As the people of Yonwood scramble to make sense of the woman's mysterious utterances, Nickie explores the oddities she finds around town, her great-grandfather's peculiar journals and papers, a reclusive neighbor who studies the heavens, a strange boy who is fascinated with snakes, all while keeping an eye out for ways to help the world. Is this vision her chance? Or is it already too late to avoid a devastating war?
In this prequel to the acclaimed The City of Ember and The People of Sparks, Jeanne DuPrau investigates how, in a world that seems out of control, hope and comfort can be found in the strangest of places.
Don't miss Lina and Doon's other adventures in The City of Ember.
©2006 Jeanne DuPrau; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group
This book is the 3d in the series, but actually tells what happened before the city of Ember was built and why. The background noises are a bit distracting making this feel more like a radio show than a book. Other than that it is a good listen.
Likes: Cozy mysteries, esp w/cats, books on workings of the brain/autism, not-too-dark fantasy. Dislikes: Animal cruelty, torture scenes.
In this series I like book 1 best, book 2 second, then this book third. I have not yet read book 4. I preferred book 2 for the simple reason that it was closer to the story that so captivated me in the first book. Book 4 will go back not only to Lina and Doon but to Ember itself. So I am glad to have read this if for no other reason than to be ready to finish out the story.
I liked the book well enough. Though, I was misunderstanding the scope of this work. I have in my head at the beginning of a book an idea of what the story will encompass. I was wrong here. The scope is smaller than I envisioned. Less happens overall and what happens is less relevant overall to the whole. Some people have complained that the connection was too tenuous to the series and only became clear towards the very end, or that it wasn't strong enough to warrant inclusion. I can understand those complaints, and even having read those complaints I still expected a more concrete connection to Lina and Doon and Ember. However, I was satisfied with the connection when it did come, and was actually proud of myself for figuring out ahead of being told exactly what the connection was.
Reviews I read basically said a limited number of things. Most negative reviews were just annoyed it didn't continue the adventures of Lina and Doon. I am not sure why nobody seems to have known this beforehand? Of course we get back to them in book 4 so I don't think that's such a big deal. Some people object to prequels coming in the middle of a series and others (with whom I DO agree) complain there was a more interesting prequel that could have been written but that didn't make me hate this book. I sort of wonder why DuPrau did portray religious fervor so negatively - she had to know that makes people mad especially in a kids book, and I didn't get the vibe that she was really a religion hater.
As often occurs in kids books the adults tend to be useless - which enables kids to drive the action. Particularly the adults of Nickie's family seem to be failing. I felt rather sorry for her. A little girl who needed more attention, in a confusing time and place.
All in all I am satisfied with the book despite some flaws.
I could have easily skipped this book and not lost any of the story. Why include a book in a series if it never even mentions the main characters?
everything but the last 4 pages, it was a decent story it just didn't fit the series
This is book 3 of 4 in the "Ember" series which describes a post-apocalyptic earth in hopeful terms. I like that part of the series' approach, though the overall style can be a little pedantic (in my adult opinion) for moral lessons. However, the target audience is juvenile readers so I think the clarity and overt description of moral connections is likely appropriate. All middle and elementary schoolers I have spoken to about this book have really enjoyed it.
This book predates the City of Ember by it seems at least a hundred years if not more. The reader, if s/he started with the City of Ember, will be hooked on wondering how/when the nuclear war will start. The initiate will also be hooked on this question due to DuPrau's skillfull story telling. Character development and plot continuity are well executed here. I probably enjoyed this book a bit more than The People of Sparks, though the entire series is worth a read.
I thought the whole package was great. I have read all the books in the series, and decided to listen to the books this time. I really enjoy the stories.
Nicki is my favorite character. She is the main character in the story. She is a curious and thoughtful girl.
She is very good at coming up with different voices for the various characters. I also like th e background sounds, unlike some people who listened to the story. I think they do add to the experience.
Is Armageddon near?
I listened to this story first. It is a prequel to the other City of Ember stories.
This book, like the second book, is basically also about morality. However, this time we are talking about people taking their religious beliefs to extreme and using it to control others. I found this much more interesting to think about than bigotry and immigrant issues. In any case, it's not a great story but it is interesting and has suspense and kinda mystery like the first and last books. Don't expect to find out much about Ember but the author does link this book to the original story in the last book which is neat. I will warn you not to get too excited by the physics stuff though. There isn't anything like "His "Dark Materials" in this book. Probably just as well as I don't think the author could be quite that imaginative.
I'm a voracious audiobibliophile, mainly interested in speculative fiction, with the occasional mimetic fiction or non-fiction title sneaking in.
I would recommend this book primarily only to someone who really, really loved the world of Ember and wanted to learn a bit more of the author's imagined history behind it. There are some fun moments and interesting characters, but hardly any of the magic (figuratively) and mystery which makes the rest of the Ember books so endearing. Still, I enjoyed it enough as I do fall into that segment of curious wonderers who were looking for any bits of Ember-related lore to listen to.
Equal to other books in the series
Young girl hiding in the house after the grandfather died
Young Minds open doors
it was interesting to see the aurthors idea of what brought on the necessity to build an underground world. interesting how she tied in the people in the later books.
I did find the book a little anticlimatic, after listening to the other books in the series.
If she read the other stories in this series yes.
I thought "The City of Sparks" and "The People of Ember" were excellent (five stars), but this book was a big disappointment. It is just typical young adult fiction without the complexity and depth of its two predecessors. I recommend moving onto a different series instead, such as His Dark Materials.
Was hoping for more, but the book dragged on to the point where I gave up listening to it.
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