Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Power of Editing

The Power of Six
By: Pittacus Lore
Reported by: Juli Helms

I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he's a mystery. But to me . . . he's one of us.

Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio—and failed.

I am Number Seven. One of six still alive.

And I'm ready to fight.

-Summary from Goodreads

The Power of Six is the sequel to I Am Number Four. The first book set the bars of expectation of this book very high, so perhaps that is why I didn't enjoy it as much as I did.

First, the good things. The Power of Six had plenty of action and suspense. We get to see more of the characters now and get to know them better, since we are already introduced to them. The pace moves forward fairly quickly, and the alternating POV between Marina (Number Seven) and John (Number Four) first dragged the plot a bit for me, but afterwards worked out well.

However, to be candor, this book felt like a good first draft. And no matter how good your first draft is, I assure you it can be a billion times better. I'm not saying the editor didn't do his/her job--I'm saying the author didn't do his part of editing very well. In The Power of Six, the writing felt slacked. There was a simile here and there, but that's about it. Otherwise, everything is told. There were barely any showing in the story, just straight out telling or no descriptions at all, and the only thing that kept me reading on was Six (who, thankfully, still has her strong sense of ferocity) and the suspense. There were a bunch of twists, but they didn't work for me. Here's why: The twists didn't seem possible. There was practically no foreshadowing, and while that's not required to make a twist work, we often find out the impact of the twist after it happens, which then loses its effect and makes the twist seem that much less plausible.

Overall, though, I did enjoy this book. Maybe because I'm editing a lot right now, and I was being a bit picky with the story. Or maybe I Am Number Four just set the bars too high. But, in the end, while I will be continuing the Lorien Legacies, I can no longer use the word powerful (see what I did there?) to describe them.

Hopefully, the next book will prove to me again why I should love this series.

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