Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The City of Ember

The City of Ember. Jeanne DuPrau. 2003. 270 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: In the city of Ember, the sky was always dark.

Premise/plot: The City of Ember is one of my all-time favorite books. Ember was built by the BUILDERS to protect humanity from its biggest threat in dark, dark days. Hundreds of years have passed, the inhabits of Ember know nothing of the world outside. They know nothing of blue skies and yellow sun. In part, the builders wanted it that way--to protect the people from knowledge of the past. But the time has come--has almost come and gone, in fact--for the people to leave Ember behind and rejoin the world above. The problem? The instructions have been lost. And only one person even knows that something important--something vital--has been lost and is worth searching for. And few take her words seriously because she's "senile" and "not herself." Lina Mayfleet, our heroine, stumbles upon these instructions quite by accident, and really all in thanks to her baby sister, Poppy. Will she be able to decode the instructions--what remain of them after Poppy's little snack--and solve the mystery? It is too big to solve on her own. But Lina has a few good friends that she thinks are trustworthy--and clever. The one who becomes her best friend is Doon Harrow. These two grow close as they work on solving the problems that threaten life as they know it.

My thoughts: I love this book. I do. I can't believe--in a way--that it was the author's first book. It is just MARVELOUS. I love the world-building. I love how thought-provoking it is. And I love the characterization. It is one of those rare books that defies expectations. It is premise-driven, plot-driven, and character-driven.

One of my favorite quotes:
The trouble with anger is, it gets hold of you. And then you aren't the master of yourself anymore. Anger is. (89)

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


KidEinstein 99 6:37 PM  

The City of Ember is definitely a good book! I read the first a while ago, and started reading the second but never finished. I'm actually new to blogging and just created my very post on my very first blog, https://bcgamehunters.blogspot.com/2018/03/ticket-to-ride-board-g-review.html. If you wanted to check it out, I would appreciate that! If you enjoy games as well as books, you would hopefully like it. Thanks!
KidEinstein 99.

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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