In The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, Lina Mayfleet lives in the city of ember. A long time ago, the creators of the city sent them there, and nobody knows why. The first few decades, everything was going fine. They had electricity, lots of food, and lots of lightbulbs. However, as the years pass, quality of life in the city begins to decrease – they are running out light bulbs, the river generator is starting to not work, causing citywide blackouts every so often, and the mayor himself is hoarding food and other essentials as they begin to run out. However, Doon Harrow has a plan. He thinks he can fix the generator, and make everything right again. However, when he realizes he can’t even get close without being caught, he gets worried. One day, Lina finds a torn up piece of paper with the words “Instruction for Egress” written at the top. The rest of it is almost unreadable, so she has to work with Doon to find out what it means. Doon sees this as his chance to become a hero, and they go through many roadblocks and problems on their journey.
This was an extremely riveting and suspenseful book. Throughout the book, there were constantly new things and concepts being introduced. Although it it one of those books where you are thrown into a new world, the author timed it perfectly so that once you understood the setting and characters, new concepts were introduced. The book also had a worrying tone in the places where it fit. In the beginning, where they need to escape Ember, the greenhouses and gardens are starting to fail. “They sat on the edge of the potato bed and talked for a while…about the trouble Clary was having with the beehives, potatoes, and sprinkler system.” (DuPrau 61). With the worrying tone in the beginning, the book feels suspenseful and tense.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read. It is like a dystopia, but happier. If you like books with happy endings and about growing up, then this book is for you.