Monday, September 14, 2009

City of Ember Books

Hey, guys, it's Carl once again and I want to thank all you reader guys for turning me on to these terrific books. I had always meant to read them but never got around to actually picking them up. So many of you reader guys wrote to us about them last winter, though, that I finally sat up and took notice. In fact, so many of you wrote about them that we decided to start a book club based on them! That's what finally got me to read and enjoy them. Thanks! These books ROCK AND ROLL!!

Since there are four of them, I'll give you quick reviews:

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Somewhere under the earth, there's a city is lit by floodlights and powered by a giant generator. It was made by the Builders to ensure that some of humanity would survive the great holocaust they expected. But it's 250 years later and the generator is wearing out. So is the food and all the other supplies. Two kids, Lina and Doon, believe the city is dying but have trouble getting anyone to believe them. Then they accidentally come across the old instructions for getting out-but half the instructions have been torn up! Can they put together enough of the instructions to understand? And can they lead the rest of the people to safety? This is one terrific book! Lots of suspense and a slam-bang finish. And you won't forget what it's like to live in that undeground city. Jeanne DuPrau has a real gift for meaking you feel what it's like to live in a completely different environment.

The People of Sparks
The people of Ember escape the undergroud city but are totally unprepared to live on their own. Fortunately, they come to the village of Sparks and find some help. But the people of Sparks are also unprepared to assit that many people for long. Both groups worry that there won't be enough to go around and they almost start a war over it. This one is every bit as good as the first one. Ms. DuPrau also has a gift for building up tension in a story until it explodes.

The Prophet of Yonwood
I'm sorry, but I was bitterly disappointed. The publishers advertise this as a prequel to The City of Ember. That lead me (and Bill) to think this would be a story about the events that made people go into the underground city. Well, that's sort of what you get, but just barely. It would have been a much better story if she had written such a book. The events in this one are so distantly realted to the building of Ember that they're hardly connected. Not that this is a bad book--Ms. DuPrau is a powerful writer and this book also has a lot of tension that builds to the end. I just wish they had advertised it as a book in the Ember series instead of a prequel (BTW, I have one other complaint--this is one of those books, like The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, that tries to say that those who believe in absolutes of right and wrong are control freaks trying to impose their will on others. It happens, yeah, but not always)

The Diamond of Darkhold
A return to the tension-and-action-packed books in this series. The people of Sparks and Ember are having a very tough winter. Many are sick and half the food supplies have been ruined. Lina and Doon return to Ember to find supplies but instead they find---well, you'll just have to read to find out! Let's just say that they find something worse than they could have ever expected! I really enjoyed this one. A fitting end to a terrific series.

And if you want to see what other guys have written about the City of Ember books or what we did during our book clubs, hit the Labels under this post.

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