|I Am Number Four|
|Release Date||August 3, 2010|
|Successor||The Power of Six|
It follows Number Four in his struggle to blend in with the human species. He and his Cêpan, Henri, moved to Paradise, Ohio. Number Four befriends Sam Goode and Sarah Hart. He develops his first Legacies, and discovers what it means to be human.
Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real.
Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. we have lived among you without you knowing.
But they know.
They caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya. They killed them all.
I am Number Four.
I am next.
Nine children and their Cêpans escaped from their home world Lorien, before it was destroyed by a warrior alien race called the Mogadorians. After arriving on Earth, the nineteen Loric refugees split up, scattering across the planet, planning to one day reunite and return to their world after winning the war. After ten years, three of the Garde and seven Keepers were killed by the Mogadorians.
This follows the story of John Smith, a fifteen year-old humanoid alien from the planet Lorien and Henri, his Mentor Cêpan as they run from the Mogadorians, a hostile alien species responsible for the annihilation of Lorien. The Mogadorians are hunting John and eight other Loric residing on the planet Earth. These nine children are Garde, Loric citizens that are gifted with special abilities called Legacies. The bureaucratic Cêpans, whom are also Loric, do not acquire Legacies, and often become protective mentors, known as 'Keepers,' for young Garde. The Nine Garde Children are protected by a magic charm bestowed by their Elder Loridas that only allows them to be killed in numeric order. The first three have been killed, and John Smith is Number Four.
The novel begins with the death of Number Three and his Keeper. Number Four is introduced under the alias Daniel Jones as he leaves the Florida Keys, where he has been hiding for nine months. Four has three circular scars branded into his leg. Each signifies the deaths of Numbers One, Two and Three. On his left ankle is the scar representing his own number. These scars are present on all the Garde children, and with each death, another scar appears.
When they leave, Henri tells Four that they are going to Paradise, Ohio. Four suggests a new name for himself: John Smith. At a truck stop, John says that he wants to make a life for himself. Henri reminds him why they are on the run and the conversation ends. John begins to attend Paradise High School, where he meets Sarah Hart, a junior. He also meets her ex-boyfriend Mark James, who immediately begins to pick on John. John stands up to him, which is the first time he has ever stood up to anybody.
During his first class, John's hands begin to burn, and his right hand starts to glow. When John is back at his house, Henri tells him that his first Legacy has arrived. Henri tells John that his first Legacy is Lumen, the ability to produce light from his hands, accompanied by a developing resistance to fire. Henri uses an oblong crystal from John's Loric Chest, a collection of Inheritances from the Loric Elders, to help John spread his resistance to fire and heat throughout his body. During this process, John sees a vision of the last day on Lorien when the Mogadorians invaded, while Henri narrates.
After the vision, John finds Bernie Kosar, a stray beagle, outside his house. He takes the dog in, telling Henri it was the same one watching him from school. BK goes on runs to school with him. With the arrival of John's legacies, Henri begins to train him. John eventually learns to turn his lights on and off at will. John also makes his first real friend, Sam Goode, who believes in aliens. He grows closer to Sarah as well. His visions increase as well, and he sees another, older Loric ship, ascend from the planet shortly after John's ship did, presumably carrying three Cêpans, a baby, and a herd of Chimærae.
At a town Halloween party John, Sarah, Sam, and Sarah's friend Emily are ambushed by Mark and some of his football teammates. John, who is already tired of Mark's constant bullying, is enraged when they run off into the woods with Sarah. John chases the boys and finally confronts Mark and his friends, easily defeating all of them and freeing Sarah. John and Sarah later kiss for the first time and begin a relationship together. Sam witnesses much of the ordeal and becomes wary of John, avoiding him for some time.
When John goes to Sam's house to talk to him, he threatens John with a gun after admitting to what he saw John do to Mark and the football team, but John convinces him he is not an alien. John and Sam spend the day together afterward, with Sam revealing that he believes his father (whom has been missing for eight years) was abducted by aliens. He asks John if he thinks it is possible, to which John says it might be. Later, John borrows one of Sam's "They Walk Among Us" magazines.
Henri drives to Athens, Ohio to track down the people that wrote the article on the Mogadorians that Sam lent John, to see if they have any more information. Meanwhile, John is invited to a dinner at Sarah's house for Thanksgiving. When Henri does not call like he promised, John grows worried and fears he has run into trouble in Athens. John's Legacy of Telekinesis arrives due to his fear, and he leaves Sarah's straight after feigning that he is ill. After briefly training with his telekinesis, John calls Sam for help, and they drive to Athens, where they find Henri ambushed and captured inside the publisher's house. John uses his telekinesis to save both Henri and Sam and escape the house just before several Mogadorian scouts arrive. Henri tells Sam their origins, and after seeing John use his telekinesis, Sam accepts them for who they are, and even helps Henri train John.
During a party at Mark's house, Sam and Emily accidentally start a fire, trapping Sarah and Mark's dogs on the second floor. John rushes in and saves her and the dogs, using his Lumen to survive the fire. Afterward, John tells Sarah about who he really is. She still confesses her love for him. He then proceeds to tell her everything about himself. At school the next day, John fears that he will have to leave, as people had seen him jump out of the window and were interviewed by reporters. Fortunately, the paper had no reference to his involvement in the fire. All seems to be going well, until a fax arrives for John at the school, which reads, ARE YOU NUMBER 4?"
John leaps through a window and rushes home to find Mark, whom is trying to figure the situation out. He argues with Henri, saying he wants a normal life and won't leave. He then frantically returns to the school to find Sarah when he realizes that the Mogadorians are on their way.
John finds Sarah, but the Mogs surround the school. The two are then saved by a girl, who reveals herself as Number Six. She saves John from being possessed by a Mogadorian scout, and they are soon joined by Henri, Bernie Kosar, and Mark. John realizes that with Six being there, the Loric Charm is now broken. They fight the Mogadorians, with Sarah and Mark staying hidden inside the school. When giant beasts begin to destroy the school, John flees, watching in horror in the distance. He is confronted by a Mogadorian soldier, which he kills. Sam shoots another soldier that John did not have the strength to fight, and reveals that he followed the Mogs to school. While they are in the woods, they hunker down as Six creates a storm with her Legacy of Sturma to kill one of the beasts.
Another beast prepares to kill John, but he is saved by Bernie Kosar, whom is revealed to be John's pet Chimæra, Hadley, after John discovers his Legacy of Anima. Both John and Hadley are wounded severely and rescued by Henri. They are cornered by the Mogadorians, but John uses his Anima to convince the remaining Mogadorian beast to help them fight. Henri is mortally wounded in the chaos. Before he passes away in John's arms, he tells him that everything John needs to know is in the Chest and a letter he wrote, and that coming to Paradise was not by chance.
Waking up in a hotel room, John tells Sarah that he has to leave. Sarah accepts this and tells him that she will wait for him. John replies in a similar fashion, saying his heart will always belong to her. Afterwards, Six cremates Henri's body. Sam goes with them, now believing that the Mogadorians are the ones who abducted his father. Leaving Sarah and Mark behind, John, Bernie Kosar, Six, and Sam leave Paradise behind in search of the other Loric.