Back Cover Summary:
The Garde are finally reunited, but do they have what it takes to win the war against the Mogadorians?
John Smith—Number Four—thought that things would change once the Garde found each other. They would stop running. They would fight the Mogadorians. And they would win.
But he was wrong. After facing off with the Mogadorian ruler and almost being annihilated, the Garde know they are drastically unprepared and hopelessly outgunned. Now they’re hiding out in Nine’s Chicago penthouse, trying to figure out their next move.
The six of them are powerful, but they’re not strong enough yet to take on an entire army—even with the return of an old ally. To defeat their enemy, the Garde must master their Legacies and learn to work together as a team. More importantly, they’ll have to discover the truth about the Elders and their plan for the Loric survivors.
And when the Garde receive a sign from Number Five—a crop circle in the shape of a Loric symbol—they know they are so close to being reunited. But could it be a trap? Time is running out, and the only thing they know for certain is that they have to get to Five before it’s too late.
The Garde may have lost battles, but they will not lose this war.
Lorien will rise again
The Lorien Legacies series is the X-Men of the YA world. A book series about a bunch of dysfunctional teens with superpowers who have to learn to work together in a world that is not ready to accept them, fighting forces that wish to opposes them and/or imprison them. Super powers, angst, and adventure. The most recent book in the series, “The Fall of Five” is no different, it actually succeeds in taking a story that was stuck on a random road trip with a bad map–though a map with interesting and fun locales–and finding its direction.
Up until this installment the series has had Four/John Smith dodging the evil alien forces of the Mogs and questing for his fellow Loriens, the Garde. With “The Fall of Five” the Garde is finally united. The book quickly has Four and Six finding the last Garde member, Number Five. The addition of Five as well as the Garde reuniting with two old allies is the driving force of the action for most of the novel. The remainder of the novel is what I found as the fundamental strength and what really stepped up the overall story arch. This is the characters. And this is where the X-Men reference come in.
“The Fall of Five” is the novel in which the Garde grow together as a team. We don’t learn so much about their backgrounds, their trials and bumps along their own individual journies before the opening of the series, but we see how they come together and change as a unit. Four is dealing with his leadership role. Everyone looks up to him. Yet all he wants to do is be with Sarah, one of the three humans he can trust during his mission, and make up for lost time. Nine is the tough-as-nails tank for the group, always looking for a fight and wanting to rush headlong into a battle with the Mogs. Here, Nine softens and we learn how much companionship he craves. His interactions with Ella (the tenth member of the Garde) is sweet and wonderful. When Ella begins to come to grips with her own past and questioner her role and usefulness in the group, its Nine that draws her deeper into the group and welcomes her despite her past, she’s part of the team and he stretches out his hand. Marine (aka Seven) and Eight cuddle up and stand out as the hearts of the group, the moral compasses. Everyone quarrels. Everyone struggles with the mission, what direction to go, and the stress of being on the run, waiting for the enemy to hit them next or to rush into the final battle themselves. Most of the novel sees the group in Nine’s posh Chicago penthouse, which leads to a lot of cabin fever that tests their limits and breaks down barriers. The X-Men comics had the same dynamic. Lots of personalities. Powers colliding and igniting like fireworks at the Fourth of July. A family trying to come together to fight evil and save the world, building their confidence.
In the end, the group comes together as a team. With the addition of Five, they begin training and demonstrate themsevles as a force to be reckoned with. Confidence is high. The aid of their few human allies further boasts their trust in the human race they must try to save in order to rebuild their home world. “The Fall of Nine” is about building the team and laying the groundwork for the rest of the novel, which maybe means the narrative seems slow at times but I appreciated the time the characters had to grow together, a missing component from the previous two books.
Of course, the happy penthouse does not remain so. The Mogs are closing in. There is betrayal. Visions shown the heroes a vision of a future they must stop at all costs. And one Garde learns his/her destiny may lie with the enemy. I’m ready for the next installment! Damn! Summer of 2014 is too far away!
The narrative is quick, the pace well done with plenty of highs to keep the chapters turning. This is probably my favorite of the four current novels.