Wednesday, February 15, 2006

City of Ember

Hello Friends,

I just finished listening to the audio version of The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau and WOW was it a wonderful book with the most dramatic and suspenseful ending!!! I was jumping up and down and had to tell my husband all about it.

Back when City of Ember was first published in the States (2003), a librarian friend of mine had read it and loved it, but I had never picked it up until I needed an audiobook for my trip to NYC this weekend. Needless to say, there was plenty of time for listening this weekend while snowbound, so I listened to the whole thing. I think this was a powerful and well written book, as well as a good audio reading.

The citizens of Ember live in a dark world lit only by lightbulbs during certain parts of the day. They are fed with canned goods from a warehouse and live in a city that was planned with their every need in mind. The people have always been taught that they are the only people in a world of darkness. Now, in the year 241, the electricity keeps flickering and supplies are running low. The Builders left a plan for the citizens, but it was lost a long time ago and time seems to be running out for Ember.

In this post-Apocolyptic young adult novel, the hero, Doon, and heroine, Lina, are two twelve-year-old friends who have just been assinged their new careers and who want to make a difference in a world that seems to be collapsing into chaos. Against all odds, they will be the saviors of their people.

Duprau has written second and third volumes that follow the characters through immense changes in a world both confusing and amazing to them. The People of Sparks is the sequel to The City of Ember and a third volume, The Prophet of Yonwood, is due out later this year. A colleague told me that she thought The People of Sparks was even better than The City of Ember, but so far (about six chapters in) I don't agree. Pick up this engrossing series and let me know what you think.

Your Friendly Librarian