My first Spring reading thing 2007 book review! To see my list for the challenge, go here.
I picked up The city of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau to skim through as a possibility for our girl's book-club. I had noticed the book mentioned in the Chinaberry catalog and thought it looked intriguing. The book is marketed for young readers, you will probably find it in the kid's section of your bookstore. While simply written, the story is remarkable and very well written. I was really wowed with the story concept, how original a tale to spin...and the way the author told it left me really in awe of her talent. I was telling my husband about the book, and I remarked that beyond a good story idea, her ability to draw you in by only revealing pieces of the puzzle as you read-utterly captures you. The same story, told with less ability would not have been half so enjoyable.
The City of Ember is a different kind of place. Here, everyone has a job and does it for the benefit of the city. Here supplies are retrieved from huge underground supply rooms to then be sold in the stores, supply rooms filled by "the builders" ages ago. Ember is a city of light in a world of darkness, the only light among the endless darkness. But, whispers of the supply rooms nearly empty and the flickering of the great lights of Ember leave everyone afraid.
Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow-newly graduated from school and beginning their new jobs in the city of Ember are the two main characters of the story. As you read, slowly you piece together how Ember functions, and you slowly try to piece together where is Ember? Why is it so dark? How are they so isolated? Doon hopes to learn how to fix the generator to keep the lights working. Lina discovers a clue to the possibility of a way out of Ember, a hope to save the dying city. No one has ever left the city, flashlights do not exist here, and fire is an almost unknown element. With no way to go beyond the city walls into the utter darkness, the concept of anything beyond is unthinkable. Will Lina and Doon find the way out, and will anyone believe them or help them?
I do not want to say more lest I ruin the story for you. I just have to say that by the end of the book, with 10 pages remaining...I could not put it down and was salivating for the sequel.
A great read! Go get it, now! Get thee to a bookstore...