Generation One (Lorien Legacies Reborn), by Pittacus Lore

Pittacus Lore is the nom de plume of James Frey and Jobie Hughes. On the iamnumberfourfans.com site Pittacus Lore is described this way: “Pittacus Lore is Lorien’s ruling Elder. He had been on Earth preparing for the war that will decide Earth’s fate. His whereabouts are unknown.” Pittacus was one of the seven sages of Greece.

They began their series on the Lorien legacies in 2010 with I Am Number Four, which introduces the character of John Smith, a teen on the run from an alien species (the Mogadorians) and who has nearly magical powers, shared with eight other young people who are also being hunted. The “legacies” are superpowers and each is slightly different. The seven volume series was closed last year. The earth, you’ll be glad to know, is now Mogadorian free.

All this is to say that if you hit this book cold you may feel a bit lost at first. But for YA and no-longer-YA fans of the books it opens up a new world in which select individuals are randomly gifted with legacy powers by the Loriens. There are mixed feelings about these legacy powers, and a religious cult has been built around destroying those found to have “evil” alien powers. The government is trying to gather legacy children in one place for training and protection. But there’s another group that is also trying to gather legacy children for more sinister motives, and they particularly want someone with healing skills.

A group of friends with diverse skills begins to bond in the training/residence area designed for them. One is a healer, one can create multiple copies of himself, one is bulletproof, one can change to look and sound like anyone. Out of boredom the group decides to sneak out of the camp where they’re attacked by members of the sinister contingent. One is kidnapped … teleported off to Iceland … and the group must now hunt the world to get her back.

The book is fun with clearly written personalities for all the characters and some very mysterious and powerful bad guys. While the end has a good resolution there’s a clear path for the next volume in the very last line of the book. It’s a good light action read, not super-sciency but more in the tradition of X-Men.