Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Release Day! Book Review and Giveaway: I Am Number Four by Pitticus Lore aka James Frey and Jobie Hughs

Title: I Am Number Four
Author: Pitticus Lore aka James Frey and Jobie Hughs
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: ARC
ISBN: 978-0-06-200123-8
Price: 17.99 Pages: 448
Release Date: 8/3/10

I Am Number Four is the first young adult novel from the infamous, best selling author James Frey and the debut novel of his co-author, Columbia MFA graduate, Jobie Hughs.  They have chosen to write under the pseudonym Pittacus Lore, a character from the book and one of its narrative voices.

The novel takes the paranormal phenomenon in YA literature in a fresh direction exploring aliens. I Am Number Four is the first of a six-book series that tells the tale of nine children from the planet Lorien. Their home planet has been invaded and destroyed by a hostile race called the Mogadorian. The “Lorien Nine” and their guardians are the sole survivors of the vicious war. They have settled on Earth to await the time they are ready to fight the enemy, avenge their people, and reclaim and rebuild their planet. 

The Nine are protected by a charm specifying that they can only be killed by their enemies in numeric order. Three of the nine have been located and killed. The narrator of the story, John Smith, is number four—and time is running out.  John and his guardian have stayed on the move to evade capture for the past ten years they’ve lived on Earth. They settle in Paradise, Ohio. Fifteen-year-old John has finally made a friend—his first—and a girlfriend as well. It’s going to make a sudden move a whole lot harder now—not to mention the fatal consequences looming.

Frey and Hughs have written a story that is rich in its world-building potential and execution. They have very skillfully utilized a prologue and worked in the backstory of planet Lorien all while introducing the reader into the action of the story right from the start. One can’t help but be drawn in immediately to these young people and the details of their searing saga. 

The book strikes the right balance between description of Lorien and the characters, not letting the action and tension of the conflict lag. The protagonist may be an alien, but as an earthly teen, he faces a problem common to all young people: the need and struggle to belong, fit in, and find love—all issues we can identify with.

Clearly, Hollywood has already recognized the potential of the story and is in production at this very moment to bring it to life in all its cinematic glory in February 2011. There's enough romance to appeal to the girls and plenty of action to engage the boys; a little something for everyone.

This reader raced through the book and discovered moments of poignancy and pain, sadness and regret, interspersed with heart-stopping action. Quite an accomplishment on the part of both authors. I await the next installment with great anticipation.

This book is so good, I have to get it into someone's hands. The winner will receive the hardcover, completed book.  If you're interested in being that someone, please become a follower if you're not already and answer two simple questions:

1) Have you read any alien themed books and if so what?

2) Why do you think the authors chose to use a pseudonym instead of their real names for a book that is going to get a lot of publicity and probably become a hit?

Don't forget to leave your email in your comment so you can be contacted if you are the winner.

The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only (it gets expensive guys). The winner will be selected randomly via Random.org

Giveaway ends August 10 at 12 midnight.



  1. I have read only one alien themed book that I can think of - Host by Stephenie Meyer - and I loved it. 619 pages and I couldn't put it down.

    I think the authors chose not to use their real names so that they could let the book stand for itself instead of standing on their names, give people a chance to judge without preconceptions.


    Thanks for hosting - please enter me.

  2. Thanks so much for the contest! I've never been in to Science Fiction before so this would be a first and I would guess that maybe they wanted the book to speak for itself instead of being all about their repuations for previous works written.
    Email address:

  3. The Host by Stephenie Meyer is the only alien themed book I can think of that I have read. I absolutely loved it!
    I think authors use pseudonyms sometimes because like Beverly said, they want to book to stand on its own.

    Thanks for the contest!

    swordsforfighting at yahoo dot com

  4. I haven't read many alien themed books, but The Host is one that I also loved...even more than the Twilight books.

    I think authors use pseudonyms when they want to distinguish a new series of books from a previous series, so the writing styles won't be confused. Or maybe they just like being all mysterious like. (One of my favorite authors I will never really know of...John Twelve Hawks...no one gets to know who he really is.)


  5. I haven't read many alien themed books lately. I did read The Host, which was interesting. A Wrinkle In Time had some aliens and was a fascinating read.

    It makes sense to me that an author would write under another name to be able to keep their regular life separate from their writing/public life. I love also that they're able to create a completely different identity and choose their own name!

    gaby317nyc at gmail.com

  6. I haven't read any alien themed books yet but am excited for it. I believe that the authors didn't use their actual names because it might be more fun for the readers to find out more about the real authors and their other workings, possibly.


  7. I haven't read any alien themed books, yet!! I think an author uses a different for different genres of books they might write.

    I follow on gfc

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  8. I have not really read any books of this type...not sure why...but this one does sound interesting. I have a feeling the pseudonym is due to James Frey...is he the Oprah author from years ago? The one accused of fabricating his memoir? I just read that this book already has film rights to it...must be that good...I also read that he submitted it anonymously first...I hope that this book gives him a new chance!!!

  9. I have never read any alien books before but this one sounds amazing.

    Maybe because they previously wrote really popular, maybe unpopular, book(s) and don't want people judging them based on what they'd written before. Or maybe there was a scandal involving a previous book(s). They want readers to read the book because it sounds good instead of reading it, or not reading it, because of their already formed opinions of the authors.

    I am a follower!


  10. I read The Doom Machine and The Host. I'm not usually really big on alien books, but this one sounds great!

    I think authors use fake names for two reasons - so people in "real life" don't know who they are. And if they are well known for one type of story they might use a fake name when writing something different.

    foltzsfantasticbooks at gmail.com


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