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Sunday 20 April 2014

Review: Yound Adult: The Power Of Six by Pittacus Lore

Penguin, €14.99

The second in a proposed six-part series, The Power Of Six is the follow-up to the hugely successful I Am Number 4, the story of a young alien hiding on earth while being hunted by a rival race who have just destroyed his home planet.

There were nine alien children originally and they can only be killed in sequential order -- the first three have been killed; now the Mogadorians are after him.

That first book was turned into a successful movie and you can be pretty sure if this instalment is as popular as the first one was, we'll be seeing it on a big screen fairly quickly.

John (Number Four) finished the last book with a catastrophic battle against the pursuing Mogadorians that left the local school destroyed and him labelled as a terrorist whose face is all over the news.

He goes on the run from both the authorities and the hunting aliens in the company of his human friend, Sam, and another one of his group, 'Six.'

All the alien kids have special powers that begin to emerge as they get older and both he and 'Six' spend what time they're not running from pursuers training and trying to hone their strange and dangerous talents -- telekinesis and the ability to control the weather being just two of them.

Upon discovering that, in their haste to escape from their last home in Paradise, Ohio, they left behind a crucial clue, they decide to take a risk and return -- only to be betrayed to the authorities by John's former girlfriend. After their escape they once more resume their efforts to evade capture but, by now, another member of the alien infiltrators, Number 7, has entered the fray.

Having spent the last 11 years in a Spanish convent, she has given up hope of ever meeting another one of her kind, but the news of the strange events surrounding John's school battle pique her attention.

The Power Of Six is certainly a lot darker than its predecessor but where in the pantheon of this genre would you place it?

Well, to put it simply, it's smarter than Harry Potter but nowhere near as cerebral as His Dark Materials. But despite the demonstrably daft premise, it makes for a diverting enough read.

Ian O'Doherty

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