When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure if I was going to make it through it. The first couple of chapters bounce from present to past tense, settling on present tense for the remainder of the book. Present tense is not always the easiest on the brain for following a story. I have to say that the author was so good at scripting a tale that you forget the story tense and get sucked into the plot. It was an amazing story. I highly recommend it (and can't wait to get my hands on book 2).
The story follows a young man (who goes by John Smith through most of the book) who came to Earth when his planet was attacked. He was one of nine children brought to Earth with the idea that they would return to their planet when the time was right. As a protection, the children were given certain "spells" that prevent them from just being killed - they have to be killed in order. John is number four and the first three have been killed.
It's a great story of finding yourself, understanding your place in life. John has been on the run his entire life and just wants to make friends, fall in love and be normal. He questions his destiny but ultimately does what he believes is right. He gives everything of himself to those he is closest too. He has a few "whiny" moments but they are completely in character and poignant.
The author has created an amazing world and realistic characters. There's really something for everyone in this book. There's talk of environmental issues (without being preachy), committment, love, friendship and bully issues. I was just impressed.
Pittacus Lore is, in himself, a character. It's not overly obvious but Pittacus is an elder in the story and is somehow writing them at the same time. I am interested in how the author is going to bring this detail out in the stories.