Oct 8 2009

The City of Ember

City of EmberI finished two books in one day! Yea, me! I just finished Jeanne DuPrau‘s 2003 book, “The City of Ember” (a movie based on the book was released last year, might have to Netflix that). It came highly recommended to me by a friend (a teacher, not a teacher of MINE, just a teacher of stuff… kids, and those sorts of filthy, screaming, slimy things), so I felt compelled to give it a shot! The book seems to be aimed toward tweens/middle-schoolers, which is fine. Some of the books I remember most fondly are books I read when I was younger (e.g., Chronicles of Prydain, The Tripods, Satanic Mill). The story revolves around two 12-year old children named Lina and Doon. It follows their initial graduation, employment, and explorations in and about the isolated city of Ember (they start early in Ember… tween empowerment?).

The city of Ember is running out of resources (e.g., food, clothes, light bulbs), it’s residents having lived there longer than the Builders intended. This is all explained in the book’s prologue. I’m not sure how to categorize the book, it’s not really sci-fi (all the tech is 20th century), it’s not really a mystery (you know what’s going on from the start), it’s not really a romance (the kids are 12… Pedo Bear Seal of Approval), it’s sort of a thriller (but you sort of know what’s going to happen)… I guess it’s an adventure book, even though everything happens within a fairly confined area where the most dramatic event is flickering light bulbs. Don’t take from this that the story isn’t good, it is. It’s just hard to pigeon-hole. Basically, if you want to read a non-challenging tween pseudo-post-apocalyptic-adventure book, read “City of Ember”. It’s enjoyable and sometimes that’s all you need.

“In the city of Ember, the sky was always dark.”

4 out of 5