I Am Number Four Wiki
Return to Paradise
Return to Paradise Cover.jpg
Author Pittacus Lore
Publication date April 15th, 2014
Publication Order
Preceded by
Five's Legacy
Followed by
Five's Betrayal

I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Return To Paradise was released on April 15th 2014.

About the Book[]

In this thrilling one-hundred-page prequel companion novella, discover what happened in the aftermath of the Mogadorians’ attack on Paradise, Ohio, from Mark James—Number Four's bully-turned-ally.

After Four leaves town to look for the rest of the Garde, Mark is left behind to pick up the pieces. His school has been destroyed, his home burned down, and, worst yet, Mark now knows the horrifying truth that aliens live among us and some of them seek to destroy us. Even with the FBI tailing him and Sarah Hart, Mark tries to return to a normal life. But when Sarah goes missing, he knows he can no longer sit back and do nothing. His quest to find her will lead him to new allies and a startling revelation about the Mogadorians’ plan for invasion.


The book starts in Paradise a week after John, Sam and Six left Paradise to find the other Garde. Since the Paradise High school is destroyed Mark and Sarah attend school in the next town, Helena High School, the biggest rival of Paradise High. Mark tries to settle into his old life but it is difficult since he found out aliens do exist. FBI has arrived in town and have taken over the investigation of the destruction of Paradise High scool and have kicked Mark's father Sheriff James out of the investigation. Mark tries to sneak into the High School to investigate more but the officer who is keeping people away says even he isn't allowed to go inside. After a house fire has burned down his house his father and Mark lives with his father's mother, Nana James. His mother has left for Colorado to escape the craziness of Paradise and her mother-in-law. Mark's father isn't happy that the FBI has kicked him out of the investigation. 

Mark tries to find information about the whereabouts of John and the other Garde members with someone, who goes by the name Guard, met on a blog named Aliens Anonymous. Mark goes by the name JOLLYROGER182. Mark has revealed to Guard that he was present during the Paradise High School battle and has seen aliens. Guard makes him an editor of the blog and sends him information about how to hide his IP address. 

Together they figure out that a day or two after John left Paradise with Sam and Six he was seen in Tennessee. They figure out that there is another Garde in India and another in Miami. When Mark tries to inform Sarah about his findings and to warn her that FBI knows about her relationship with John Sarah says that a red haired woman has been following her around and is sitting in a booth behind her. The red haired woman, who introduces herself as Agent Walker and her partner Agent Noto sits next to them and asks about John. She says there is a reward for information about John and tells Mark that the reward will help him build a new house for his family. Mark doesn't take the offer but accidentally mentions Sam's name. He quickly says that Sam is a conspiracy theory nut job and probably hunting for Sasquatches by now. Sarah and Mark gets up to leave. Walker hands Sarah a business card telling her to call if she remembers anything. Sarah leaves without taking it but Walker gives it to Mark and tells him not to let Sarah drag him down with her. Once they are in a safe distance Sarah tells Mark Sam didn't believe in Bigfoot. Mark says considering everything that's going on he is not so sure.

After Sarah left Mark tries the number Walker gave him and doesn't get an answer. He sends the number to Guard and tells him about what happened. On his way back he meets Kevin, an old buddy of his. He teases Mark about Sarah and he shoves him against a wall. Kevin says Mark James is back and invites him to a party. Mark gets a message from Guard and tells Kevin and his friends he'll meet them in the party. Guard tells that he call the number Mark gave and got the same voice mail Mark got but didn't leave a message. He says even though he hid his number he got a call back demanding how he got the number. He said he demanded to talk to someone in charge and told he knew what's going on in Paradise. Agent Purdy answered the phone annoyed and Guard got his attention by telling him he knew about the Mogs. 

Mark thinks that means FBI knows what really going on. He heads to the party Kevin mentioned and his father gives him the keys to his truck. After he left the party Mark realizes that his father's key chain has keys to his office in the police station. He sneaks into his father's office and looks for the files on the high school destruction. He finds some photos and while he takes photos of them in his phone someone grab him by his collar. He realizes it was his father. His father deletes the photos and yells at him. Mark gets a text and his father checks his phone. He tells Todd to take Mark home and if he puts up a fight to arrest him. Mark looks at the texts and realizes that Sarah has sent him a text saying John is back. He tries to text back and warn her that his father saw the text and coming for John. He tells Todd to take him to Sarah's house and bang on the metal grate in the car. Todd refuses and tells him he thought the electric fire in Sam Goode was the highlight of his day. Mark realizes that the mogs are here and John and the others are fighting them and Sarah is probably in danger.

