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Book Review

Book Cover

Fugitive Six


Authors: Pittacus Lore
Publisher: Penguin Books
444 pages
RRP: £8.99
ISBN: 978 1 405 93425 1
Publication Date: 02 May 2019

The Lorien list of books and novellas is quite impressive, pointing to a successful franchise. I admit that before this, my only experience of this world was attempting to watch I am Number Four (2011) five times, falling asleep every time. I’m guessing that on the back of the series success that Walt Disney was trying to capture a chunk of the young teen market which was so lucrative for Suzanne Collins' trilogy, The Hunger Games.

Fugitive Six (2019. 436 pages) is another trilogy in the series, written by Pittacus Lore, who are a collection of writers rather than the name of a single person.

Much has happened since the first book, though to be honest if you have no background to this novel you will only end up having the vaguest idea of what is going on and what the stakes for the various characters are.

We find ourselves on the other side of the failed Mogadorian invasion of Earth. The invasion was defeated with the help of children born with legacies. These are powers which develop in adolescence which range from being able to turn yourself into mist, the ability to phase through walls, the usual type of abilities which you would find in any adolescent superhero novel.

In fact, the overall structure reminds me of an X-Men story. The kids are held on a compound, the Academy, supervised by a more experienced adult, Professor Nine, I presume he is an adult just by dint of being in charge, but truthfully he often sounds like just another teenager. The kids are schooled to use their powers for the benefit of humanity, a humanity which fears and hates them.

They are cast as outsiders, even to their own families and so have created a strong bond between themselves. Thankfully, they appear to have resisted the temptation to wear matching spandex pyjamas with the underpants on the outside.

Given their age, which is not explicitly mentioned, I’m guessing around fifteen to sixteen, much of the first half of the book is taken up with Taylor and the fugitive six going about their school business, including issues around dating and having your heart broken.

The main plot involves our heroes deciding that there is a mole in the Academy, who is working for the Foundation, a powerful group who want to make thralls of them, exploiting their powers for commercial gain. They do a lot of sneaking around and Taylor pretends to be dissatisfied so that she can be recruited by the Foundation. I’m not sure who is supposed to be more naive, the group for thinking that such a plan was either sensible or warranted or the Foundation for accepting things at face value.

This being a part of a series of novels, there is little in the way of character development; our heroes are pretty much the same at the close of the story as they were at its beginning. The plot is full of chance and happenstance which bears little in the way to reality, but allows the plot to barrel along.

Apart for the Academy and the Foundation the other player on the board is Einar, who does not trust any of the humans, feeling that one day a war will erupt between those with legacies and those without.

I guess the book was ok, but if you have gotten this far into the series then you’ll have a lot more invested in the plot and characters than I did. For the most part it felt that it had borrowed a little too much from other stories to feel original.


Charles Packer

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