Review: "City of Ember" by Jeanne DuPrau

Editor's Note: This book is coming out soon as a movie adaptation

Book Review by Darcy Anna Low

From the back of the book:

Citizens of Ember shall be assigned work at twelve years of age. Lina Mayfleet desperately wants to be a messenger. Instead, she draws the dreaded job of Pipeworks laborer, which means she'll be working in damp tunnels deep underground.

Doon Harrow draws messenger, and asks Lina to trade! Doon wants to be underground. That's where the generator is, and Doon has ideas on how to fix it. For as long as anyone can remember, the great lights of Ember have kept the endless darkness at bay. But now the lights are beginning to flicker...

The City of EmberHave you ever read a book that is SO good, that you can't wait to read the next one? That's this book. It's the best book I have read so far! The City of Ember is far underground. Which I thought, wow this be really cool to read about. The city itself is falling apart. Things are breaking down and the supplies are running out. But no one knows why things are breaking, or what to do about it. So everyone in the city has started making due, with trading with each other, and keeping everything from string, to paper off of cans to use for writing.

When the kids turn twelve, the mayor comes to all the schools and everyone picks slips of paper with jobs writing on them. The worst and most dangerous is working in the pipeworks. Its far under the city, and sometimes people don't come back from there. Since the city is underground, all of the lights are made by a giant generator. But the lights don't always work, and the darkness all around keeps getting closer. All of the people in the book, fear the darkness. I guess because of in the dark, there is the unknown. No one knows how far the darkness goes, or what is in it. People that have gone out in search of another city or a way out of Ember, have come quickly back and are know kind of crazy from it. So with the lights starting to flicker and break down more and more, you can feel that it is important to find out what's going wrong and a way to change things.

Doon is able to take things apart and put them back together. So he thinks if he can get down to where the generator is, he could look at it and maybe find a way to fix things. So he trades with Lina. Lina loves to run, so getting the job as a messenger is like a dream come true for her. Starting their jobs though, they find out things about Ember that they were never supposed to know. Some people in Ember are doing very evil things, and not everything is as it seems. Doon and Lina find a note with some words that are missing. They think it is a way to fix the generator, but it turns out to be so much more!

This book deals with so many things, like poverty, growing old, politics, and helping one another. These are things I never seen writing about in a teen book, and I really wish more books did this. This stuff is important. Sure I guess getting a boyfriend and stuff is important to us too. But we kids worry about the world too, and this lady that wrote this book gets that. I will always remember that about this book. Also another thing that is cool about this, is how when the generator starts breaking down; the older people start to remember there is something important they need to do. But they can't remember what it is. It's like they are breaking down just like the machine is.

This is by far the best book I ever read. And I hope people will go out to get it! Even adults will like it a lot. Its good sci fi!! This is the first book in the series, and the second book picks up right where the first one stops. Will Lina and Doon fix the generator in time? Can they help save the city from the unknown darkness? Will they get caught by the people who don't want things to change?

Hehe, I am not telling. You've just got to go out and get the book. You'll like it a lot!

Darcy Low

City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Published by: Yearling (May 25, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0375822747
ISBN-13: 978-0375822742
Genre: YA Fantasy


  1. Amber Baynor says

    I’m so glad to see other fans of this book running around out there. I personally loved it because it was something so fresh amidst all the Harry Potter (which I do also love, haha), Lord of the Rings and other adventure stories out around all over the place.
    I’m an official ambassador for the upcoming film adaptation of City of Ember. I’m coming to you because I have some exclusive first-look pictures that you might enjoy and share with your blog readers.
    Email me if you want them, I’d love to share them with you. Bill Murray looks great as the villainous Mayor Cole. And I think they are really capturing the imagery well. It's not exactly what I imagined, but I'm not disappointed. I'd love to get a fellow book fan's opinion on it!

    Would love to be in touch!
    Amber Baynor
    Official Ambassador

Speak Your Mind