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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 7 January 2014
General Overview (No Spoilers)

I really enjoyed this book, I watched the film a few years ago and really enjoyed it, so I knew the basic storyline before reading, which took away some surprise, but did not ruin the book for me. I found the characters exciting, believable and found myself rooting for them even when I knew what was going to happen. There was some differences from the film, which made it more engaging for me. I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series. I think if I had not watched the film first it might have been 5 stars, but still a wonderfully enjoyable read.

4 stars out of 5.

Step by Step Overview (Spoilers)

0% - I am hoping I will still enjoy this book even though I know the main story line, I should because I loved the film.

10% - Enjoying the story so far, I have not watched the film for a few years which is good because I cannot remember all the smaller parts of the story. I am liking all the little details that films miss out, it's the main reason I love books so much, there's so much more that can be conveyed in books than films.

20% - Lina's intrigue and wonder are compelling to me. I find character's like her make a very engaging read. I am glad that you see from both Lina and Doon's POVs.

30% - I like the author's writing style, she uses simple but effective ways to get her point across. When Lina is happy she seems to know everyone's names, like one big family, When she is scared the people she passes become just men and women. It's a nice way that adds to Lina's feelings.

40%- It's nice how something as simple as coloured pencils can make Lina so happy, it shows that when you do not have much of something it makes it more precious.

50% - At last someone else is as excited about the paper instructions as Lina. I wonder what city Lina keeps drawing?

60% - Aww no poor Granny. Is the guard in on it too? Or is he now just going to steal everything for himself?

70% - Finally they are getting somewhere, will they manage to convince the whole town to escape?

80% - If there's such a paper shortage how can they put posters up everywhere? And why does no-one question it. Go, Lina, run.

90% - This part is different from the film. I wonder what they will find when they leave Ember?

100% - I wish you found out whether or not the rest of the city got out, but I am sure we will find out in the next book in the series. I really enjoyed this. I have high hopes for the next book in the series.

Who would I recommend it to?

Anyone who likes YA or dystopian books, or both. It was a nice easy fun read, well worth it.
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on 14 October 2009
Lina and Doon are graduating from school. At twelve years of age, all graduates are given a work assignment for the city of Ember. Lina wants nothing more than to be a Messenger, to run free and explore the city. But Lina draws out a Pipeworks assignment. Doon draws the Messenger job and sulks. Lina can't understand why anyone would be angry to be a Messenger.

After class, Doon asks Lina if she'd like to trade. Thrilled to get her wish after all, Lina accepts. As Lina and Doon start their new jobs, they both discover things are not well in Ember. Blackouts have been happening more frequently and for longer periods of time, and supplies are running very low. What will the citizens of Ember do if the lights go out for good? What will happen if they run out of supplies altogether? Many have walked into the unknown regions only to come back half-mad, swearing there it nothing out there. Lina stumbles onto a mysterious message that may hold the answer to these questions. But can she and Doon decipher it before it's too late?

This book drew me in from page one. I love the world DuPrau created in Ember. Lina and Doon are both fun but naturally flawed characters who stumble along trying to find their way in their world. This book gives you a lot to think about as to where life comes from, although the author leaves the answer to that question open to the reader to decide. I found it brilliant how the people in Ember asked questions about their life, that they knew something was missing, that the darkness didn't seem right, even though they knew nothing else. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I highly recommend this book for readers of all ages.
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on 4 June 2014
I bought 'The City of Ember' after I watched the film adaptation a few weeks ago, which was a good movie, I liked the story. There are some differences between the book and the film (as always), Doon and Lina are great characters and their quest to find a way out of Ember is interesting as they work out the parchment which was left by the Builders.

I hope to read the rest of the series at some point.
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on 4 November 2004
Two children live their lives in the completely dark city of Ember. Things are going wrong: electricity keeps cutting out, goods are in short supply. What will become of the people if the lights do not come on again? Then the children find bits of instructions left by forefathers showing a way out but where to?
Makes you wonder what would happen if something,a meteorite perhaps, stopped our supplies. What would happen to us then? What if we had power cuts all the time? No petrol, no oil, how would we live? An excellent and realistic tale.
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on 16 July 2014
I loved this book. Although it is aimed at a younger audience, like the Hunger Games, Harry Potter series etc. this is enjoyable for adults as well. It is a very atmospheric book, very believable and well written with very likable characters. The story gripped me from the start and I found it hard to put down. Highly recommended.
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on 25 March 2006
This is a really unusual book. You've got to use your imagination to work out what is going on in this world. There are lots of clues, but they don't tell you everything. The characters are realistic and fun and the story is exciting. It would make a great movie. So pick up your money and buy this book. You're not going to regret it.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 19 October 2014
This is a beautifully written, thoughtful and engaging novel. The characters are well developed and the plot is lovingly crafted. However, the age range is probably confined to 11-13. The protagonist is a 12-year-old and the writing style is polished but unchallenging. That is not to take away from the worth of this novel but I wouldn't recommend it for young adults or adults.
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on 25 February 2013
I HAVE THE FILM " THE CITY OF EMBER" WHICH IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITES., BUT I RECKON THE BOOK SURPASSES THE FILM.. I HAVE THIS BOOK AND 2 AND 4 IN THE COLLECTION THOUGH NOT 3 ( WHICH I THOUGHT WAS UTTER NONSENSE ) SO HIGHLY SUPER READING IN MY OPINION..
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on 23 September 2007
A great YA book. Well planned and thought out. It will have you thinking all of the way through. If you like dystopian and post-apocolyptic novels then this is one for you.

The ending is fabulous. Because it's a YA book the blurb really does say it all and revealing plot details will give a lot of the ending away. All the pieces will fall into place within the last chapter. I don't know much about the author but there was clearly a sequel in mind whilst writing as the ending leads straight into the next book.

I will read the next book at some point but not yet.
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on 18 August 2004
The City of Ember was just a random book I picked off the shelf because it had an interesting cover. However, once I started reading it, I found that it was impossible to put down. Once I finished it (which I did in two hours because I did nothing else), I ran to the book store to get the sequel, which is also great.
The story is about two teens, Doon and Lina, living in a failing city called The City of Ember. Ember is a city which exsists in a pitch black world, the people there depend entirely on the city generator to provide light because that was all they knew of. However the lights are starting to fail as is everything in the city. The food supply is starting to runout and the generator is starting to fall apart, yet the mayor and others in charge seem to not care about all this. They insist that everything is all right.
Lina, growning up in an environment like this thought nothing of it. Of course she had known about the flickering lights but thought as everyone else and never wondered what would happen if they ran out of power. That was until on assignment day, her classmate and former bestfriend Doon said infront of the mayor, their teacher and all of their classmates that the city was falling apart. Lina was soon shocked again when she found that Doon would trade a job like the messenger to be a pipeworker.
Doon explained that he wanted to know more about the generator in the pipeworks and that he wanted to figure out a way to save the city. Lina is inspired and the adventure begins.
A set of chewed-up instructions, a locked door undergrounds, strange messenges, a timed lock. The City of Ember will have you captured from the mysterious first chapter to the thilling conclusion. It's one of the best books I've come across in a long time. An amazing read.
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