I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (the pseudonym of James Frey and Jobie Hughes)
The first in a seven book series, I Am Number Four follows the story of an alien, from the planet Lorien, who was sent to Earth when his home planet was destroyed by their enemy, the Mogodorians.
16-year-old John Smith (Number Four’s fake human name) has been on the run from the Mogodorians since they age of five.
The Mog’s leader, Setrakus Ra, wants the last few surviving Loriens killed, including John and eight others. But as part of their escape, their Elders placed a clever spell on the surviving children, meaning they have to be killed in order. The book starts with the killing of Three. I love the blurb –
They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.
I am Number Four.
I am next.
What a set up? How can you not read on from there? Well, from here the story gets better and better, gaining in momentum, magnitude and some very human emotions, considering our MC is an alien.
And of course, there a powers. Super powers. But they are unique and imaginative and they feel fresh, rather than copy-cat and you grow to really care about the characters in the book.
And the end scene is ace – all action and breathlessness.
The rest of the series is great and I’d say, while a very good opener and great book in it’s own right, it get even better as you progress through the other books.