REVIEW: The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

REVIEW: The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrauCity of Ember (Books of Ember #1) by Jeanne DuPrau
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers (2003), eBook, 270pg
Source: Bought
Genres: Fiction, Sci-fi

The city of Ember was built 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. (from Amazon)

I’ve been meaning to read this book for AGES, but somehow I kept forgetting to, y’know, actually do that! It wasn’t until my mom started watching the movie version one day that I remembered it again, and since the ebook was pretty cheap I decided to go ahead and buy it and maybe read it on my vacation.
The author

I’m kinda regretting taking so long to read this book, y’all. It’s really good! The beginning chapters are some of the BEST beginning chapters I’ve read in a while, and I simply adore the main characters, Doon and Lina. They’re the sort of people you want to have around in a dystopic world, I think: strongheaded, imaginative, and willing to take chances. And I REALLY like that they’re actually two equal partners in this whole adventure (at least, they’re equal in the first book; maybe it changes in the next ones), rather than Doon as the “real” main character and Lina as his sidekick. I’m tired of having the men be the “true” heroes while the women are delegated to a side role (mostly “dictionary/encyclopaedia”) even though they were billed as frontrunners in the story along with the dudes. City of Ember? Yeah, Lina’s a MAIN character. I love that! Really a lot.

Anyway, I don’t want to say too much more about it, because I think I’ll be giving stuff away then. One of the best parts of reading a dystopic novel is figuring out HOW the world went dystopic in the first place. And then you get the horror of figuring out what went so wrong and stuff. It’s great! Being a MG book, of course, it’s not too scary even if it is a dystopia, but I still got little shivers in some places.

Read: January 15-16, 2011

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but from the summary it looks like Doon takes over the lead role and Lina gets the sidekick position. Is that true?

Note: Author photo lifted from her website.

5 thoughts on “REVIEW: The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau”

  1. Yay, I’m glad you liked it!

    I watched the movie, but it was a while ago, and all I really remember is that I was disappointed that they’d dumbed down some of the clues/problem solving aspects of the story to fit into the movie.

    1. Aw, that’s disappointing. There’s always some sort of sacrifice when adapting from book to screen, isn’t there? 🙁

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