Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: The Fall of Five - Pittacus Lore

The Fall of Five
Pittacus Lore
Series: Lorien Legacies, #4
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Connective
On Goodreads

Can you hear the excited fangirl squeaks coming from the depths of my inner self?
I've been waiting to read this for a while, and though school got in the way, I've finally got my hands on a copy. Let's do this.

Almost spot on perfect. So close. It seems like the new ghostwriter has settled in and that gives me hope. (Slight background, the original ideas stemmed from James Frey, who is of questionable morals, but like Ender's Game, judge the work). Though The Rise of Nine was stunningly written and constructed, at times it felt as if the new author was trying just a bit too hard to emulate the thought's and personalities of already-established characters. This quality was considerably diminished in The Fall of Five. I only caught a few times where I felt as if there was a disconnect:
Tell me everything, Sam. I feel like I've missed so much. (Lore, 19)
Spoiler: Sam meets his dad! Anyway, in the scene around the above quote, the author could have done so much, even with simple physical gestures (but maybe I was spoiled by the first two books, which made good use of that technique). By itself, it seems tacky and almost cliché, and that's enough to knock a bit of hydrogen out of my five stars.

However, that disconnect is slight and soon is totally forgotten as the book begins to unfold. It begins forward and dramatic in a dank Mogadorian prison, with Sam as our deprived and delirious narrator. His mindset is absolutely "grungy" and he introduces us to the story as only he can: fantasizing about Six rescuing him from his deadly prison, killing off a horde of Mogs in the process.

This novel is fast-paced, and almost never lets go. There are a few huge spoilers that I want so badly to share because they are gripping. However, I cannot, because plot construction is what makes these novels so bloody good. You've got your typical heroes and antiheroes and romances and jokers and completely evil villains, but the manner in which it is presented and how slowly but surely the whole history and plot is revealed, and the secrets therein that always seem to change everything, are what keep me reading. I will say that, unlike some novels these days, it is somewhat difficult to trust any predictions towards the end of the plot, or even the middle. I'll admit, I did not expect the twists on the characters that unravel and unwind in the end, but these, two lines taken from around the end, basically resound what I mean:
It all happens so fast. (207)
And then:
How did I get here? (208) 
This novel is built around a sinuous plot (spanning Nine's amazing Penthouse to the humid Everglades), with intermittent stresses on the elements of romance (who doesn't ship Marina and Eight?). Though only stressed as a secondary element, romance (and to a greater extent, trust, appreciation, compassion, and love) is a primary drive for many of our characters, especially for John. First of all, it keeps Sarah relevant and meaningful instead of just a goal or a dream to pursue, and secondly, it challenges him: despite the world on the brink of war, he is stuck between his Earthly girlfriend and his duties to another planet.

Development also brings depth to the story, because most of the characters are fairly dynamic whilst still keeping strong core aspects. For example, Nine is still a jerk, however, this
"Seriously, bro, sorry about leaving you in the cave. That was sort of my fault." 
. . . "So they put you through it, huh?" he solemnly asks. (96)
Would have been a hilarious spectacle in The Rise of Nine. Nine does not get apologetic, and does not feel connections with people other than when he plants his fist in their faces. He's one of my favorite characters because he has so much depth even though he seems like he has no depth at all. Unfortunately for him, though, his stubbornness and provocative nature do not bode well for our cast. I won't tell you why, it's a tear you must shed alone.

Another huge element is the humor. It varies from light to just plain sassy (usually brought to you from the glorious mouth of Nine . . . ) and is almost always circumstantial.
"If you're wondering what the horrible smell is, it's the vegetarian food Marina's cooking for dinner," says Nine. 
This acts as an effortless transition from the end of an empowering, yet tiring, mission, to the start of an expository scene. In that same manner, much of the book seems effortless, fluidly transforming itself from action to moral discussion to exposition, all through a plot that upholds suspense and mystery almost like it has no other function. It is for this reason and plenty more nuances that I won't waste your time with because that would make this review pages long, that The Fall of Five is a top-notch novel in my opinion.

- Marlon

Would you take the fear and anxiety and torture of being a hero if it meant you held the security of a universe on your shoulders?
Let us know in the comments!

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