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The Diamond of Darkhold (Ember, Book 4) Hardcover – August 26, 2008

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Hardcover, August 26, 2008
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Charlie May Simon Children's Book Award 2010-2011
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (August 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375855718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375855719
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–9—A solid and satisfying conclusion to the "Ember Saga," set in a post-disaster future. Hostilities have died down between the citizens of Sparks and the refugees from the underground city of Ember, and all are working together to survive the brutal winter. A roamer brings forth the barest remains of a book that intrigues Doon and Lina because it alludes to a mysterious device that may still be in Ember. They decide to go back to see if they can find any answers or, if nothing else, food. What they find is the Trogg Family, travelers who have taken over the remains of the city, scavenging supplies and making grand plans. Doon is caught and shackled, leaving Lina to try and make her way back to Sparks to get help. Once again, the teens, both remarkably self-sufficient and imaginative, are able to save themselves and figure out at least a small part of the mystery left behind by the Builders. In doing so, they help their community and ultimately the entire planet. And the epilogue gives the answer to a question raised in the series' prequel, The Prophet of Yonwood (Random, 2006), namely, what Hoyt McCoy was up to with that telescope of his. All the loose ends are tied up neatly and everything ends on a positive, hopeful note. Satisfying, indeed.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"An electric debut. Lina and Doon’ search parallels the universal adolescent quest for answers.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred

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.

Customer Reviews

This book was as good as the first, exciting, kept me reading and wanting to see how it ended.
R. Huizenga
This completely disappointed me, as it had nothing to do with the other books except for a few quick "connection pages" at the end.
I loved reading these books and highly recommend all 4 to anyone who likes an interesting and captivating adventure story.
Deborah Tracey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever been in a situation where you were given a ten page report to write but you only had about two pages of material? If you were like everyone, you'd try to make the material 'stretch' in various ways. Have a thesis paragraph that went on for 3 pages, duplicate that for the conclusion, change the font size to something that would take another page or two, and then you would pad the paper with immaterial exposition till the 'document' reached a respectable length. Oh. And with that, the nice cover sheet, can't forget that.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to reach is that, The Diamond of Darkhold is that paper. As far as I can tell, it's about 20% plot, with the rest being either a slight of hand font sizing, immaterial side stories, and a 'antagonist' (and I say that loosely) to give this story a sense of crisis. Without it, the 20% would have been a simple story of Doon and Lina going back to the dead city of Ember and finding one additional surprise from the Builders to help the city of Sparks start its way unto the beginnings of a civilization.

At most, this felt like an afterthought from the author to the fans to give a sense of closure to Lina and Doon that would have been a pleasant short story. But when forced to stretch this to a 300 page story, the lack of a true sense of crisis (whether it's solving the mystery of the City of Ember or helping the People of Sparks survive), made this The Diamond of Darkhold ring somewhat hollow.

And for those of you who're curious, I got a C- for that paper.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There are few books that I give this low of a rating. I almost hate doing this because I loved the first two books so much, but there are three reasons I'm giving this book only two stars.

The first is it felt like the book was talking down to its young audience. The first two books were so contemporary and edgy, but it felt like this one spent half the time defining big words and inserting placeholder dialogue. The writing style lacked a quality I know Duprau is capable of.

The second is that the book is a rewind of The City of Ember (Books of Ember). It seemed like the characters hadn't really developed since the first book and had to learn all the old lessons over again. Plus it just played the same plot tricks as the first book, only instead of escaping Ember, Lina and Doon are going back. And it totally ignores all of the information from The Prophet of Yonwood (Books of Ember) (which wasn't that good to begin with) until the last ten pages--and even that tie-in seems forced, like it's an afterthought.

The final thing that made this book just not work for me is that the ending is moral driven rather than character driven. Instead of letting the characters' actions speak for themselves, there is a LONG epilogue that tells word for word all the lessons Lina and Doon learned. After all they go through together, the reader should be able to tell what lessons were learned without it being spelled out for them--literally!

This book could have been hot with all the potential in the first two books.
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Ever since they emerged from the City of Ember, I have been waiting for them to go back and see what has become of their city. This book finally takes us back to the City of Ember. Perhaps others may have been waiting too.

Darkhold's Ember is nothing like the City of Ember of book 1. This time the story is not satisfying, despite offering a reasonable explanation about the fate of those who wandered into the Unknown Regions. Other than that, the journey felt rushed and not well developed. I doubt this was intentional to indicate that Ember is now irrelevant.

There is also an issue with filler content. For example, there is an entire subplot of minor characters that could be dropped to save at least 20% of the book and nothing would be lost at all.

The author also continues to explore themes of alternate energy that she touches on in her other books, especially Car Trouble.

The first book of Ember presented with an amazing world unlike anything that we had experienced before. A city of hope, created with love, reflected with a greatly crafted amount of detail, suspense, sorrow, and expectations. You will not find any of that here.

The problem with sequels is that they get compared to the previous installments. In that department the Diamond of Darkhold is clearly the 3rd best in the series, after City of Ember and People of Sparks. Unfortunately, this also makes it the 2nd weakest.

Without question, this book is an enjoyable read for the Ember faithful and serves as a reasonable conclusion for the series. Sadly, compared with past glory, this ember glows dim...

A note of caution for new readers:

Despite the quick summary in the first few pages, new readers to the series will be lost. They will most likely not enjoy this book as it really assumes that they had read the previous three books - which really should be read as they are quite good!
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