Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Series: Yes - Book of Ember #1
Genres: Science Fiction / Dystopia / Fantasy / Fiction
Short summary of the story:
This starts out as sort of a mystery. Why are the people of this not-yet-inhabited city going to be needing to stay there for at least a couple hundred years? Who are these builders who are talking in the Introduction? Then, in Chapter 1, apparently time skips ahead and we are 'in' the city of Ember, in the city of which the builders were talking. Life seems very straitened, even if it isn't said specifically to be so. There are rules which all the people follow ... or do they. We meet Lina and her younger sister Poppy and her grandmother Granny -- and a host of other people who live in Ember. But why are the lights starting to fail? Why are the supplies running short? It's a mystery within a mystery, which drew me into the story and ... happily flowed to a conclusion of that one particular story line but opened up a host of potential other stories.
My own feelings about this story: I think it is another example of a dystopian story of something which might happen and I feel, in many ways, it is improbable. I know some folks really like the story so that is great. But as I was reading it, I felt that the 'good' stuff of the story was that of the personal development of the people in it. This story is written with a 12 year old person as the main character (well, two 12-year-olds). There are a couple of things I don't care for -- one of which is that I find it very improbable that at the end of the story, they happen to find an entrance to the top of Ember and are able to throw down a bundle with the information in it as for how others can get out. I edited this with my own feelings because I'd not said how I felt about it, in my initial review (unlike all the other reviews I've posted, except for Howls, which I also edited). My own viewpoint of this story was sort of ugh and I didn't want to post that which might cause others, who might otherwise read the story and love it, to not read it. However, there it is.
Many hundreds of years ago, the city of Ember was created by the Builders to contain everything needed for human survival. It worked…but now the storerooms are almost out of food, crops are blighted, corruption is spreading through the city and worst of all—the lights are failing. Soon Ember could be engulfed by darkness…
But when two children, Lina and Doon, discover fragments of an ancient parchment, they begin to wonder if there could be a way out of Ember. Can they decipher the words from long ago and find a new future for everyone? Will the people of Ember listen to them?