Book Reviews of The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1)

The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1)
The City of Ember - Ember, Bk 1
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
ISBN-13: 9780375822735
ISBN-10: 0375822739
Pages: 288
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 87

3.9 stars, based on 87 ratings
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

36 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 373 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
What an inventive, creative, and exciting YA book! I couldn't tear myself away from this great tale of two young people trying to save their dying city while deciphering a cryptic set of instructions. Set in an unknown future, this story is excellent for any age.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 129 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
I have literally just finished this book and I am still trembling with anticipation and literally KICKING myself for not buying the entire series at once. It is 1 AM and I might just have to go out to an all-night store and buy myself the next book I want to see what is going to happen THAT badly!

In the city of Ember, light is more precious than water. The electricity comes on only during the "day" and is turned off from 9 PM until 6 AM leaving the city in complete and utter darkness...this is the way it has been for as long as any of the residents can remember.

But something is wrong. Something is very wrong. The lights are going off not just at night now. True there have been power outages before, but never like this one. This one lasts for SEVEN MINUTES, the longest blackout in recorded history.

There are also rumors. Rumors that the generator under the city is failing. Rumors that the stores of canned food and light bulbs are running out. And things are indeed running out. Stores have empty shelves, blank paper is a rarity, and the food rations are becoming more and more limited.

Doon knows the city is failing and can't figure out why. If only he could understand the generator and what makes electricity, maybe he could save the city from its inevitable destruction.

Lina doesn't want to believe what Doon is saying. The city dying? How can that be possible? But the blackouts have been coming more and more frequently and one day Lina comes across torn up strips of paper that clearly have some sort of instructions on them...instructions that could possibly save them all...if she and Doon can figure them out.

This book would make the best movie ever! It is geared for younger kids, so Harry Potter kids will adore it! It was a fast read, but had a surprisingly adult theme that left my mouth watering for more! This was the best book I have read in a long time. So good it gave me chills! Once you pick this up you won't be able to put it down! Don't say I didn't warn you!!!

FIVE STARS! SIX IF I COULD GIVE IT THAT MANY!!!!!!!!!!!
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This book was a blast. I enjoyed it so much I can't wait to read The People of Sparks. If you like adventure and thrill then this is the book for you. Enjoy!
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
"Freakin' sweet!" - Kate (my daughter)
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 69 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
If you liked The Giver, you'll like this book. It's got a great cliffhanger ending, and I can't wait for the next one to come out!
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 135 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
young adult book, but I enjoyed it. If you are looking for something a little different but with a new type of series...what happens next??? pick this book. Reminds me of a world that ends, but the journey has hope.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I LOVED THIS BOOK, and I hope to find the sequel on this site up for trade! It's so engauging, and thrilling - one of those books I could hardly put down.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Captivating story which continues on in The City of Sparks.

:-)
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The story of 2 12 year-olds in the City of Ember - one who wants to be a messenger, the other a pipeworker - and how their jobs and lives come together in this fascinating science fiction tale.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent characters and storyline! A great read even for us adults!!
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
i loved it
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It's a good idea for a book, but I think it's lacking in some areas.
Pros: The storyline is good--a city kept underground for generations, with its citizens not knowing anything about the outside world. It keeps a good pace. It has morals--the characters learn things such as self-control or unselfishness.
Cons: The writing style is quite simple--not a lot of variety in the words. The dialogue seems fake, making the characters lack personality. There are a few plot holes, but nothing too major.
Overall, I'd say it's OK. It kept me interested, but not fascinated.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on
I'd read previous reviews on this book that were all very positive and got me very excited to read it. However, I'm sad to say that I was disappointed. I found the book to be very boring, slow paced and it literally took me weeks to get through it. I'm an avid reader and I love kids books but this one just left me feeling like I was missing something.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 37 more book reviews
Having watched the movie first, I was still anxious to start reading the series. I loved the film, but the more the book progressed, I found some major flaws in the movie. I loved the book. Although I basically knew what was going to happen, I found the book to be highly exciting from page one. This book is not just for young adult readers but adults who enjoy a good apocalyptic fantasy.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
What a fun read! At first it took me a little while to get into the book (perhaps because I'd already watched the movie and the book was pretty similar). I am very glad I read this one, and I couldn't wait to start the next one (and I'm in my late 20s).

