PITTACUS LORE

THE RISE OF NINE (LORIEN LEGACIES, BOOK 3)

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Four, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, and Ten—these aren’t the winning lottery numbers but rather the known surviving members of an alien race who continue to battle the dastardly Mogadorians in the series that began with I Am Number Four (2010). The sequel, The Power of Six (2011), divided itself into two first-person POVs, and this one continues the trend by chopping the perspective into thirds, resulting in ever more opportunities to cinematically cross-cut between the snowballing action, whether the characters are together or continents apart. This is also the book’s weakness, as Lore haphazardly inserts surprise attacks by the Mogs whenever the story needs a kick or a cliff-hanger. Thankfully, two characters emerge as especially interesting: Nine, the arrogant but capable rich kid traveling alongside stalwart Four; and Eight, who is tracked down in India, where locals believe him to be a reincarnated Vishnu. Increasingly, the teens’ exhausting amount of superpowers and weapons drains tension from their battles with the comparatively lackluster Mogs, but the pages do turn. And lest you think this is a trilogy, buck up—there’s more on the way. Grades 8-11. --Daniel Kraus

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