Monday, February 20, 2006

The City of Ember

The underground city of Ember was built as a refuge where humanity could survive a disaster. Ember was designed to last hundreds of years, and the builders planned for everything - except the possibility that the instructions for getting out of the city and into the world above might be lost. Now, Ember is starting to fall apart. The generator that runs everything, including the lights, is failing, and the storerooms are running out of food. The future of Ember rests in the hands of two twelve-year-old children: Doon Harrow and Lina Mayfleet. Can Doon and Lina find a way to save Ember before the lights go out forever?

The City of Ember has been on my "to read" list for quite a while. Now I'm sorry I waited! It's an outstanding book - exciting, suspenseful, and intriguing. The city and culture of Ember are vividly drawn, and the characters are engaging. Doon and Lina are two very different characters, who nonetheless find friendship with each other on their quest to do what the adults in the city can't - or won't - do. Young readers will relate to their frustration at trying to get the adults in their lives to take them seriously.

I listened to the audio book from Audible.com and the audio is very well done. The narrator does a good job creating distinctive voices for all the characters, and music and sound effects add the the atmosphere without being overpowering.

4 comments:

Disco Mermaids said...

I've told so many people to read this book. It's one of the few books that I began reading with very high hopes and wasn't disappointed. I haven't read the sequel yet, though (and there's a prequel on its way!).

- Jay

Jen Robinson said...

I loved this book, too! The sequel is not quite so compelling in its setting (hard to top an underground city), but the dynamics between the characters are excellent. And it raising interesting issues about immigration and the merging of different societies. I'm looking forward to the prequel, too.

Sheila said...

Thanks Jen. I'm about halfway through the sequel, and I agree with you so far. But then, the first book is a tough act to follow.

Sheila said...

See my review of The People of Sparks!