Lina and Doon are quite likable young characters who are trying to decode a message from several hundred years ago while around them, their city is running out of essential food, light bulbs, and supplies. Theirs is the only city they know--they are surrounded by darkness and have no way to trade for or make their clothing or supplies. Their generator is failing, too, and it provides the only light in the city.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 42 more book reviews
The City of Ember is a 2003 post-apocalyptic book by Jeanne DuPrau. It revolves around the City of Ember which is the only light in the dark world. Beyond Ember, the darkness goes on forever in all directions. When the children of the city of Ember finish school, they begin work at 12 years of age. . . .
The protagonist, Lina Mayfleet desperately wants to be a messenger. Messengers spend their days outside, running from one corner of the city to the other. Instead, she draws the dreaded job of Pipeworks laborer, which means she'll be stuck in tunnels deep underground. But as luck would have it Doon Harrow draws messenger and asks to trade with Lina! Doon wants to be underground. That's where the generator is, and Doon has ideas about how to fix it. For as long as anyone can remember, the great lights of Ember have kept the endless darkness that surrounds the city at bay. But now the lights are starting to flicker.
When Lina finds fragments of an ancient parchment, she and Doon put the pieces together to discover a message that seems to be directions out of the city.
This is actually the second in chronicle order of the four books of Ember, The Prophet of Yonwood is about the decent into Ember. There are also two other books about what happens after the escape from Ember, The People of Sparks and
The Diamond of Darkhold are the final installments as of now. I hope to find and read all four with my children before my year is out.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
This is a series I'd been eyeing for quite a while, and I'm glad I finally was able to dive in. In a world at once familiar and alien, an unlikely pair of youngsters unlock a secret that may save their entire civilization. The City of Ember may be crumbling around them, but those in charge want to stay in charge and avoid a change that could rock Ember to its foundations.

Duprau creates the vision of a failing world of doom and gloom that is constantly trying to keep the oppressive darkness at bay. The pace is a bit slow at first, but you'll find yourself pulled into the action once things start to take off. Some characters come across as cartoonish almost Dickensian villains, but the heroes are kids you can really root for. Book 2 is already on its way to me, and I can't wait!
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 203 more book reviews
Once I had read the prologue of this book I was eager to read the rest of this book and the entire series! I love the mental picture the author has drawn in the her descriptions... Everything from the city itself to the people in it are great! There are times you feel like you could be walking through Ember. This is a good read for kids (ages 10-15) too.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 90 more book reviews
An enjoyable story with two well-written tweens as the main characters. The whole series has great commentary on the danger of "us versus them" mentality and the damaging choices it can lead to. I recommend reading the sequel, "The People of Sparks" also, as the two books together make a complete story. There is also a "prequel" available and a third book which takes place after "the people of sparks."
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
It was great! Really creative and well-thought-out, with lots of (possible) messages about our society.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Very mysterious! People need to read this.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
i enjoyed this book very much. it was very intense and a joy to read.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 48 more book reviews
Excellent book, and very original. I couldn't put it, or it's sequel - The People of Sparks - down.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Really cool intermediate book - kind of like The Giver by Lois Lowry
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 126 more book reviews
A city where a child graduates from school at the age of twelve, when he/she choose his future career by drawing job titles from a bag held by the city's mayor. But what good are these occupations in a city that is running short of supplies? What good is any of this when the city's heart--the ancient electric generator--is failing, and no one knows how to repair it? And what will happen when the generator fails, and the city is engulfed in TOTAL darkness?

