I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Legacies (Anglais) Broché – 24 juillet 2012
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I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Legacies contains three action-packed novellas that give the heart-pounding backstories of some of your favorite Loriens. Originally published as the e-novellas Six's Legacy, Nine's Legacy, and The Fallen Legacies, now, for the first time ever, their backstories are together in one volume.
You know we're out there, living among you.
You know we're waiting for our day to come.
You have seen the power of our legacies.
You know this is why they hunt us.
You may think you know our stories.
You are wrong.
We each have our own story.
We know the time has come to share them with you.
Our legacies are your only hope.
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If you recall, six ultimately decided to seek out number four to help fight back, but that decision wasn't arrived at hastily. Instead, six's legacy reveals hardship and despair. After years on the run, six and her cepan (or guardian) Katrina are captured by the Mogadorians. Not knowing what number six is in the order, the Mogadorians are susceptible to the Lorien charm that protects each number from being killed out of turn. Attempts to hurt six backfire, so they decide to torture and kill Katrina instead. Confronted with heartbreak and despair, six is driven by the only thing left --- vengeance.
Unlike other Loriens who are constantly on the run, number nine and his cepan decide to hide in plain sight and for an extended period of time. While this provided some stability as nine waited for his legacies to develop, it also provided some frustration. This becomes increasingly apparent when nine starts becoming friendly with a local girl. The chance at a normal life, though, is soon swept aside after the Mogadorians attack. As nine is the last of the numbers, the Mogadorians can do nothing else but lock him away. That, however, won't stop him.
Finally, the book tells the stories of the first three fallen Loriens, but not from their point of view. Instead, readers get insight into the motivation of the Mogadorians as one of their up-and-coming fighters tells his story of meeting the first three. While there is a lot of violence, hatred and destruction of the Loriens, it's not what you would expect. The fallen legacies stories just might shed light on what's really at stake in this mysterious and underground war currently being waged on behalf of humanity.
THE LOST FILES: THE LEGACIES comes along at just the right time. Pittacus Lore has already shared two amazing books of survival and battle, and these three short stories fill in the missing gaps and answer some of your origin questions. It's easy to see why the Loriens are driven to protect the earth as all of them have already suffered heartbreak and loss at the hands of the Mogadorians. While you may get caught up on the history of the Loriens, Pittacus Lore also shows that the war is far from over. After reading the lost files, you'll realize that it's more important than ever that the Loriens succeed.
Reviewed by Benjamin Boche
The confusingly-titled I AM NUMBER FOUR: THE LOST FILES: THE LEGACIES is actually a collection of three novellas previously released in ebook format: SIX'S LEGACY (July 2011), NINE'S LEGACY (February 2012), and THE FALLEN LEGACIES (July 2012). A fourth novella, THE SEARCH FOR SAM, is scheduled for a December 2012 release. The materials in THE LOST FILES: THE LEGACIES were published after Book #2 (THE POWER OF SIX) but before Book #3 (THE RISE OF NINE) in the Lorien Legacies series - just to give you an idea of the story's timeline.
That said, you can either read THE LOST FILES: THE LEGACIES in order of its publication, or after finishing Book #3 - there's nothing in the former that will impact the reader's understanding of the latter. In fact, I saved THE LOST FILES: THE LEGACIES for last, and ultimately prefer it this way. Some of the stories in THE LOST FILES: THE LEGACIES altered my perceptions of certain characters - characters that weren't fully fleshed out until Book #3.
Narrated by Number Six, "Six's Legacy" paints a more detailed picture of Six's history than we were given in previous books - but not by much. We learn a little bit more about her childhood, as well as her relationship with her Cêpan, Katarina, and their capture and imprisonment in a Mogadorian mountain cave in West Virginia. Whereas I would've liked to be a party to Katarina's stories of life on Lorien, the author doesn't revisit these quieter scenes, instead focusing on conflicts and near-misses. Coming in at a mere 91 pages, I can't say that I walked away with a greater understanding of Six as a person.
As with "Six's Legacy," Nine serves as the narrator of his own novella, "Nine's Legacy." When I mentioned that this anthology is best read last because it may change how you view certain (previously unsympathetic) characters, I was referring primarily to Nine. Though he appears cocky, reckless, and self-absorbed in THE POWER OF SIX and THE RISE OF NINE, Nine starts off as a rather likable guy - teenage male bravado aside. It's only after a friend's betrayal leads to his capture and the murder of his Cêpan that Nine develops a thick shell of indifference and an unquenchable, unyielding desire for revenge.
