The City of Ember (Book of Ember #1)

 
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Cool but Unreal Story
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5.0
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5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Kelmo

I thought this book was phenomenal! Lina and Doon were linked from the start! That's what I loved about this story. They stuck together through the end! I really like stories like this because they make you hungry to read more! I recommend this book to EVERYBODY!
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An Electric Read!
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5.0
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5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Stacey @ book:thirty

The City of Ember is falling apart. The Builders designed the city generations ago, but only provided for its survival for 200 years. The secrets to saving the city have been lost, and now the citizens are in a panic as their provisions run low and confusion sweeps through the masses.

Enter 12 year old friends and recent school graduates Lina and Doon. They are both convinced that answers are within their reach, and when Lina finds an old, mysterious document - chewed up and partially destroyed by her baby sister - the friends work together to fill in the missing pieces of the message. They are optimistic and courageous, and their perserverence has profound effects on the future of Ember.

There is an interesting paradox in the world DuPrau has created here - while it seems to take place in the future, the lives of the citizens are very primitive. There is no technology for communication and colors like green and blue only exist as expensive and rare colored pencils. The entire city is lit by a system of floodlights, the citizens being woken at 6am when the system turns on, and going to bed at the 9pm "lights out." No one has discovered how to make "moveable light," so they are absolutely restricted to the city's schedule. Knowledge is limited, and children only go to school until the age of 12. The city library is a mostly unused vault of makeshift books. The shadows beyond the city are called the Unknown Regions, and very few dare to enter them.

I like the small details that hint at life beyond Ember - mainly, Doon's fascination with bugs, and Lina's care of a tiny bean sprout. It's this curiosity in both of them that make them the most likely saviors of Ember. It seems that everyone else is content in their ignorance, an extension of the darkness that is always just a breath away. Darkness without, darkness within.

For me, the story just sprang to life in the last quarter of the book. I simply could not stop reading until I found out what was going to happen to Lina and Doon. I cared about them, I cared about Ember. I think part of DuPrau's success with this book is that she follows the "Show, Don't Tell" approach and let's us see through the characters' actions who they are and why we should care about them.

I've been careful not to give anything away in this review, but just know that there are several interesting revelations and an intriguing foundation for the continuation of this story, found in DuPrau's sequel, People of Sparks.
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A Great Series!
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5.0
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by Amanda

Nighttime is no stranger to Ember. In fact, it is always nighttime in Ember, though members of the city turn the huge lamps on during the day in order to conduct business and allow the citizens of Ember to enjoy a normal life. Beyond the lights lie the Unknown Regions, intense areas of vast darkness where many venture, but none make it past. The entire city truly believes that Ember is the only city on earth, until a couple of young, intelligent kids earn their jobs and begin an investigation that will forever change Ember.


Like all 12 year olds, when young Lina Mayfield and Doon Harrow begin their jobs working for the city, they are both curious about how the city actually operates. They quickly become knowledgeable on the extreme shortage of supplies with Ember and are determined to find a way out for help, even with the Mayor and practically the whole town working against them. Using a ripped up note Lina's grandmother found, the pair start piecing together clues as to how to save Ember and also begin to realize just what kind of city Ember is.


As I said, this book was totally original and I am so sorry I didn't pick it up before. I loved every minute and cannot wait to get to book number 2. I simply cannot imagine living my entire life in a city like Ember, but I'm really enjoying reading about it! If you're mourning Harry Potter being done, try this out.
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Wonderful!!
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5.0
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by Matt Hill

This wonderful novel is about a city created underground so that there will always be humans on the Earth; as WWIII is imminent. In this city, Lina, a normal girl, finds a box shoved away in a closet. But, she realised that this was left by the origional builders of the city, to tell the people of Ember how to get out when the food ran out. But, as the mayor is corrupt, no one will believe her, except her friend Doon, and even then they have trouble as the power generators break down nearly every day, and no one really knows how to fix them!! But, while the city infrasturcture breaks down in the year 241, about 20 years later than the Builders expected, nearly no one wants to leave, for they see no reason to leave! But, this all changes when those two kids find the way out, and lead the others to safety!

