Dec 06, 09
Read in November, 2009
I think this book must have come to be as a result of the criticisms of books 2 & 3 (no return to Ember, lack of Lina and Doon, etc.). While the return to Ember was much anticipated and a welcome plot element, parts of this book were, as a result, overwhelmingly repetitive of the first book. This worked in some instances, but in others, it felt like a desperate return to the successful elements seen in the first book, in order to gain back disappointed fans. I did enjoy seeing Lina and Doon again, and the teamwork seen in this book was reminiscent of the first one in a good way. Plotwise, there was a clear single goal, but it wasn't as interesting, nor as desperate, as the goal in the first book, making for a story that was, in turn, less interesting. Other than Lina and Doon, I felt that many of the secondary characters lacked strong characterization, which made their roles seem slightly flat. I enjoyed the fact that everything came full circle, although I do wish DuPrau had rearranged things a little bit. I felt like the ending of this book should have been extended and essentially served as the second book, eliminating the need for books 2 & 3. I just think a lot was done wrong in the creation of this series, and maybe The City of Ember would have been best served as a stand-alone.