Review of United as One: Lorien Legacies #7 – Pittacus Lore

Posted: December 11, 2018 in Review, science fiction
Tags: , ,

From the bestselling author of I Am Number Four, United As One is the final, hugely thrilling novel in the utterly gripping Lorien Legacies series by Pittacus Lore . . .

It is the end.

And the final battle will commence . . . with Earth as the battlefield.

If they stand together, if they are united, if they are one . . . there will be a slim chance of victory.

The Mogadorian invasion has come to Earth, and they have all but won the battle for our planet. Their warships loom over our most populous cities-like New York City, Tokyo, Moscow, Beijing, and New Delhi-and no army will risk making a move against them. The Garde are all that stand in their way . . . but they are no longer alone in this fight. Human teens from across the globe, like John Smith’s best friend, Sam Goode, have begun to develop Legacies of their own.

The Garde have always known there is power in numbers. If they can find these new allies and join forces with them, they just might be able to win this war. The time has come for the Garde to make their final stand.

True power lies in the numbers . . .

United as One (Lorien Legacies #7

Pittacus Lore aka James Frey and Jobie Hughes


Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jacqui

It’s never easy to get into the seventh (and apparently last) book of a long-running serial, and in this case the authors seem to be almost deliberately making it difficult for the new reader. There is absolutely no introduction, and not much explanation of what is going on until page 50, where there is a conference with some military personnel who get to clarify the situation. It doesn’t help that the writers have chosen to narrate the story in first-person present; indicating a change of narrator only by changing the font. There is nothing to inform the reader who is talking, or where and when. It may be stylish, but this is one majorly confusing literary style that desperately needs to go out of fashion.

Another problem is the writers’ scientific illiteracy. If you’re going to write science fiction of any sort, you need to know enough astronomy not to make statements like “the fleet isn’t capable of another intergalactic trip”; using the word ‘intergalactic’ when you really mean ‘interstellar”. Or at least employ a proof-reader who does know some basic astronomy.

On the positive side, I did like the character of General Lawson. Nice change to see military officials who aren’t totally unsympathetic in a story like this. Only he gets very little screen time; most of that is centred on our more-or-less interchangeable gang of teenagers. The underlying premise of the Lorien Legacies is essentially Aliens v. Teenage Superheroes (who are also aliens or alien-afflicted). This results in a great deal of somewhat implausible and overblown action beginning around p200 when the big attack on the alien base commences. It rapidly becomes extraordinarily violent, and quite gruesome. Yet another reason I would not recommend this series to actual teenagers.

There is a surfeit of teenage angst, and that never fails to irritate me – why can’t it be old people that get the superpowers for a change? Honestly, it’s all been done before and done far better. The kids seem to have gone nuts over this series, it’s very popular, and I’m inclined to wonder if that’s partly because for them these ideas might seem new and exciting. But I’m old enough to have grown up with psionics done right, with Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, and Larry Niven (remember “The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton”?). I’d suggest to anyone interested in this sort of thing that they chuck the “Lorien Legacies”, and pick up something like McCaffrey’s “Talents” series. Far superior.

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