For the uninitiated, I Am Number Four (2010), The Power of Six (2011), The Rise of Nine (2012), and the six related novellas may sound like a superfun math series. Fans, though, know just what to expect by now: insanely brave teens, überevil Mogadorian alien invaders, various mystical gadgets, a dash of romantic tension, and lots and lots of explosions. This time out, the mysterious flying Five has been located, and he’s a rather peculiar Lorien—can he be trusted? There is a good deal of training with magical powers here, some running around searching for the magical Phoenix Stones, and a fairly refreshing change of pace via chapters from the point of view of regular old human Sam. So how is the series holding up as readable fiction? Well, all right, if it’s your cup of tea, though diminishing returns have been the name of the game since the highly enjoyable first volume. By now, though, the series is a James Patterson–style franchise, and with plenty of numbered teens yet to be killed, expect it to keep on bashing along. Grades 7-10. --Daniel Kraus
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