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The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember

by Jeanne DuPrau

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Books of Ember (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,544326583 (3.87)235
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» See also 235 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)
This is a cute book, but I would've liked it better if I were quite a lot younger. It's an entry into the post-apocalyptic underground-bunker genre, aimed at kids and younger teens.
In a small, poorly-lit city, where no one even remembers the concept of 'outside,' 12-year-old Lina is mainly concerned with her new job and her family.

However, the signs are becoming clearer and clearer: Ember's people are running out of supplies. Soon, the lights may go out for the final time... Lina and her friend Doon run into corruption and mishaps in their quest to find a way out of Ember.

It's a short book, and ends abruptly, just on the verge of major revelations... (yes, there are sequels).

Not bad, but for adults, I'd recommend the similarly-themed 'Wool' over this... ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
“Father," said Doon as they hurried along, "the mayor is a fool, don't you think?"
For a moment his father didn't answer. Then he said, "He's in a tough spot, son. What would you have him do?"
"Not lie, at least," Doon said. "If he really has a solution, he should have told us. He shouldn't pretend he has solutions when he doesn't."
Doon's father smiled. "That would be a good start," he agreed.”
-from the book

Lina & Doon are in the same class at school. When the students turn 12, they pick a job out of a hat. When Lina draws Pipeworks laborer, she is very upset. She does not want to be underground all day. Doon draws messenger and asks Lina to trade. He wants to work with the generator to try to figure out how to fix things. See, the only light in Ember comes from the streetlights, the generator is failing and the city of Ember is running low on supplies. When the Builders built Ember, they left instructions in a locked box, with a timer, designed to open at the right time. But, over the years, the box has been misplaced. When Lina's little sister, Poppy finds the Instructions, she chews on the paper and by the time Lina gets to it, well, most of the words and letters are missing. Trying to figure out the puzzle leads Lina and Doon on an adventure.

I think I would describe this book as just ok. I definitely didn't love it. The world building was tedious and did not hold my attention at all. It took so long for Lina to discover that there was a puzzle to solve and then to figure something out. It seemed like it took forever for them to find the door. Then I was excited to see them figure out the backstory. Why were they all brought to Ember, many generations ago? Where exactly is Ember? What major event made the Builders decided to build Ember?

Well, when the end came, I have to say it was disappointing. I felt like the author really let me down. If there had been a really cool explanation or backstory, maybe I would have read the next book in the series. But, there wasn't, so I'm done. My 11-year old son wasn't thrilled with the book either. At first he said he liked it, but I think he just didn't want to disappoint me. By the last quarter of the book, even he admitted it was boring.

Recommended to:
I guess if you go into the book knowing that the escape is the end and there is no backstory or big reveal, then you might like it. Or maybe I just missed the whole point? ( )
  Jadedog13 | Feb 3, 2016 |
Amazing. Makes me dizzy thinking about all the places and concepts. ( )
  babydogfish | Jan 29, 2016 |
While I liked the book, it is one of those rare books that actually are more enjoyable as a movie. It is definitely a good fast young adult read. I would reccommed this book to a little older reader though as it deals with I think some rather harsh subjects for young readers versus yound adults - teens. ( )
  nraichlin | Jan 26, 2016 |
Last Wednesday I saw that this book had the highest number of reviews on Shelfari so decided to give it a go. So glad I did. It is a great read with an intriguing setting, likeable characters, greedy politicians, resourceful protagonists and life-threatening urgency. It took me a while to get into the book, but once I did it kept me captivated to the last page and left me wanting to read the sequel. A compelling read! ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)
While a book like ''Faerie Wars'' diverts young readers from their daily lives, one like ''The City of Ember'' encourages them to tackle the most ambitious tasks. Hard work can save the day, it promises. It's an old-fashioned lesson that is somehow easier to swallow when delivered in a futuristic setting.

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeanne DuPrauprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Riely, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
When the city of Ember was just built and not yet inhabited, the chief builder and the assistant builder, both of them weary, sat down to speak of the future.
In the city of Ember, the sky was always dark. The only light came from great floodlamps mounted on the buildings and at the top of poles in the middle of the larger squares.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375822747, Paperback)

It is always night in the city of Ember. But there is no moon, no stars. The only light during the regular twelve hours of "day" comes from floodlamps that cast a yellowish glow over the streets of the city. Beyond are the pitch-black Unknown Regions, which no one has ever explored because an understanding of fire and electricity has been lost, and with it the idea of a Moveable Light. "Besides," they tell each other, "there is nowhere but here" Among the many other things the people of Ember have forgotten is their past and a direction for their future. For 250 years they have lived pleasantly, because there has been plenty of everything in the vast storerooms. But now there are more and more empty shelves--and more and more times when the lights flicker and go out, leaving them in terrifying blackness for long minutes. What will happen when the generator finally fails?

Twelve-year-old Doon Harrow and Lina Mayfleet seem to be the only people who are worried. They have just been assigned their life jobs--Lina as a messenger, which leads her to knowledge of some unsettling secrets, and Doon as a Pipeworker, repairing the plumbing in the tunnels under the city where a river roars through the darkness. But when Lina finds a very old paper with enigmatic "Instructions for Egress," they use the advantages of their jobs to begin to puzzle out the frightening and dangerous way to the city of light of which Lina has dreamed. As they set out on their mission, the haunting setting and breathless action of this stunning first novel will have teens clamoring for a sequel. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.

» see all 4 descriptions

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Average: (3.87)
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