The Search for Sam by Pittacus Lore
Lorien Legacies: The Lost Files #4
3 of 5 stars
A rogue Mogodorian infiltrates his own society, determined to preserve the memory of the Lorien Garde who has become his best friend.
Well, it turns out a hero’s lot is not glory or reward, but sacrifice. I’m still not sure I’m ready for that.
In this short story, we meet up again with Adamus, the Mogodorian that in The Fallen Legacies turned traitor on his Mogodorian family. I enjoyed following his unique adventure and of all the characters in this series, I think he’s the one that has grown and changed the most; I’ve enjoyed watching his transformation.
My biggest gripe about this book was the title. This was not about the search for Sam, at least not until the last two chapters. Even then, it wasn’t so much a search — they knew exactly where to find him. The title seemed a bit misleading and I had a hard time enjoying the action as it was happening because I kept asking myself “what about Sam!?!”
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“This is a waste of time,” seethes Ivan, and he stomps off into the hut’s backroom, where we’ve stored our equipment. I assume he’s going to report to my father: no Loric found yet; Kenyan children hurt my feelings.
This short story in the Lorien series tells takes the unique perspective of Adamus, the son of a Mogodorian general who is in charge of trying to find and destroy the Garde on earth. Adamus shares in his people’s dreams of conquest, until — as part of an experiment — his mind becomes linked with that of Number One and he is able to share in her memories of her life, and to learn more about the Lorien whom he’s always assumed were his enemies.
Although Adamus becomes sympathetic to the Loric, there’s enough information about the Mogodorians as a people to get into the mindset of what it’s like to be part of their society. The way the author tied in the stories of the first three Loric Garde to Adamus’ provided the reader with an interesting perspective and a way to tell their tales without lengthening them out into full novels. I appreciated being able to see “the other side,” as it is.
Overall: A quick read, and definitely worth a read; I could definitely see some of the things in this one coming into play later in the series.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“Tell me where they are!” Setrakus Ra roars. He pulls the chain tighter around my throat…
“It’s too late,” I whisper as bravely as I can. “We’re too strong now and we’re coming for you. Lorien will live again and we will stop you.”
Told from the perspectives of Four (John), Six, and Seven (Marina), this third book of the Lorien Legacies series continues the adventure of the seven remaining Lorien Garde as they try to band together and form a plan to defeat the evil Mogodorians whom they now find are working with the US Government. With Four (John) and Nine on the run in the United States; Seven, Eight, and Ten teleporting from place to place trying to find the others; and Six separated from the others in a secret government bunker in New Mexico, the leader of the Mogodorians, Setrakus Ra, taunts them and dares them to confront him to rescue their human friends.
This third book (of seven, the rumor goes) was full of action, danger, and epic fight scenes throughout. We also were able to learn a bit more about the Loriens and some more of their truly awesome legacies. More is also revealed about the Mogodorians and their leader (which would have been good to know BEFORE they confronted him… kind of dropped the ball on that one, Cepans!) In all, it ends up playing out a bit more like an episode of the TV show Heroes than a regular novel with a complete story arc, which isn’t a bad thing, just different.
The author did REALLY play up the fight scenes, and whereas it was neat to see the Loriens use their legacies, it got to be rather predictable — “Hey, we just discovered something cool about ourselves/our Chests/the Mogodorians” followed immediately by “Hey, we’re being ambushed!” and repeat. There was less character-building than in the previous books, and some of the fight scenes ended up a bit cheesy, especially the ones involving Four and Eight, who seem to like to banter while they fight.
Overall: A fast-paced, high-action continuation of the series, but not really impressive on its own.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
There movement on the roof. Between fissures of rising flames, I see a huge Mogadorian scout in the black trench coat, hat, and sunglasses marching down the decline, his feet sinking into the soft tiles with every step. He carries a long gleaming sword.
Numbers Four and Six are on the run from evil Mogadorians as well as the United States FBI, fighting and running, and all the while trying to solve the mysteries found within John (Four)’s Chest which he brought with from their home planet Lorien. Meanwhile, in Spain, number Seven, known as Mariana, has been raised in a convent orphanage, and as strange things start happening in their secluded village, she tries to convince her Cepan to continue her training and go out in search of the other Garde.
This sequel is certainly full of surprises, and not all are good. First, there’s “Surprise! My name is Mariana and I’m number Seven!” followed by a myriad of surprise attacks, a surprise betrayal, surprise love triangles (yup, multiple ones), and the surprise reveals of more Loriens. Between these surprises and jam-packed action scenes every time someone caught up to the 4+6+Sam team, the plot moved at a quick pace. The chapters switched back and forth between Four’s story and Seven’s story, which would have been fine, great even, if they weren’t both told in the same first-person narrative style. It’d often be well onto the second page before I could figure out who was narrating, such was the lack of variation in the voice of the characters.
