My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have waited for United As One, the last book in the Lorien Legacies series more or less since the penultimate volume came out. And it’s been quite the wait. You see, what I did was read the entire 6 volumes one after another. I built up momentum, reading each book and the lull in action sort of threw me off course that getting my mental space back in the Lorien Legacy universe took me a while.
My Beef with Six and Nine
Perhaps I should blame my memory, because I didn’t remember Six and Nine to be so subdued. They were like spectators in the story and barely got any action. And they are two of the Lorien I really loved reading about because of their phenomenal superpowers. Those who still have the collective visual memory of reading about Nine doing mad-hatter crazy stunts with his staff with no regard to his life will side with me. Nine was so awesome, so powerful, and it gave me such joy reading about him. In later volumes he is kept on a leash all the time and frankly, that sucks for him and us, his fans.
Six was this whirlwind of cataclysmic vengeance in the first few volumes. She had crazy combat skills, was a fearless unstoppable force of nature. There was that thing about the horrific face whenever she would create a thunderstorm, I am not sure whether I reached the bottom of it and forgot or whether the Lorien Legacies writers didn’t follow up on it. And on reading about her powers, it turns out she could control earth, wind, water and air. I saw very little of that in the series. And to see her reduced to a powered down doll-eyed mushy girl awaiting instructions from John was just sad. I wept. That was my heroine! Why why why!
My beef with John
John turned out a disappointment to me as well. His Ximic trumps all other superpowers but even as the plot was winding down, he had barely used a fraction of his full potential. They talked of Pittacus Lore and the world changing superpowers he wielded, being able to fix whatever in spectacular style, but to be honest, John didn’t know shit. I patiently waited throughout the series to see his awesomeness manifest and I never got to experience it. Such a let down.
Okay I just knocked off a star, thinking how I wanted to see John do the Dreynen; you know get all badass like Setrakus and Ella and power down others’ powers. I wanted John to do use Eight’s power and get all gigantic and fight Pikens. I wanted John to use Nine and Five’s powers but for some reason he never does. Series are supposed to be a buildup, not the Here’s a list of John’s powers you never even realise he has:
Ximic (his own)
Lumen (his own)
Telepathy (from Ella)
Precognition (from Ella)
Flight (from Five)
Invisibility (from Six)
Telekinesis (a Lorien thing)
Medusa stare (from Daniella)
Icicle power (from Seven)
Healing (from Seven)
Being Ximic, John can literally mimic the powers of all his Lorien buddies. But does he? No. He appears to choose only a few powers from a few Lorien. Nine had awesome powers. According to Wikipedia, Nine could do this:
He had Liberum – Nine can walk on all surfaces, including walls and ceilings as if he were upright.
Anima – The ability to communicate with animals. He discovered this at the end of The Power of Six, when Bernie Kosar/Hadley told him where to find Four’s SUV. He also shares this Legacy with Four/John Smith
Miras – Nine temporarily shares his powers, or an ability of one of his chest items, to Maddy in “The Lost Files: Nine’s Legacy”, to Sam in “The Power of Six” and to Marina in “The Fall of Five” and in “United as One”.
Accelix – Nine can run at speeds faster than the average Loric and Human capabilities.
Fortem – Nine is stronger than the average Loric and Human capabilities.
Telekinesis – Like all Garde, Nine can move objects with his mind.
Enhancement – All Garde possess enhanced physical strength, speed, reflexes, endurance and durability. Like Seven, His speed is greater than the other Garde; he can move as a blur, faster than Seven.
Now I wonder, if John seriously wanted to juice up, the first place to start would have had to be Nine. And Eight, Six and Five who were monstrously badass. Much as I am aware that Pittacus Lore had a lifetime to perfect his Ximic, John could have done better, especially after he starts understanding of his power. And come to think of it, what use were those chests? The concept was amazing but they didn’t turn out to help much at the end. I missed Nine’s staff!
United as One, I feel dumbed down the individual awesomeness of the Lorien kids in a trade off with a united front. I didn’t get to see the Lorien showcase their combat skill and all that heart-thumping action we saw in previous series. I am trying to think back to a scene that stood out in United as One and none comes to mind. Only two scenes come close:
1.The scene when Five is unleashed on the Mogadorians but sadly, that’s all over too soon.
2. When John takes on a Mogadorian Spaceship
Being a Lorien book, United as One would have passed if at all we had more coming. Not all Lorien Legacies series are great but we lived with that knowing that more was to come and it got better. This being the last book is anti-climatic because the series don’t go out with a bang.
Hence the disappointment
Yet I would read it again. I love this universe.