did.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this series is written by a team and not by one person. Could you tell while you were reading? Do you think there's an advantage to working with someone to write or would you rather a work be your own with your name on it?
Families can also talk about John's decisions that endanger his friends. Do you ever get upset with characters you like in books because they do something stupid? Are you happy when they learn their lesson? What if they don't?
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