For as long as Lina Mayfleet has been alive the city lights go on and off at the same time each day, and when they do the city is enveloped in darkness. There is no moon, no sun, and no stars to light up the night sky. All of the city members are sure to be home when the lights will be off. The areas beyond the city don’t have light either, but considering that everyone in the town knows there is nothing important out there, no one really cares. Now that Lina is 12 she gets assigned her life job in the town. After some quick job switching with her old friend, Doon, she is right where she wants to be. She is a messenger and gets to run down the streets of Ember carrying important letters from one place to the next, while Doon gets to work in the Pipeworks. Starting their new life jobs should be exciting, but for a while now, things haven’t been working so well in the City of Ember. The lights seem to go off at odd times and people are starting to panic. Adding to the growing fear is the fact that food seems to be becoming scarce and the storerooms aren’t overflowing with food anymore. When Lina finds a weird document in her apartment she thinks could be a clue to what is going on, she needs to talk to someone. After sharing what she learned with Doon the two decide that something is wrong in Ember, and they won’t stop until they solve the problem. Their discoveries lead them to some amazing places and what they discover in the cave blows their minds. What would you do if you found a strange document with missing clues? Will Doon and Lina be able to figure out what is going on in Ember? Will what they uncover be able to help the people of Ember? Adventure along with Doon and Lina as they search for the light at the end of the tunnel.
I wanted to read The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau as soon as I saw the cover. I simply loved it, and it made me curious right away. As I started to get to know Lina I could connect to her right away. She is responsible, but she still has a tendency to head towards adventure. I also liked Doon because he is smart, and I like the way he is able to solve problems. Both of them are people that I would want to be friends with because they are kind and they have flaws, too. I had a lot of fun picturing Ember and what the town and its people were like. I was hooked from the prologue because it sets up the whole story with information the characters don’t know. I was curious about the document that Lina found and what was happening in the city. It was interesting to try and solve the mystery with Lina and Doon and to put the pieces of the puzzle together with them. I did a pretty good job figuring out what was going on, but I still needed to learn why everything was happening. This book would be great for kids from fourth-eigth grade who like fantasy and adventure. Since Ember is a different type of city than the ones we live in- I think it will really appeal to kids and adults who like reading about different worlds (dystopian books). This is the first in a series of books. I look forward to reading more about Lina, Doon, and their city.
Has anyone else read any The City of Ember? Or have you read another book by Jeanne Duprau? We would love to hear your thoughts!