Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau

Title: The City of Ember.
Author: Jeanne DuPrau.
Published: 2003-----Made into a movie: 2008
Pages: 270
Chapters: 20
Pages per Chapter (on average):13.5
Date Started: Dec. 31, '08-----Date Finished: Jan. 1, '09
My Reading Speed: 135 pages a day, or 10 chapters a day
The Main Characters: Lina Mayfleet, who is an Ember messanger, and Doon Harrow, who works in the city's Pipeworks.
My Brief Synopsis: There is an alternate world where everybody seems to live underground. Their city is lit by electric lights, but when there's occasionaly a blackout it's completely dark, so no one can do anything until the lights come back. Everything the city needs is stored in giant warehouses, but supplies are running out for the first time in over 200 years. That's where 12 year old Lina and Doon come in. They've been recently added to the work force and they realize that the city can't last for much longer.
The Conflicts: Lina and Doon find lost instructions left by the Builders that will help people get out of Ember and somewhere better, but it seems that the greedy Mayor wants everything to stay the same and tells his guards that the children are spreading vicious rumors. What's worse, the Mayor is stealing all the good supplies from supposedly empty warehouses and not telling anyone about it.
My General Comments: I really liked this story! I always love reading about different worlds. That's why I love Pendragon and The 13th Reality so much. But it's amazing to read about how this city is so underpriveleged; it's like everyone lives in the Great Depression and no one minds, because it's a way of life. No one knows that there's such a thing as a sun or a tree, or food that doesn't come out of a can. Plus I see another example of how the head honcho, the Mayor, is controling the people. See, I read all about this kind of stuff in And the Truth Shall set you Free. Granted, I said it wasn't reading material for the faint at heart, and people might be skeptical about what it contains, (it mentions aliens and mind control) but it's a read you wouldn't regret if you managed to finish it. Anyway, this book was really good and I'm looking forward to reading more in the series. I can hardly wait to see the movie too (I hear the meyor is played by Bill Murray).
My Favorite Part: Well, I think my favorite part would be at the end, when the 2 children reach the land above and are seeing all this natural stuff for the first time. Stars, fresh air, grass, birds, in the day they're even approached by a dog. Very exciting from their point of view. I also like when Lina finds the Instructions, because a lot of the letters in words are missing and I do love a good puzzle.
My Favorite Things About the Book: The main characters remind me of much older kids, so I can forget that they're only 12 and pretend that they're more my age. Lina and Doon also remind me of the main characters from Blue Balliet's book, Chasing Vermeer. Like I said, it is about a different type of world, so it is a good escape for me and it offers me some inspiration for my own book I'm writing.
A Personal Shout Out to Jeanne DuPrau: I believe your books will go very far. I can't wait to see what else you've written about this world. Of course, I'll probably finish the series within a month or so, so I hope you have something else on the burner in the meanwhile. I know you've just released The Diamond of Darkhold, but is there something else you're thinking about adding to this amazing series?
Here's the link to The City of Ember's Wikipedia Article.
Below is Jeanne Duprau's own website:
Below is a trailer video for the City of Ember movie, in case you're interested. I know I am.

What is your favorite part? If you haven't read this book, sorry for all the spoilers, but you can comment and say if this book review was helpful. If you have read this book, please give me a comment or email me so we can discuss it. This would be the closest I've ever gotten to a book club, you know.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I didn't particularly like it. It was a good story, but I don't think that it was written very well. It was a little boring, too.