Book Review: The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

September 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

There wasn’t much to make me love this book.  Ember is the only city in a world of darkness with no sun, moon, or stars, and the supply of light bulbs (and everything else) is rapidly diminishing.  Twelve-year-olds Doon and Lina don’t believe that Ember could be all there is in the world and they strive to discover the truth and save mankind from the impending darkness.

The biggest problem with the book is that it didn’t make me care about any of the characters.  I didn’t hate the bad guys, and I didn’t care much about the good guys.  Also, the plot has been done before (most notably in The Giver by Lois Lowry, but also in Robert Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky, which I love), and there were some serious plot holes like the fact that no one, in the hundreds of years they’ve lived in darkness, has thought to make a torch or candle to help explore the darkness.  If you skip this one, you won’t be missing much.  That said, I love the attempt and will be curious to see what DuPrau writes after this series is completed.

If you’re wondering what you should read instead, check out the reading recommendations for great reads for middle grade and young adult readers.

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