United as One by Pittacus Lore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It's finally here.
The glorious end of the Lorien Legacies.
And holy bloodydamn goryhell, how far this series has come from its beginnings in I Am Number Four. More than any of its predecessors, United As One is dark and intense and unremitting in its pulse-pounding action. It's the Mockingjay or Deathly Hallows of this series, by which point it's all-out war, and everyone's out for blood.
Including our heroes. Including our perennial Boy Scout, John. Now he knows how Marina feels, having lost his first love forever, and like many of us poor fans, he's not recovered. He's permanently damaged by this, more than any physical battle scar he'll ever get.
Meanwhile, there are ever more human Garde popping up all over the planet - most of them teenagers, of course. One has to wonder, why teenagers? Because, as some of our favorite Garde come to suspect over the course of this harrowing final novel, perhaps the last of the Loric species won't be enough to stop Setrakus Ra (come on, you didn't think that Satanic piece of shit was really dead at the end of Book 6, did you?)
And if the remaining Loric Garde aren't enough, well, that's what the new human Garde are for. They could form the next generation of the resistance if the Loric fail - and that's what really sells this book, because the darkness is so thick that eventually you start to doubt that there'll be a happy ending.
No spoilers, though.
If you're like me, you won't be able to put this book down. I read the entire thing in one sitting, it was that amazing. As I said before, this one really ramps the action up to an all-time high, and employs the series' signature move of jumping to the other POV (this one, for the first time since Book 2, contains only two POVs, John and Six) and leaving the previous chapter on a nasty cliffhanger to perhaps its greatest effect since at least The Fall of Five.
I'm convinced that this book is going to be one of my end-of-year Top 5 winners at the Second Annual Pinecone Awards, certainly beating out such contenders as The Inquisition, Morning Star, Glass Sword, and even Lady Midnight. Perhaps it'll even top the list, although Marie Lu's Midnight Star won't make it easy.
Ave atque vale, Lorien Legacies. And to Hollywood, I say only this - it's a crime that only the first book got a much-deserved (and criminally underrated) movie adaptation. A rebooted movie series is in order, desperately. And may that reboot be every bit as stylish and killer-cool and pitch-perfect as, say, The Amazing Spider-Man or the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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