Review of ‘The City of Ember’

The City of Ember: The First Book of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

A great book, with lots of themes to discuss. Government corruption, the dangers of relying exclusively on your religious beliefs for salvation, over-dependence on technology, and the need to do what is right over what is popular. Lina and Doon are suitable heroes, although this is definitely Lina’s story; it’s interesting to watch her grow from a schoolgirl eager just to accept her place in society to a responsible person willing to take an enormous risk for a chance to save her city and, as it turns out, possibly the human race. The writing captured the growing danger and felt suitably claustrophobic, particularly during the passages when the city and its inhabitants were in total darkness. I was a bit disappointed with the film — the added action sequences seemed forced, and detracted from what was already an exciting tale. The book’s ending wasn’t as ambiguous as the one in Lois Lowry’s The Giver, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

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