Guest Review: The City of Ember

Post by Alysa
I've been meaning to read The City of Ember for a long time, and have even checked it out of the library once. However the inestimable and cooler than cool high school senior Micah has beat me to it. Here is what he says about it!

Once upon a time, there were two children living in a city. The only city in the whole history of history. The trouble is, you can only live by yourself for so long, especially when you don’t know how to make light bulbs (it’s always dark), and your running out of food (there’s no one else to get it from, and where would you grow it when it’s always dark?). Doon and Lina want to save the city of Ember, but they don’t know how.

And so it begins. Jeanne DuPrau’s The City of Ember was a decent read for the 270 pages in which it lasted, but the short duration and easy reading style make it perfect for beginning- to mid-level chapter readers. Mystery and intrigue shroud the city of Ember, and draw the reader invitingly in. How did it get to be the only city? Is it really the only city? Why is it falling apart? Why is it that the children have to save the city? At the same time it’s quite age appropriate, I can’t recall any swearing, and there’s no racy romance scenes or anybody dying that usually accompanies mystery, but it still creates the conflict and tension that drives a story forward and piques the reader’s curiosity. Children will most likely be captivated and adults will at least be mildly intrigued.

As an older reader the story ends at just the right time, leaving the reader satisfied with the events that have transpired but still waiting for the promise of tales to come. If I was a younger reader however, I think I might be demanding the next book. As Kirkus Reviews puts it “The cliffhanger ending will leave readers clamoring for the next installment.” Well, I don’t see any cliffs, and maybe I’m not clamoring, but if I happen to see The People of Sparks on the same $4.00 shelf as the first book, I may just stop and consider how bad a shape my wallet’s in.

So there you have it! The reason, Micah tells me, that the book was on sale is that it has just come out as a movie. Anyone seen it? Anyone wanna do a short review of the movie for us? Email everead at gmail dot com.


  1. HAH! that is me!

    I feel very good about myself, thank you so much for being nice.

    Did I tell you that was why it was on sale? I guess my memory is not as good in my old age. . .heh.

  2. Yes, well, you ARE a senior (citizen)... :D


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