The City of Ember

The underground city of Ember was built as a refuge where humanity could survive a disaster. Ember was designed to last hundreds of years, and the builders planned for everything – except the possibility that the instructions for getting out of the city and into the world above might be lost. Now, Ember is starting to fall apart. The generator that runs everything, including the lights, is failing, and the storerooms are running out of food. The future of Ember rests in the hands of two twelve-year-old children: Doon Harrow and Lina Mayfleet. Can Doon and Lina find a way to save Ember before the lights go out forever?

The City of Ember has been on my “to read” list for quite a while. Now I’m sorry I waited! It’s an outstanding book – exciting, suspenseful, and intriguing. The city and culture of Ember are vividly drawn, and the characters are engaging. Doon and Lina are two very different characters, who nonetheless find friendship with each other on their quest to do what the adults in the city can’t – or won’t – do. Young readers will relate to their frustration at trying to get the adults in their lives to take them seriously.

I listened to the audio book from and the audio is very well done. The narrator does a good job creating distinctive voices for all the characters, and music and sound effects add the the atmosphere without being overpowering.