Start reading The City of Ember: The First Book of Ember on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available
 

The City of Ember: The First Book of Ember (Books of Ember 1) [Kindle Edition]

Jeanne Duprau
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,044 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $3.00 (43%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Delivers: Daily Deals
Subscribe to find out about each day's Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever! This stunning debut novel offers refreshingly clear writing and fascinating, original characters.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It is always night in the city of Ember. But there is no moon, no stars. The only light during the regular twelve hours of "day" comes from floodlamps that cast a yellowish glow over the streets of the city. Beyond are the pitch-black Unknown Regions, which no one has ever explored because an understanding of fire and electricity has been lost, and with it the idea of a Moveable Light. "Besides," they tell each other, "there is nowhere but here" Among the many other things the people of Ember have forgotten is their past and a direction for their future. For 250 years they have lived pleasantly, because there has been plenty of everything in the vast storerooms. But now there are more and more empty shelves--and more and more times when the lights flicker and go out, leaving them in terrifying blackness for long minutes. What will happen when the generator finally fails?

Twelve-year-old Doon Harrow and Lina Mayfleet seem to be the only people who are worried. They have just been assigned their life jobs--Lina as a messenger, which leads her to knowledge of some unsettling secrets, and Doon as a Pipeworker, repairing the plumbing in the tunnels under the city where a river roars through the darkness. But when Lina finds a very old paper with enigmatic "Instructions for Egress," they use the advantages of their jobs to begin to puzzle out the frightening and dangerous way to the city of light of which Lina has dreamed. As they set out on their mission, the haunting setting and breathless action of this stunning first novel will have teens clamoring for a sequel. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

From Booklist

Gr. 5-7. Ember, a 241-year-old, ruined domed city surrounded by a dark unknown, was built to ensure that humans would continue to exist on Earth, and the instructions for getting out have been lost and forgotten. On Assignment Day, 12-year-olds leave school and receive their lifetime job assignments. Lina Mayfleet becomes a messenger, and her friend Doon Harrow ends up in the Pipeworks beneath the city, where the failing electric generator has been ineffectually patched together. Both Lina and Doon are convinced that their survival means finding a way out of the city, and after Lina discovers pieces of the instructions, she and Doon work together to interpret the fragmented document. Life in this postholocaust city is well limned--the frequent blackouts, the food shortage, the public panic, the search for answers, and the actions of the powerful, who are taking selfish advantage of the situation. Readers will relate to Lina and Doon's resourcefulness and courage in the face of ominous odds. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
187 of 203 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ingenious invention August 18, 2004
Format:Paperback
Plot descriptions have already been done, so I'll offer my commentary.

The (barely) three page prologue sets a splendid dramatic tension for the story. We know that something is afoot, that there is more to Ember than Ember, and that empowers us, to a certain extent - like when you're watching a movie and you know something that the characters don't.

We see the development of this through the eyes of two twelve year olds, both very different children. Doon has a temper and is rather sullen, and Lina is a bundle of hope and joy. But their depth goes beyond that. These are three-dimensional characters, a rarity in children's books.

Also rare is the sturdy, clear writing. It never felt rushed, always felt poised. The only thing that wasn't handled with perfection was humor. I should have laughed when Doon threw a shoe heel and it hit his father in the ear, but I didn't. But that's OK. Eoin Colfer can be funny, and Ms. DuPrau can simply be a better writer.

I found a few plot points strained: 1) Lina being the great-great-great whatever of one of the mayor's mentioned in the prologue; 2) Her own grandmother's mad search for something that now, in her dotage, she remembers is of the utmost importance; and 3) Poppy getting her hands on the thing that is important and rendering it nearly indecipherable.

