Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Diamond of Darkhold, by Jeanne DuPrau

Title: The Diamond of Darkhold
Author: Jeanne DuPrau.
Published: 2008
Pages: 285
Chapters: 28
Pages per Chapter (on average): 10+
Date Started: Jan. 12-----Date Finished: Jan. 13
My Reading Speed: 142.5 pages a day, or 14 chapters a day.
The Main Characters: Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow return, and for at least a little while the story is told from the point of view from 3 other characters, their friends Kenny, Torren and Lizzie.
My Brief Synopsis: The people of Ember and Sparks try to get through a tough winter and Lina and Doon think it would be a good idea to go back to Ember and see what they can salvage from the dead city. There would probably be lots of food and materials left over from the Exodus of Ember (I made that up myself), plenty to last the rest of the winter. They make the journey, and during their adventures they discover a truly neat invention that probably saves all of human civilization for future generations.
The Conflicts: When the kids climb down into Ember again, they find it inhabited by a mean family known as the Troggs (just the name makes them sound terrible, doesn't it). The Troggs kidnap Doon while Lina escapes. They aren't exactly villains or anything, but they do treat Doon badly. They think they own the city, which they dub Darkhold. I think it's clever that the whole Trogg family is named after major cities. Washton, Kanza, Minny-Apples, Scawgo, Yorick. Yorick also reminds me of a Shakespear line (alas, poor Yorick. I knew him well!). Am I right about that? I can't be sure.
My General Comments: I most definitly think that this was the best book out of the whole series. There is a much bigger sense of adventure, and I love scenes in the middle of the forest. The diamond also lends a sense of mysticality to the story, even though it isn't actually magic, like you might think it is. (Yeah, on the cover the blue diamond looks all shiny and magical, but you're wrong. Oops, I've said too much!)
My Favorite Part: Okay, you can probably guess my favorite part here. Yeah, the ending. But this one was really good. It was definitly a happy and satisfying end to this series. Very fascinating too. It talks about what happens really far into the people of Ember's and Sparks' future, and then it gets really descriptive about the planet. It's really cool. You should read the book just to get to this ending.
My Favorite Things About the Book: Well, it's hard to come up with anything I haven't already mentioned. I just really liked this book in the series, okay?
A Personal Shout Out to Jeanne DuPrau: Like you just heard up there, absolutely loved the ending, Jeanne. I now understand that there's no need for another book in the series. I'm proud of myself for finishing the series within the space of a month, like I said I would. I still hope you write other books, because I like your style.
Here's the link to The People of Sparks's Wikipedia Article.
Below is Jeanne Duprau's own website:
This link will take you to my review of Jeanne Duprau's first 3 books, The City of Ember, The People of Sparks, and The Prophet of Yonwood.
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.

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