Sarah Gilbert, November 17, 2010 (view all comments by Sarah Gilbert)
A fast read and one that keeps the ugliness -- and the beauty and ingenuity -- of humanity close to the surface. It's certainly not a classic; four stars is for a young reader, who will devour this as a kind of intro-to science fiction, modern in tone and global conflicts. it's enough of a nailbiter to keep anyone reading through to the end; the puzzle aspect will interest readers who are into that sort of thing (I am) and enough what-ifs to keep adults engaged.
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Shoshana, May 2, 2010 (view all comments by Shoshana)
It may seem like an oxymoron to call this middle reader title a sweet little dystopian novel, but that's what it is. This first in a series of four introduces Ember, an underground city developed and populated in the face of potential holocaust to safeguard a tiny fraction of the human race. In this it is reminiscent of Mordechai Roshwald's classic Level 7. Unlike Roshwald's tragic Officer X-127, DuPrau's Lina is a young adolescent with a community, a job, and relationships. Here the threat to the underground safe house is not related to the war but to the failure of the physical infrastructure. The actions of a greedy leader several generations before led to the misplacing and later mangling of the revelatory document that would have explained events and provided egress instructions to the denizens of Ember. Lina and Doon, a boy about her age, discover evidence of more greed and misuse of power, while also following clues that may save themselves and their community.
A theme that is present in at least the first three books but not elaborated upon is that small-scale individual greed, corruption, or suspicion of others may have dire consequences for large numbers of people.
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biscuitspaddy, January 27, 2009 (view all comments by biscuitspaddy)
I love reading and writing. I have not read The City Of Ember, but have seen the movie. Before I even heard about the movie or the book, I started writing a book with exactly the same storyline! (Great minds think alike.) I plan to read the book very soon.
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Starr, July 3, 2008 (view all comments by Starr)
My 9-yr-old son and I absolutely LOVE this series! I was shocked when he sucked it down in a little over a day on his own, and when I started reading it I understood why! I can't wait until the 4th one comes out in August.
Extremely well-written. Great messages, thrilling adventure, and plenty of suspense. The underlying truths are the best - I love this book!!
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monke, April 9, 2008 (view all comments by monke)
Very good book just finished series would read second or even third fourth or fifth time. I just loved it now my son is reading it and every night he wants me to spoil what happens but I don't tell him so he reads more. (The other guy that posted ((can't think of his name sorry)) ) is right I think it would be PG-13 but if they cut out the violence parts it could easily be PG. I hope everybody liked it as much as I did!
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Random House Books for Young Readers -
by USA Today,
"Reminiscent of post-apocalypse fiction like Robert O'Brien's Z for Zachariah, DuPrau’s book leaves Doon and Lina on the verge of the undiscovered country and readers wanting more.”
by Kirkus Reviews,
“The cliffhanger ending will leave readers clamoring for the next installment."
by School Lirary Journal,
"[T]he quick pace and the uncomplicated characters and situations will keep voracious fans of the genre engaged."
"Readers will relate to Lina and Doon's resourcefulness and courage in the face of ominous odds."
Medford lives on a neat, orderly island calledsimplyIsland.
Islanders like names that say exactly what a thing (or a person) is or does. Medford Runyuin is different. A foundling, he has a meaningless name that is just one of many reminders that hes an outsider. He also has a secret that could get him banished from Island forever.
A strange creature is about to arrive on Island, and Medfords secret will be out before he can blink twice.
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