This is the story of two young residents who dare to break traditions and search for a resolution. A resolution that--unbeknown to them--was provided by the city's Builders, stored in a small box with a timed lock. A box that was misplaced by one of the city's mayors just before he died.

This is a good story, simple in its telling, making it an exciting juvenile and YA novel. I would recommend it for young readers 10-14 years of age :o)
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 1524 more book reviews
This is the first novel about the people of the City of Ember. A remarkably finished first YA novel by a teacher, who apparently knows young adults well.

The city of Ember was built deep underground as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever! This stunning debut novel offers refreshingly clear writing and fascinating, original characters.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 25 more book reviews
It may have been a mistake to watch the movie first, but I wasn't aware of the book until I had. I found Doon and Linna to be somewhat selfish in the book. They weren't completely unsympathetic, but they weren't terribly endearing. I don't feel like they had enough info to reasonably put the puzzle together, so things felt a little jumbled and rushed at some points to me.

I'm glad that I read it, though, and I'm curious about the next book.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
Good read for middle school boy! :)
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 56 more book reviews
My 9 year old daughter said that this is one of the best books that she has ever read (and she reads alot!)
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 37 more book reviews
An exciting mystery awaits to be solved!
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 100 more book reviews
great says my daughter
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 68 more book reviews
Great simple, thoughtful story.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Enjoyable book as an adult, although intended for later grade school or middle/high school I'd guess; the lead characters are 12 years old.

I recently saw the movie and enjoyed it.

The general plot is that there was an unnamed catastrophe looming, and an underground city was built with the intent of people staying 200 years and reemerging. 250 years go by, and the city is wearing out (generator wearing out, supplies of canned food, light bulbs, etc. running low). A girl stumbles upon the instructions to exit the city, and struggles to piece them together since her toddler sister chewed up the paper and parts of the words are missing.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 355 more book reviews
The underground city of Ember is in trouble, but the complacent citizens seem to ignore the food shortages and frequent blackouts. The Builders, when they created the city some 241 years ago, made provisions for its citizens in the form of a note called "The Instructions." Unfortunately, The Instructions were not handed down through the generations as they were supposed to be, and suddenly 12-year old Lina, a city Messenger, has discovered them. After trying to tell her friends and even the Mayor about the discovery of the partially destroyed Instructions, Lina turns to a one-time school friend, Doon, a worker in the underground Pipeworks, whom she believes will understand their importance. But what can two children do with such important information, and who would even believe them?
The City of Ember is a clever novel which tells the unique story of two unintentional heroes who fight the status quo in order to bring hope to their city. The descriptions of the world of Ember are fascinating, leaving the reader to appreciate the incredible imagination of first-time novelist Jeanne DuPrau. The narrator thoughtfully informs us of the setting-the unusual and self-contained world of Ember-slowly throughout the novel, and not all at once in the first chapter. It's only in chapter 8 that we even realize that there are no animals in Ember and the words "heaven" and "boat" have no known meaning. The characters are outstandingly original yet touchingly familiar in their pre-pubescent views of the adult world. The deaths of Lina's parents and then custodial grandmother create a sympathy for her that causes us to, all the more, wish for her triumph. It is the curiosity of Lina and Doon that drive this narrative, and it is the nice balance between primary and secondary characters that keeps the reader on his/her toes. While we expect a happy ending, it's not until the final pages of the novel that we understand what has happened and why. And, as always, we forgive a good author for the blatant suggestions of a sequel.
Credit Lisa Johannes
I absolutely loved this story, and had all of my children read it. They all loved it also.
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 366 more book reviews
an enjoyable book with a cliffhanger ending....
reviewed The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1) on + 22 more book reviews
Lina Mayfleet esperately 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 the messenger-and asks Lina to trade! Doon wants to be underground. That's where the generator is, and Doon has ideas about how to fix it. For as long as anyone can remember, the grat lights of Ember have kept endless darkness at bay. But now thelights are beginning to flicker.....