Monday, November 5, 2012

City of Ember (Jeanne DuPrau)

Title: City of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Publisher: Random House
Length: Audiobook, 6hrs 52min
Rating: 3/5

At age twelve, children in the City of Ember are given a job to contribute to the welfare of the city. Lina wants to be a messenger so she can travel to every part of the city. Doon wants a job underground, because that’s where the generator is, and he’s determined to find a way to fix it. In Ember, the darkness is only kept at bay by the generator, and lately, there have been many blackouts. Coupled with the dwindling lack of supplies, and Doon is sure the city is close to shutting down forever. When Lina finds a document that suggests there might be a way out of Ember, she teams up with Doon to find out if there is a way to escape the darkness and if so, if anything exists beyond the city of Ember.

Why is Ember the way it is? Lina and Doon know nothing but their city, where the only power is from a water-powered generator that produces electricity, but only to power lights plugged into the wall. There are no portable lights, and when the power goes out, all one can see is absolute darkness.

Doon and Lina are only twelve, but they take on the responsibility of saving the city when the adults can’t. While they grow a lot in this process, they also learn that they can’t do everything themselves, and that pride can be not only their downfall, but the downfall of the city as well. Will they figure out the puzzle and save their city?

I should include the disclaimer that I tend to like books I listen to on audiobook a little less than those I read because I’m impatient to find out what happens. That being said, I did enjoy the voices of the narrator, even though the slow pace and incredibly detailed descriptions frustrated me. This book centers around a word puzzle that Lina finds, and it’s hard as a reader to help Lina figure out the puzzle without being able to see it. But afterall, I suppose it is Lina and Doon’s puzzle to figure out, not mine, and the mystery was the best part of the book.

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