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The City of Ember

by Jeanne DuPrau

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Books of Ember (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,291403656 (3.85)1 / 263
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.
  1. 150
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: The Giver is much darker, but these are similar in premise.
  2. 81
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Bitter_Grace)
  3. 50
    The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau (moongrove2)
    moongrove2: It is the sequal
  4. 40
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  5. 20
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  6. 21
    Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien (atimco)
    atimco: Z for Zachariah treats the same basic theme — the destruction of earth and what the characters must do to survive — but O'Brien's book is much more sophisticated. It's probably not the greatest for young readers, but an adult will find much to enjoy here.
  7. 00
    Redwall by Brian Jacques (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: Mostly dissimilar, but the Redwall books deal with the same kinds of puzzles if that's the draw.
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» See also 263 mentions

English (398)  Spanish (1)  All languages (399)
Showing 1-5 of 398 (next | show all)
This is the 2nd book I've read in this genre in a short period of time, and at first, it reminded me a lot of The Giver. It quickly becomes its own story with a very different theme, and I enjoyed it just as much as I did The Giver, though for different reasons. The slow falling apart of the city and the vastly varying ways the citizens respond to it are fascinating to follow along with. Lina and Doon are well-crafted characters, both with their own issues and driving desires. They even have considerably different reasons for wanting to save the city, and I really admire DuPrau's ability to make them such well-rounded characters in a short space. I also appreciate how she explains items that are common, everyday things to us but are completely foreign to these people.

I'm looking forward to my 12-year-old daughter reading this book so we can discuss it. I think she'll enjoy it as much as I did, and I recommend it for others around that age (or older) too. ( )
  Kristi_D | Sep 22, 2023 |
The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to dim. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. Now, she and her friend Doon must race to figure out the clues to keep the lights on. If they succeed, they will have to convince everyone to follow them into danger. But if they fail? The lights will burn out and the darkness will close in forever.
  PlumfieldCH | Sep 21, 2023 |
I really really love the idea of a post-disaster society of people living underground. And I especially love the idea of reading about that society several generations in, where they no longer remember what daylight is, or why the city they live in is theren- or even where exactly their city is. I like the idea of this society making up their own myths about 'the dark' and having new origin stories and singing songs amid candles lit against the ever-present night. However, all those enchanting pieces of The City of Ember are just tiny footnote details in what's really a fairly decent adventure story. The setting of an underground sort of steampunk like society surviving post-collapse without any connections to their past is merely the place where this book begins. I really enjoyed this story, and am excited to read more in the series, but I wish this book had been about twice as long and had about three times the depth. I really feel like the author here was on the verge of creating a whole new world, maybe not with the intricacy and pull of the Harry Potter universe, but something heading in that direction. Instead everything - setting and plot and characters et cetera - is at a pretty basic level and merely serves as the dressing around the main story, which is a somewhat didactical examination of the ills of society and scarcity mentality hidden inside an engaging adventure story of two plucky pre-teens trying to save their people.
  magnetgrrl | Sep 13, 2023 |
I watched the movie before I read the book. Usually I am disappointed, but this time I was pleasantly surprised! Even though there were quite a few differences between the movie and the book, I really did enjoy the book. I found it to be very light and easy reading. It is difficult for me to say anything about the plot ect as I already knew what was going to happen. I am looking forward to read the next in the series. ( )
  stark.reading.mad | Apr 2, 2023 |
I would have rated this 4 1/2 stars if I were able to on Goodreads. This is another book that I read because my son's class was reading it aloud. Wow. As an adult, I really enjoyed the book. Having said that, I understand why my 9 year old called it "disturbing." The notion of an underground city where supplies are dwindling and total darkness threatens to engulf everyone is pretty heavy for a third grader. I like the fact that it introduced some ideas of conservation, and I liked the problem-solving attitudes of the young main characters. The end left me with a fresh appreciation for the world we live in, and that can't be a bad thing. ( )
  CarolHicksCase | Mar 12, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 398 (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
DuPrau, JeanneAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, WendyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riely, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhulst, WillemTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed



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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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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Disambiguation notice
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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.

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Average: (3.85)
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1 19
1.5 10
2 136
2.5 25
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