"The Fallen Legacies" is perhaps the most interesting of the three. Unlike the other novellas, this story isn't told by a member of the Garde (namely, Numbers One, Two, and/or Three - the "fallen legacies" alluded to in the title), but by a young Mogadorian. As the son of a high-ranking Mogadorian General, Adamus "Adam" Sutekh is expected to follow in his father's footsteps: become an obedient, unquestioning soldier for the cause and, one day, a Mog ruler on Earth. Hiding in plain sight in a Mogadorian enclave on Earth (read: an exclusive gated community outside of Washington, DC), he's a witness to the deaths of One, Two, and Three, with varying degrees of involvement. In many ways, these events are milestones in Adam's life, markers on his road to adulthood.
Just eight years old during the "First Great Expansion" (i.e., the genocide of the Loric people), Adam is slightly older than the members of the Garde - children who he is at times expected to kill in cold blood. Indoctrinated by his people from birth, Adam is a fervent believer in the Mogadorian "cause" - that is, until an illicit experiment (sanctioned by his own father) gives him access to One's memories. In her mind Adam wanders for three years, with One acting as his sometimes-escort. Adam awakes only to find that One has taken up residence in his own noggin; she quickly becomes the proverbial angel on his shoulder. With her encouragement, Adam begins to question all he's been taught about Mogadorian supremacy and progress.
"The Fallen Legacies" is less about the murdered Legacies than one Mogadorian's struggle between right and wrong, between betraying one's conscience - or committing treason against one's family and people.
While it's not quite up to par with I AM NUMBER FOUR, THE LOST FILES: THE LEGACIES is still an improvement over books one and two in the series - which I found rather formulaic, sometimes boring, and overall a disappointment, given how much potential I saw in I AM NUMBER FOUR. Fun summer reads, but not much more.
Perhaps I'm just too old for this series, given that the recommended age is 14 and up. I'm 34 and counting - but it's worth noting that I adore other "young adult" series, such as THE HUNGER GAMES (marketed 12 and up!). Maybe mediocre writing is just that?
For example, a chief complaint is that, through three books and as many novellas, I still don't have a grasp of each Legacy as a unique and individualized character; their voices vary in only the most superficial of ways. Additionally, the mix of supernatural magic and speculative science (fiction) - which has become increasingly outlandish, with not the thinnest thread of explanations proffered - is seriously beginning to strain my credulity.
3.5 out of 5 stars - a fun adventure, but nothing groundbreaking.
As an aside, the environmentalist in me takes issue with the "preview" chapters included in THE LOST FILES: THE LEGACIES - including twelve pages of I AM NUMBER FOUR and twenty pages from THE POWER OF SIX. Since these books were published prior to THE LOST FILES: THE LEGACIES - and it's not likely that a reader will jump into the series starting with the novellas and not, say, a novel, if not the first novel, period - this is nothing but a pointless waste of paper and ink. Seriously, guys, preview upcoming books, not those already published! How many copies of the first chapter of THE POWER OF SIX do I need?
In this last installment in the "lost files" series, we get to see the final battle for Earth from the Mogadorian point of view, as told through three different stories. Part one focuses on Phiri Dun-Ra and her quest for vengeance against the Garde; ending with her transformation into the augmented monster that John fights in "United as One." The second act focuses on Vintaro Ushaba--a vatborn commander who leads the attack on Niagara Falls, and is ultimately taken down by a group of human Garde. The last third then shifts to Rexicus Saturnus; Adam's old friend who also begins to question if their "Beloved Leader" is really the invincible pariah everyone makes him out to be.
Other than Adam's backstory in a previous "Lost Files" book, this is the only other time the audience gets a real chance to see things from the bad guys' perspective, and what drives them to want to take over the Earth, as well as what happens when a society blindly follows a power hungry leader without question. Out of the three stories, Phiri Dun-Ra's felt the weakest. We see what happened after she pulled Sektarus Ra from the battle in Mexico, though nothing new is really learned. It's just more scenes of her being the despicable person she is. Vintaro Ushaba's tale is much more interesting, as we see what goes through the mind of a "vatborn" soldier, and surprisingly, it turns out the vatborns aren't as mindless drones as they were once thought to be. We then come to the best story out of the three, wherein Rexicus Saturnus is swept up in a mutiny against his ship captain--prompting him to reevaluate where his true loyalties lie, and that perhaps Adam had the right idea in rebelling against their leader. It makes the Mogadorians much more realistic, and holds out the small hope that some of them, however few, can possibly be redeemed.
While I would've much preferred a continuation or sequel of sorts to the ending to "United As One", this final chapter in the "Lost Files" series is an interesting little peek into the minds of the villains--something that the main series, arguably, could've used more of. Now that the series is over, I'm glad to have taken these little side trips with some of the side characters that needed more "screen time" as it were, and will strongly recommend this book series as a whole to anyone who wants a great sci-fi/suspense/adventure tale.