By: Cynthia Ayala
Five, the fifth member of the Lorien garde, has become the enemy. Entering the army of the Mogadorians, Five becomes convinced that he will be the victor for the Mogs, the one who will pave the way for their world domination. But deep down, Five just wants to survive, and that means choosing the winning side. But his determination to survive has blinded him by to what really matters in the world. Sometimes rage and envy blind a person, more than surviving ever could…
Five’s Betrayal is the ninth novel in the Lorien Legacies series by Pittacus Lore. Published by __ on __, the novel delves into the comic of age genre and combines it with science fiction as it focuses and builds up Five’s life in the Mogadorian compound before he joins his fellow Lorien’s and sends them over to the Mogadorians.
For all the fans of the Lorien Legacy series – also known as the I Am Number Four series – the depth this novella takes into the darker side of the character Five will impress them.
Whereas Five’s Legacy built up his character, establishing his darker roots, creating the light of redemption and excusing his downfall, this novella highlights that there really is no redemption for his character and that the darkness in his heart has taken over.
Let’s briefly recap. Readers were first introduced to Five in The Fall of Five and discovered – stop reading if you have yet to read the novel – that he is a traitor who is working with the Mogadorians, the enemies and hunters of the Lorien’s. His betrayal was so deadly and unsuspecting that it delivered a huge blow to the Lorien’s and their fight against the Mogadorians.
Now, while Five’s characterization is not the most appealing, what makes him interesting is the fact that he has changed sides.
However, that is not the only thing this novella does. Lore took this opportunity to establish a prior connection to the Loriens, number Nine especially. Readers already got a taste of the dislike between the two characters. Nevertheless, there was more to it than Five responding negatively to the haughty personality of Nine, there was the underlining fact that Five was going to kill Nine. Five has all this repressed rage at being this kid on the run comparing his life to those who had lives, who went to school and lived well without hiding. All that rage gives readers a deeper insight into why he becomes the villain, into why he chooses to be the villain. Now, given that, readers what readers also see is that he’s just surviving the best way he can, and that makes his decisions a little easier to understand.
Another interesting aspect of this novella is that the survival aspect is not only metaphorical but takes on a physical aspect in regards to his powers that allow him to take on the physical attributes of his surroundings. It is a survival technique, transcending his personality; in fact, it reflects it on a clear symbolic level that is easy to miss. Symbolism in writing is hard to achieve but when done write it makes the reader think deeply about the subject, and in science fiction, it transcends the novel and the genre into a serious
Five’s Betrayal, is overall a decently told novella, but while the characterization seems a bit stagnant, Five’s darker side makes him an intriguing enemy and a character worth reading about. (★★ ½ out of 5 ☆‘s | C+)