This is an excellent read anytime, and it can touch the hearts of those who read it at any age! Don't forget to also read the books sequel, People of Sparks, to see how these people deal with Nature for the first time! Lastly, watch out for the movie, set to come out in Fall 2008!
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Beautiful! Absolutely engaging...
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5.0
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5.0
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N/A
When I first picked the book up, I thought, "oh no, did I really just buy this?" BUT...
I opened it to find a map, which I thought was interesting. It actually came to really good use. Throughout the book,we hear of Lina and Doon going through these streets of Ember, and I just flicked back to the map whenever I felt intrigued to know. The two main character, Lina and Doon, are just so adorable. We see the story from both of their perspectives and watch as their separate lives intertwine from just going to school together to other adventurous journeys. I was so in love with the world building that Jeanne DuPrau has created because I got to see the citizens of Ember's struggles to cooperate with the fact the lights of Ember could go out at any time. They spend every day worrying and the book pushes the same worry onto the reader.
It's such a unique story that I think any reader would enjoy.
I also have to admit, I may have let a tear or two crawl out of my eye... There were sad parts, okay?!
I'm looking forward to endure in the next three books in this unforgettable adventure.
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An Fantastic Underground Fantasy
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5.0
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5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Ellen

The City of Ember is a fantasy story by Jeanne Duprau that tells about two people named Lina and Doon that are trying to find a way to get out of their city. In Ember there is no light, without light bulbs, and there are less and less light bulbs each and every day. Although all of the people in Ember dont know it, the city is underground. That is why it is so dark. Lina and Doon are trying to find a way to get out to where we live, to where the sun is what lights the sky. They dont know where normal humans live, but they are taking a quest to figure out how to get there. When Lina finds instructions that will help get everybody out of Ember, everything changes. In the very end of the book Lina and Doon arrive above ground by following the instructions.
Duprau is an exquisite novelist that uses vivid actions to tell her stories. I like this because it gives me something different to hear. In most books I read the descriptions are given through talking or seeing, but in Dupraus writing I get descriptions out of actions. The thing in this story that stood out to me the most was her description of when Lina and Doon were in their old school. The planks of the floor were scuffed gray, and there was a cloud of finger smudges on the doorknob of every door. This sentence gave me a wonderful description of each doorknob and the floor of the school. I think The City of Ember very interesting book that I would recommend to anyone.
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Hope can be found in the Darkest Places
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5.0
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5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Cheryl

WOW!!! I really enjoyed this book. The City of Ember is set in a post-apocolyptic life-boat-type village set up hundreds of years ago. The idea was for a representation of the human population of earth to move to a secret village, built deep underground and well supplied for hundreds of years. After the risk of desolation has passed, a box with instructions for how the population is to return to the surface will open, and the human race would be saved. The only problem is that the instructions, and the lore behind them, are lost. Now the city is facing increasing shortages of canned food, clothing, paper, electricity, as well as hope. This book is about the quest a young boy and girl embark upon to save their city.

The author does a good job creating believable, multi-faceted, heroic characters. She shows that children can not only be symbols, but catalysts for hope. Any other author trying to tell this story probably would have left me with a dark feeling of gloom. However, DuPrau told this story in such a way, that I finished the book with a smile and a sense of hope for the darkening City of Ember
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Enjoyable for any age
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5.0
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5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Nic

The city of Ember was always a prosperous city, with seemingly endless supplies and a reliable generator that keeps the city lit during the day. However, after 200 years or so, the supplies are running low and the lights are beginning to fail. Lina Mayfleet, a young messenger, makes a startling discovery that just may be the key to saving her city.


The city of Ember is a peaceful totalitarian society, where residents are assigned jobs and everyone works for the good of the city. As the government's corruption is revealed and the people start to panic, the once-utopia falls under a sinister shadow.


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My All Time Favorite
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5.0
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5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Sloth Girl

Lina and Doon live in an underground city where life is slightly different than above ground. Their city keeps experiencing mysterious blackouts and Doon wants to figure out a way to help. Lina is a messenger and puzzles over a correspondence involving the mayor and another man. Soon Lina and Doon meet and find themselves in the middle of a mystery that could save their underground city.

This book never had one dull part. It was a great mystery book that I couldnt put down.
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Brilliant idea
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5.0
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5.0
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N/A
I love this book, the concept of them living underground and them running out of light is just an amazing idea. It is such a realistic idea that I'm scared it may happen, please don't, I do not want to live under the ground for the rest of my life, it would be terrible!!!! At least you would grow used to it and all your claustrophobia will have to disappear.

This book is full of adventure and mystery that keeps you gripped in its clutches and only lets you go when you have finished the book. I think the characters are beautifully written, with well defined personalities that makes you love them! I think Lina was my favorite, because she... well that would spoil the story!
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