But those are minor points. They exist to move the story from one point to another, and the story isn't really about the discovery of the Instructions for Egress, it's about the city of Ember itself, how its inhabitants have adjusted to living in a city where there is no light after nine (because the only light the city has is electricity and it knows nothing of the Sun), deciphering the Instructions for Egress, and the action of egress itself.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
90 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not since Oz has a city been more intriguing September 11, 2003
Format:Hardcover
The city of Ember is in trouble, but the complacent citizens seem to ignore the food shortages and frequent blackouts. The Builders, when they created the city some 241 years ago, made provisions for its citizens in the form of a note called "The Instructions." Unfortunately, The Instructions were not handed down through the generations as they were supposed to be, and suddenly 12-year old Lina, a city Messenger, has discovered them. After trying to tell her friends and even the Mayor about the discovery of the partially destroyed Instructions, Lina turns to a one-time school friend, Doon, a worker in the underground Pipeworks, whom she believes will understand their importance. But what can two children do with such important information, and who would even believe them?
The City of Ember is a clever novel which tells the unique story of two unintentional heroes who fight the status quo in order to bring hope to their city. The descriptions of the world of Ember are fascinating, leaving the reader to appreciate the incredible imagination of first-time novelist Jeanne DuPrau. The narrator thoughtfully informs us of the setting-the unusual and self-contained world of Ember-slowly throughout the novel, and not all at once in the first chapter. It's only in chapter 8 that we even realize that there are no animals in Ember and the words "heaven" and "boat" have no known meaning. The characters are outstandingly original yet touchingly familiar in their pre-pubescent views of the adult world. The deaths of Lina's parents and then custodial grandmother create a sympathy for her that causes us to, all the more, wish for her triumph.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely breathtaking... March 5, 2004
Format:Hardcover
I read this book straight through in one sitting, because I simply couldn't put it down. It was quite simply one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read - I place it in the ranks of Pullman's His Dark Materials.
Its deceptively simple writing style builds a vivid world around you as you read, and hurtles you headlong into the story - and promptly embeds the characters inextricably in your heart. The main character, Lina, is as beguiling as they come - spirited, determined, and far, far too nosy. Her friend Doon is adorably scowly and moody, her grandmother delightfully batty, and the mayor of the town so vividly painted that by the time he'd finished his third sentence he stood fully formed in my mind. Although characters aren't this book's only strength...
The plot played out almost like a song, lyrical and swaying, full of the stuff of life. I was filled with humor, curiosity, terror and joy in rapid succession, only to start the cycle again at the next turn of the page - and by the end of the book I must confess I was a bit misty eyed. And, without spoiling anything, I'll say that the last couple of paragraphs filled me with bubbling anticipation, and now I think I'll explode if I don't find out what happens soon!
Come on, Duprau, give us the next book!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When love was an ember about to billow October 20, 2004
Format:Hardcover
I'm working as hard as I possibly can to become the number one expert in post-apocalyptic children's books. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it. In the course of my futuristic/distopia-laden reading list, I found that I would be amiss if I didn't read Jeanne DuPrau's 2003 popular puppy, "City of Ember". Drawing on elements from books as widely divergent as Lois Lowry's, "The Giver" to Neal Shusterman's less well-known, "Downsiders", the book contains an interesting look into the life of a community that has forgotten for 200 some years that it's living in a bunker.

As every good schoolchild in Ember knows, their city, "is the only light in the dark world. Beyond Ember, the darkness goes on forever in all directions". In a town lit solely by electric lights, the people of Ember know relatively little about the city's history. They know that it was created two hundred some years ago by the Builders and was provided with everything the people might need. But only recently has this small civilization become imperiled by its inability to be self-sufficent. Power outages result in the lights going out periodically with total terrifying darkness sweeping the land. Food and other supplies seem to be running scarce and Ember is becoming victim to hoarders and thieves. Young Lina and Doon seem to be the only people in town who want to find a way out of Ember, if it's at all possible. When Lina's grandmother unwittingly unearths ancient instructions for leaving the city, it's up to the two children to go where no one else in Ember has ever gone. Over the river and into the light.

In many ways, "The City of Ember" reminded me of "Noah's Castle" by John Rowe Townsend.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book
This is one of the best books I've read. I just finished The Peope of Sparks, The Prophet of Yonwood, and The Diamond of Darkhold, although I think it should be called The Diamond... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Melanie Gross-Cloud
4.0 out of 5 stars This was very interesting
It was a mystery and the ending was very cool. I never new Ember was underground. This is an amazing book.
Published 1 day ago by shlby4356
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy and entertaining read.
I recently decided to move this one up on my "things to read" list because my 13 year old son really enjoyed it. Easy reading for multiple generations...
Published 3 days ago by AbbeyF
5.0 out of 5 stars Ember is a pleasure
I read this book to join my 12 year old son in his school reading assignment. I got hooked right away and thoroughly enjoyed the fast read. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Melanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
They are a great series. Get all four.
Published 5 days ago by Mom of 2
5.0 out of 5 stars I really like the city of Ember because I liked how Lina ...
I really like the city of Ember because I liked how Lina and Doon found the way in the pipe works to the new city. It was told in a cool way. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Yael Goverover
5.0 out of 5 stars City of ember
Great book loved the whole story full of adventure and fun. It is now by far one of my most favorite books
Published 15 days ago by random person
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Entertaining and thought provoking
Published 21 days ago by Keri BV
4.0 out of 5 stars There's something in the darkness...right?
Within the first few pages of this book, it becomes quite apparent why someone decided to translate it to film. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Adam Oster
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Good easy read. The author does a great job capturing the reader and bringing the story to life. It kept me engaged till the very end.
Published 24 days ago by Lindsey Mabry
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Jeanne DuPrau is the author of The New York Timesbestseller The City of Ember and its companion The People of Sparks. She lives in Menlo Park, California, and drives a hybrid car that runs on a combination of gas and electricity.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Topic From this Discussion
Recommendations for my 13 year old daughter. She loved Hunger Games,...
The Study Series (Poison Study; Magic Study; Fire Study) by Maria V. Snyder.
<u> Graceling </u> and <u>Fire </u> by Kristen Cashore.
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.
Introduce her to the author Tamora Pierce, any series. The Magic Circle series is a good start.... Read More
Mar 1, 2010 by Hoblet |  See all 7 posts
recommendations for my 11 year old daughter -- she likes the Clique Books
Hi Nancy,

I was browsing around and found your post. My book, "Portia's Ultra Mysterious Double Life" might interest your daughter. It's targeted for her age group and I thought she might like it.

Thanks!

Anna Hays
Oct 28, 2008 by Anna Hays |  See all 5 posts
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 



Look for Similar Items by Category