Penguin, out now
Humans and Loriens are reunited – but can everyone be trusted?
The Lorien Legacies saga continues to roll along, although this book does feel rather as if it’s treading water for the first part – there’s a sequence which could have come from The X-Men comic book, as the various Loriens and their human allies use an equivalent of the Danger Room to train for future combat… but then once said combat arrives, they’ve already divided into different groups, partly because of circumstance. The soap opera elements also get a bit more time, as various human/Lorien, and Lorien/Lorien relationships start to heat up.
The final third does pick up the pace, following the arrival of Number Five who throws a large spanner in the works. There’s instant antipathy between Five and Nine which at all times we observe from the outside – the same narrators are kept for this book as the predecessor, with the differing fonts identifying them.
There’s a flashforward sequence to what fans will hope has to be just one potential future, rather than something which is set in stone. A number of pieces of the puzzle are slotted together by this, and whether it’s firm or not, it sets the scene for an epic showdown – assuming, that is, everyone survives. Which, as this book shows, is not necessarily going to be the case…
Verdict: The book feels expanded beyond the strength of the story, but fans will enjoy spending time with the characters. 6/10