Home » Book Review » The City of Ember by Jeanne Du Prau

The City of Ember by Jeanne Du Prau

City of Ember

City of Ember (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an underground city, workers had built a city designed to last for 200 years. A box is used to hold instructions on how to leave the City of Ember and given to the mayor. But the box had disappeared and its whereabouts have been unknown for many years. Until its discovery in a closet, that was.


The people have lived happily in the City of Ember for many years. But now, the city‘s generators are failing and blackouts are occurring everyday. Lina Mayfield and Doon Harrow have graduated from school and await their life long jobs. Lina is upset to discover that she has to work the city’s pipelines while Doon is equally upset that he has to be the city’s messenger. They switch jobs, giving Doon the opportunity to see if he could look at the generator more closely and giving Lina the job she always wanted.

Lina live at home with her aged grandmother and little sister Poppy, both of her parents have long since died. When a box is revealed in a closet in her house, her grandmother is excited, but doesn’t know what the box contains. Lina finds out that her grandmother is the daughter of the 7th mayor, who hid the box in his house rather than let the successor have it. Doon discovers that the generator is failing, thus that’s what was causing the blackouts.

Lina discovers that the box held a message that was written in code. She and Doon vow to crack the code and save the city and their fellow citizens. Lina’s grandmother dies and she and her sister are taken in by a kindly neighbor, Mrs. Murdo. It’s now a race against time as Lina, Doon, and Poppy secretly escape from the city during a celebration after warning everyone about the generator failing and accusing the mayor of being greedy and withholding food and supplies from the people. The mayor calls them traitors and has the police hunt them down. Lina, Doon, and Poppy follow the instructions and find the exit, in which they leave by boat and sail down the underground river before winding up in the surface world, just as the sun is rising. Mrs. Murdo is looking for Lina and Poppy when she discovers a message sent by Lina and Doon informing her of what they have discovered.

My Review: A very interesting book. I enjoyed it and it was a good read from someone who doesn’t necessarily read science fiction.

My recomendation: Anyone looking for a good science fiction book to read should read this book.

My rating: ****


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