The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau
Ember, a self-contained city, is on the brink of ruin. The Builders who built the city left supplies, but after 200 years those supplies are beginning to run out. And, worse, the electrical system is failing, leaving the city in darkness for longer and longer periods of time. No one can leave the city to explore the Unknown Regions, because there are no mobile lights. Fortunately, the Builders prepared for this contingency. They left a time-release box with the Mayor containing instructions. Sadly, the seventh mayor took the box home and tried unsuccessfully to open it. He died before taking the box back and before telling his successor about it.
Lina and Doon, the two twelve-year-old narrators, have recently graduated from Ember’s educational system, taking jobs as a Messenger and a Pipeworker, respectively. Lina and Doon seem to be the only people concerned with the city’s condition, and they race to find a way out.
I really enjoyed this book a lot. It was interesting to read a post-apocalyptic tale with child narrators. The writing is simple and seamless. The characters are interesting and fun. And, the idea is just great. This seemingly forgotten city in the midst of the darkness opens up a world of possibilities. Luckily, there are three more books in which to explore.
The City of Ember, by Jeanne Duprau [rating:4]