I seem to be big into the young adult genre of late so it was no surprise when I pulled out The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau to read after finishing my last book. This book has been sitting of my shelf for awhile now patiently waiting for me to pick it up and read it. The premise was an intriguing one. A city that exits in a world without the sun or moon, that relies on the light made by generators for countless years and a city that is starting to fail as the generator becomes harder and harder to fix.
Enter the two main characters, Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow, two 12 year olds who seem to be the only ones concerned that their city might be failing. The rest of the people in the city seem content to let things continue as they always have. That something will work out and the blackouts are only a temporary thing. Doon Harrow suspects that something more dire is in the works. That the generator is failing and that soon a blackout will come and that it won’t end. He then trades jobs with Lina giving up a prized Messenger position for a dreaded one in the Pipeworks, hoping that he can figure out a way to save the city that he loves. Lina, initially, is content to live just as she always has especially now that she is a Messenger. However, that all changes when she pries a torn letter of Instructions from her baby sisters hands and she begins to question for the first time the history of her people….and wonder if there is something else out there. What follows is a series of adventures for both Lina and Doon as they race to try to find a way to not only save their city but to also convince its inhabitants that they most do something.
This book starts a little slowly as sometimes happens with the first book in a series. But the story does eventually pick up and race along as you along with Lina and Doon try to figure out all the answers to all the questions they come across. Then before you know it the book is over. This upset me because I felt that it ended just as I was really getting into the story and I wanted to know what happened next. I immediately wanted to jump into the next book. Which was something that I couldn’t do because I didn’t pack it in my carry on…..nor was it in my checked bag either. Talk about being frustrated!!
You can be sure that on my return to the states that the second book of this fascinating series will be read as DuPrau is a gifted writer and has created a wonderful new world and I long to know what happens next. Which to me is always a sign of a good book.