Review: City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Title: City of Ember (Book of Ember #1)
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Pub Deets: Random House 2003
Source: Purchased on the Kindle
Challenge: TBR Challenge
Amazon | Goodreads | Author Blog
In a sentence or so: Lina and Doon both know there's more to life outside their failing city with constant power outages and dangerously low supplies. Will they be able to decipher the map and keep away from the corrupt mayor to bring their people to a new life?
Lina wants nothing more than to be a messenger. At 12, she loves feeling important and running and being part of the central nervous system of the city. She's adventurous, brave, and fiercely loyal to her baby sister Poppy.
Doon wants to do something to help fix Ember. He knows the power outages are going to get worse unless someone finds a solution, and he thinks that just maybe he can be part of that solution. When Lina approaches him with instructions that are partially decayed and partially eaten by her sister Poppy, Doon knows this is his big chance. With Lina, they will find hope for Ember.
This book reminded me of why I adore middle grade so very much. The characters are straight forward, but not simple. The plot is direct, but mysterious and exciting. There's a great pace that keeps your attention while developing a greater world and characters and all the exciting stuff you hope for in a book.
There's corruption with the Mayor. There's mystery as to where the instructions will lead them. There's hope in Lina and Doon and their companionship together. There's also very interesting social commentary that's sprinkled in that as an adult reader, I absolutely adored. Lina and Doon want to do the right thing and it takes getting busted before they realize that not everyone WANTS to do the right thing. Such is life, no?
I'm excited to continue moving forward with this series. City of Ember flows so well that it seemed to fly by. Nothing felt rushed or unexplained, mind you, just had that awesome pace that I adore in middle grade books. If you're looking for a middle grade dystopian series with two main characters that are inspiring and a world that has depth and intrigue, give this book a try! And then let's talk about it because it's awesome.
Fave quote: "Lina felt as though a lid that had been on her all her life had been lifted off." (pg 256 Kindle)
Pairs well with: Reading in the dark! I read this on my Kindle Paperwhite and it was the BEST because Ember is dark and I could read in the dark and so you know. It was awesome.
Fix er up: I mean, part of me gets a little too cynical with this and is wondering why NO ONE ELSE thought to look for a different way of life. But maybe that's the social commentary in a nutshell? That we get complacent and there we are.
Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.