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Publisher's Summary

It's 50 years before the settlement of the city of Ember and the world is in crisis. War looms on the horizon as 11-year-old Nickie and her aunt travel to the small town of Yonwood, North Carolina. There, one of the town's respected citizens has had a terrible vision of fire and destruction. Her garbled words are taken as prophetic instruction on how to avoid the coming disaster. If only they can be interpreted correctly. As the people of Yonwood scramble to make sense of the woman's mysterious utterances, Nickie explores the oddities she finds around town, her great-grandfather's peculiar journals and papers, a reclusive neighbor who studies the heavens, a strange boy who is fascinated with snakes, all while keeping an eye out for ways to help the world. Is this vision her chance? Or is it already too late to avoid a devastating war?
In this prequel to the acclaimed The City of Ember and The People of Sparks, Jeanne DuPrau investigates how, in a world that seems out of control, hope and comfort can be found in the strangest of places.
Don't miss Lina and Doon's other adventures in The City of Ember.
©2006 Jeanne DuPrau (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Kaui on 11-13-12

Very imaginative prequel to the City of Ember

This is book 3 of 4 in the "Ember" series which describes a post-apocalyptic earth in hopeful terms. I like that part of the series' approach, though the overall style can be a little pedantic (in my adult opinion) for moral lessons. However, the target audience is juvenile readers so I think the clarity and overt description of moral connections is likely appropriate. All middle and elementary schoolers I have spoken to about this book have really enjoyed it.

This book predates the City of Ember by it seems at least a hundred years if not more. The reader, if s/he started with the City of Ember, will be hooked on wondering how/when the nuclear war will start. The initiate will also be hooked on this question due to DuPrau's skillfull story telling. Character development and plot continuity are well executed here. I probably enjoyed this book a bit more than The People of Sparks, though the entire series is worth a read.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Samuel Montgomery-Blinn on 10-26-09

A bit pale in comparison to the rest of 'Ember'

I would recommend this book primarily only to someone who really, really loved the world of Ember and wanted to learn a bit more of the author's imagined history behind it. There are some fun moments and interesting characters, but hardly any of the magic (figuratively) and mystery which makes the rest of the Ember books so endearing. Still, I enjoyed it enough as I do fall into that segment of curious wonderers who were looking for any bits of Ember-related lore to listen to.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 04-06-11


Was hoping for more, but the book dragged on to the point where I gave up listening to it.

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