And speaking of characters… I’m really growing to dislike Four. He once again has an example of unnecessary cruelty towards humans — “I refuse to listen to [Six]. I’m blind to anything other than retribution, and I don’t feel a shred of remorse as I slam the Taser into the officer’s gut and hold it there for a full two seconds.” This is supposed to be the hero? Taking out his frustrations on an average Joe cop who’s just trying to do his job? Throughout this book, I gained more admiration for Six… until she started messing with Four’s and Sam’s affections. Maybe it’s just me, but if I were running for my life and training to fight a superior (are they really? or just better equipped?) alien race, I’d probably try to put my love life on the back burner and focus on, you know, not getting killed. Sam still held my respect, but Seven seems totally naive and Sarah… oh where do I even start with how much I don’t like her? The author keeps introducing more new characters, but it ends up leaving the reader feeling a bit disconnected from all of them.
Overall, I didn’t like this book as much as the first one. There was so much fight-and-flight that the plot seemed kind of lost and some of the “surprises” seemed far-fetched and kind of ridiculous. I’m hoping the next one (coming out this month!) will be better.
Number Six (current alias Maren Elizabeth) is part of an alien race introduced in the Lorien Legacy’s first book, I am Number Four. When she meets up with four at the end of that novel, there are a number of unanswered questions which are now revealed in this ebook short story, detailing her life up until that point, how her Cepan was lost, and how she came into her own legacies.
I really enjoyed reading the background story on Number Six. Although her story is similar to Number Four’s, the different perspective was interesting, and her experiences that led up to her Cepan’s death were really essential for understanding who she is in the Lorien series. Because it’s a short story, the action moves fast, but there’s still enough introspection and reflection for the reader to really feel connected to Six.
In some ways, though, I felt Six’s story was a bit too similar to Four’s — they are constantly on the move, don’t get to settle down or make friends, and when they finally do let their guard down, the Mogs are there to take advantage of their slip in vigilance, and the end result is the Cepan’s death. I’d have actually been more interested in Six’s life after her Cepan’s death — how did she get by without a guardian/protector? She essentially went from a twelve-year-old girl to a solitary adult without any sort of normal transition, and I’d have liked to hear more about that adjustment.
This is a great bonus novella for those reading the Lorien Legacies. Keep in mind that I have only read the first book; I’m not sure how this one fits in with the subsequent books, but as a “prequel” to I Am Number Four, I think it works well.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Number Four (newest alias, John Smith) is one of the few survivors of his race. As a child, he was taken with nine others from his planet, Lorien, to earth in order to hide away until his powers, or Legacies, developed enough to fight the evil, destructive Mogadorians who are hunting him down. Until then, he’s in hiding, trying to pretend to be a normal, teenage boy, which isn’t so easy when you have superhuman strength and glowing hands, and spend your free time training to hone your supernatural powers.
The author creates main characters that the reader wants to root for. The plot moves in waves, with a lot of action staggered throughout the book and slower, more tedious reading in between that focused on John’s life as a normal teenager, doing normal teenage things — mostly with his girlfriend Sarah, and climaxing in an epic battle at the end that seems to just keep going and going. Throughout, secrets are revealed and questions are raised, keeping the reader’s attention and interest. I can see why this was made into a movie; it has an interesting premise, plenty of action, and leaves the door WIDE open (in fact, makes it NECESSARY) to have a sequel… or two.
There were a few things, though, that kind of bugged me about this novel. The first is the ridiculous number of times that the narrator states, “and then we kissed.” We get it, they like each other… but seriously, if I had a dime for every time it said, “we kissed,” I’ll bet I could buy another copy of the book.
Also, at times, John reveals a bit darker side of himself that, frankly, makes me a bit nervous. Although fighting a bully who tried to attack you on a haunted hayride seems kind of understandable, later on he basically threatens and tortures a couple of humans who he thinks have information about the Mogadorians. Sure, they tied up his friend in the basement, but with giant, evil aliens breathing down their necks, could you really blame them? He even uses his powers later to manipulate Henri into staying in Ohio instead of moving on — making me think, wow, he’s either the universe’s biggest brat, or just a jerk.
If there was one thing I disliked most about this book, it was that there felt like such little resolution at the end. It wrapped up far too quickly with too little explanation of what had happened, what was happening, or what they were planning on doing next.
Overall, this was a fun and quick read, one of those sci-fi/fantasy novels that you can’t take too seriously or pick apart too much. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, but kind of hope that it takes the perspective of one of the other characters, just for something a bit fresher and different.