His grandmother stays guard making it impossible for him to sneak out. He text his father first apologizing and then asking what happened. His father doesn't reply but when Mark asks whether Sarah is okay he answers yes. Mark listens to his father's old police scanner and overhears someone mentioning 'Dumont' facility before the messages stop. He finds out there is a FBI compound in Dumont and he thinks Sarah must be detained in station jail. He sneaks out at dawn and parks his truck near the station. When Sarah comes out he gives her a lift and asks what happened. She tells that few people including Walker, Noto and Purdy interrogated her for three hours. She tells they got John and let her go telling her to not to leave town and that she is in no fly list. Mark admits that it was his fault the police knew about John being back. Sarah tells that FBI took her phone and Mark instructs her to buy a burner phone. 

After dropping off Sarah his father calls and asks where he is. He mentions that certain two detainees escaped from Dumont. Mark tells Sarah and Guard the good news. Guard tells Mark that this means FBI is working with the mogs since they arrested John.

The next day Mark and Sarah sneak out of school to go to Sam's house. No one is home and they see the evidence of the battle. When they leave Sarah sees a black car parked in the middle of the road. They get in Mark's truck and try to get away. The car chases them and ram into Mark's truck and try to run him off the road. The car disappears around a corner and comes back. It comes straight for Mark's truck but misses in the last minute causing Mark to ram his truck into a tree. The windows of the car is tinted and they don't get a good look of the driver. The car disappears. Mark says that the car tried to kill them but Sarah says they were just trying to scare them to stop digging around. They go back to school.

When he goes back home he finds out that Agent Purdy has kicked Mark's father out of his own office. He gets a text from a weird number and assume it is from Sarah. The text asks whether he has heard about another John sighting he answers no and asks her to call him since he has stuff to tell her. She doesn't call. After that Mark types everything he can remember about mogs and the attack on the school and saves it as a draft in the blog thinking it might come in handy one day. The next day Agent Walker and Agent Noto comes to his house and informs Mark that Sarah didn't return home yesterday after leaving school and asks whether he knows anything. He wonders who he got the text from last night. He think he has failed to protect her and failed to keep the promise he made to John.

At first Mark thinks perhaps John came back for Sarah but as days pass without hearing anything from her he realizes if she was with John she would have found a way to contact him. He breaks into Sam's house to find more information. He finds an issue of 'They Walk Among Us' magazine which mentions about Mogadorians taking over earth. He takes a picture of the article and the front cover of the magazine and sends it to Guard asks him to find more about the magazine. He takes the magazine and some cds with him and leaves. 

Guard gives him some phone numbers to contact the magazine editors. After buying a burner phone he tries the numbers. After few failed attempts he manages to reach someone who says to him that the mogs took everything. Mark hangs up and suggests to Guard that they should change the blog's name to 'They Walk Among Us' to attract the people who subscribed it to it. Guard agrees and sends him an encrypted file. The file contains information about Agent Purdy. Guard says he can't hack into Purdy's email because of firewalls. Mark asks if he could get Purdy's computer would one of the passwords he gave will work. Gurad asks whether he is about to do something stupid. 

After leaving some notes to his family just in case something happened to him he drives to the police station. After Guard causes a distraction by calling and telling he saw a teenager with glowing hands entered a truck stop outside of town. The agents leaves the station and Mark sneaks in through the bathroom window. He sees Agent Purdy exiting his father's office with a mogadorian who tells Purdy that his soldiers will taking over and tells him to take to Number Four. After they leave Mark sneaks into the office. He hacks into Purdy's email using the passwords Guard gave him. He finds an email that says Sarah is in Dulce, New Mexico. While he is looking for more information Purdy comes back. Mark escapes with his laptop without being detected.

While he sits in a diner a few hours away from Paradise he cancels an automatic blog post he created to be posted on the blog after a week if something happened to him and searches more information on the Purdy's laptop he stole. He finds a folder named MogPro that is password locked and after three failed attempts the hard drive is wiped and the laptop goes dark. He thinks about throwing the laptop away but decides that Guard might still be able to get something out of it. The book ends with Mark driving to New Mexico to find Sarah.


  • Agent Walker mentions that Sam Goode's mother's name is Patricia Goode and that she is a nurse. But in "The Fall of Five" Malcolm Goode address her by the name Beth. 
  • Mark and GUARD find a journal entry of a girl who witnessed someone attacking her boyfriend with telekinesis in Miami. This incident could be referring to the incident in "Five's Legacy" where Five attacks a human for disrespecting him.
  • Mark and GUARD finds stories about a boy who was being worshipped as god. These same stories lead Crayton, Six, Marina and Ella to find Number Eight.


Now the future is this stupid, dark thing I can't predict, and I feel like my whole life has been heading towards something that doesn't even matter. Might not even exist if we end up conquered by a bunch of superpowered aliens. I mean my all-conference trophy was used to murder an alien

–Mark James