It has been a LONG time coming.
For those who have ready any of my earlier reviews or posts, you’ll know that I am a massive fan of … shall we say the concept, of I Am Number Four – by Pittacus Lore (a totally fictional author who was actually a handful of different writers)
Sure, it is Science Fiction, and yes, it is aliens, but they are used in a way that I personally have never read before. The Aliens aren’t green, or ultra, ultra futuristic, as a matter of fact they are super similar to Humans in appearance, and their technology more magic than anything else.
Four is also an excellent character, someone I’ve always had a bit of a book crush on, because he’s so level headed, loyal and quietly strong.
When I read I Am Number Four it was probably one of the best books I had come across in a long, long time. The concept was simple, nine children sent away from their dying planet to escape the destruction of the Mogadorian Race. A charm was put on them so that they could only be killed in number order, starting with one, and working the way through to nine.
The Mogadorians followed the Loric (these are the good Aliens) to Earth where numbers one, through to three are killed, and the start of the series begins with Number Four, otherwise known as John, knowing he is next.
This series went on far, far too long for me, and I genuinely can’t remember the full detail of what happened in the middle books, but I am not kidding when I say United as One was fully worth the wait.
Now before I get started with my review, a short warning: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS
When I started reading United As One, I was not really looking forward to it, mostly because Sarah Hart – Four’s love interest, who in the movie is played by that girl from Glee – was killed in the end of The Fate of Ten.
It was foolishly for this reason that I went into the book with very low expectations that I was going to enjoy it as I didn’t like the idea that Four – John – was not going to have a very positive outcome.
About fifty pages in I could not stop reading.
This book was all action, all intensity, it was the culmination of every single book in the series, finally being allowed to unfurl itself in full fruition.
All of the characters felt more liberated than they had ever done in past novels. Six, Sam, Marina, Nine, Ella, John, and even Five, felt far more fresh, far more transparent, in my opinion because they no longer had anything left to lose.
They were going to finish the fight one way or another.
Basically in the end of The Fate of Ten, Six wounds – but does not killed Setrakus Ra (known from here on as SR because that name is hard to type) and SR is taken away in one of the Mogadorian Ships to be healed.
This gives the Loric and Earth Helpers a chance to regroup and try and defeat the bulk of the Mogadorian ships which by this stage have devastated a number of earth cities.
This book focuses mostly on characters coming into their own.
Ella, the quiet and youngest of the group becomes confident in her power and connection to the Loric Spirit.
Marina and Nine abandon their own personal grievances and fall in with the others into a strong team unwilling to take anything less than all or nothing, even if it means teaming up with the totally psychotic Five.
Sam and Six both decide to fight for their own relationship, while strengthening their resolve and powers, especially since Sam now has legacies which is pretty awesome. I love that he went from total nerd to totally awesome.
while John struggles to decide what he is willing to sacrifice and more importantly, what is he willing to live for in this battle, after losing Sarah.
For the first time in the whole series, the characters were able to meet the full conflict and challenge with no hesitations, no reserves, and no turning back. It made for a pretty full on finale.
One of my favorite things about this book as well was that not everything ended perfectly.
John obviously lost the love of his life – Sarah – and even by the end of the book he hadn’t entirely worked that loss through, although I am suspecting there may be other lost legacy books to come referencing the black Mogadorian Slime and what I feel is the beginning of a love interest with Marina.
Mark (the only other Human other than Sarah and Sam with the Loric since the first book) never resolves his hate for John. They never reach a point of understanding either. Mark betrays the Loric to SR, and he pays for it awfully.
The best thing about this conclusion was that it left me wanting more.
I have walked through this series for years, preordering the books, diligently reading through, despite the laggingness of some of the middle ones, but if you’re a fan of this series, you will NOT be disappointed.
The storyline rocks, the characters are excellent, and the actual writing is perfect.
I loved it.