(21 ratings - Login to add yours)
  • Published: New York : Random House, c2003.
  • Year Published: 2003
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 270 p. : map ; 22 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

Reading Level

  • Lexile: 680

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 0375822739 :
  • 0375922741 :
  • 0375822747 (pbk.)



Recently Listed On


Login to add tags

Share This

  • Book

The city of Ember

by DuPrau, Jeanne.

There are no copies available

Where To Find It

Call number: Teen Fiction

Additional Details

In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.

Community Reviews


Thrilling and adventurous


This book is good, it is futuristic and the other books in the series are also good so make sure to read those.

great book

I loved this book and recommend it to all of you

The City of Ember

Yeah, I have to admit that like a couple of reviewers said, it's not written so well.
BUT the story is pretty good and... camelsamba has the right word: intriguing.
In my opinion, the Books of Ember get better and better as they go on, so even if you are disappointed in this book, go on to the others. I don't want to discourage you from reading this, though, by saying it is the worst of the three books and that it isn't written very well, because it really is a good story.
So go on, read this book, like it, read the second book, like it a lot, read the third book... and be really annoyed 'cause it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the other two. Consider stopping reading it, but decide to finish it, then start really liking the story before you are halfway through it, and by the time you reach the end/beginning (I won't tell you what I mean until you read it! :D), love the story. Well, that was my experience with this series, anyway.

The City of Ember

Great book! I read this book at least 11 times! This book is about a girl named Lina Mayfleet and a boy named Doon Harrow trying to find a way out of a mysterious world (If you read, you'll understand). They try to solve mysteries and problems. Interesting book but I love it.


This book was really good and their were lots of questions to ask, like, who is stealing all the light bulbs? That was a big one. I believe you find out who was behind the crime in the end! This is a great series but be prepared to ask many questions!


This book has a very interesting premise, though it can be hard to scrape through some of the young writing. If you can make it, though, you'll have a lot to think about at the end, and maybe even be up for trying the sequels, which are equally interesting, though also written poorly.

Use your big girl voice

This book was a little bit hart to get through at time. I felt myself wanting to say, "Use your big girl voice". At the same time the story was intriguing and despite being pulled out by the writing every now and then, I had no trouble plunging back in.

City of Ember

As much as I yearned to love these books and add them to my bookshelves at home, I just couldn’t. While the storyline was intriguing enough and the characters likeable (especially Lina), what bothered me the most was the lack of a climax in all three of the stories. And when the story line began driving toward a climax, the author chose instead to veer away from it and let our imaginations do the work (which I normally wouldn't be opposed to, but there were a number of chances to make the plot exciting which the author skipped over).

All in all, I wanted this story to have more punch than it ever did. I found myself skimming through The Prophet of Yonwood pages at a time in the hope that I’d come across a more interesting passage. And although I agree with the author when it comes to the dangers of religious intolerance and fanaticism, I felt dragged down by the constant harping on how these two things make the world bad. The not-so-underlying message throughout The Prophet of Yonwood that the Disaster that led to Ember being built underground was caused by religious wars was its own character and I wish she hadn’t been so heavy-handed with it.

Okay, what did I like?
The storyline (Honestly! Aside from my aforementioned disappointments with it, the story arc was fantastic)….I love dystopic literature and this one sucked me in: underground city, adventure, demolished cities above ground, people living off the land and creating civilization again, etc.

The characters…Lina, a strong female who really carried the story, is 12 years old, a newly christened Messenger in Ember, and incredibly devoted to her baby sister, Poppy. Doon, a 12 year old radical who stands up to authority and joins with Lina to save his city, is incredibly inspiring, even as he struggles with what is right and what is wrong.

Intriguing setting

The story was engaging and intriguing, although aspects of the plot are predictable. I was a bit annoyed about Poppy - I felt there should be more of her, or none at all. I didn't really see the point of her character, especially near the end, but I suspect she is more important in the subsequent books. We were intrigued by the descriptions of things people in the City of Ember didn't know about. For example, when Doon is reading the book of sayings: "Hogwash: means nonsense. What a hog is, or why it would need to be washed, is not known." And all the things they experience at the end. There are so many things in the world that I have not directly experience, but I learn about them through language or images. What is there that would seem so exotic to me? Would an unfamiliar culture feel that strange, since I can read about it ahead of time?

Login to write a review of your own.