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The Prophet of Yonwood

(Book of Ember #3)

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  28,741 ratings  ·  2,420 reviews
Nickie will grow up to be one of the first citizens of the city of Ember. But for now, she's an eleven-year-old girl whose father was sent away on some mysterious government project.

So when the opportunity to move presents itself, Nickie seizes it. But her new town of Yonwood, North Carolina, isn't what she'd anticipated. It's a place full of suspicion and mistrust, where
Paperback, 289 pages
Published 2006 by Yearling Books
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John Is it worth the read? Hard to say, as that will depend on your interests and many other factors. I'd treat it as a standalone book, as only the last t…moreIs it worth the read? Hard to say, as that will depend on your interests and many other factors. I'd treat it as a standalone book, as only the last two pages have a strong connection with the other three books. It's not a terribly deep book, though it does raise some interesting questions about the nature of God.(less)
Giovanna It's a good book if you read the previous ones in the series, but don't expect it to be like something about Ember, it's about a girl who lived before…moreIt's a good book if you read the previous ones in the series, but don't expect it to be like something about Ember, it's about a girl who lived before the Disaster and before Ember was built. I was a bit disappointed though:/ Still, you should read it...(less)
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Average rating 3.28  · 
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 ·  28,741 ratings  ·  2,420 reviews

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Jan 29, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Shelves: young-readers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
Meh. I really enjoyed the first two (last two?) books in DuPrau's trilogy, and was excited about reading this prequel. I have to say, though, I felt like I was reading something that had been written by a liberal Democrat frustrated with the takeover of the evangelical right and defense contractors in modern American politics. And I say this as a liberal Democrat who is currently frustrated with the takeover of the evangelical right and defense contractors in U.S. politics. But YA fiction is not ...more
Sep 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
I read this because I'd read the first two books in the City of Ember series and enjoyed them; this is the 3rd book and a prequel to the events in Ember, so I expected a good story about why the city of Ember was built and how it all began. Instead, this book introduced eleven-year-old Nicki, who moves to her great-grandfather's old mansion in the city of Yonwood and discovers there is a woman regarded as a prophet living there, whose words are interpreted by another woman and the city follows h ...more
Dec 12, 2007 rated it it was ok
Too preachy and the connection to the other books is just tossed in at the end.
Sep 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
It was a mistake to write a prequel to The City of Ember books. Or maybe it was a mistake to go back as far as DuPrau did. It could have survived the abrupt change of cast if it had at least taken place in Ember, perhaps during the earliest years. There are so many interesting questions to ask of the first generation of Ember: How did they organize their government? Handle money? Assign jobs? Deal with outcasts or criminals? None of this is answered, though, because the prequel takes place befor ...more
Sep 23, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrenslit
This prequel was actually disappointing in comparison to The City of Ember and The People of Sparks. It was too disconnected to these two books to be considered a prequel for my tastes. The story line was not nearly as interesting as the other two books. It does raise some interesting questions about blindly following the prophesies(dictates) of someone else because you think that person must be right instead of trusting your own instincts.
Nov 29, 2007 rated it it was ok
I was hoping for a book about the people who built Ember and why they decided to not teach them any technology or nation rebuilding skills. This isn't that book. This is the author's treatise on why the Iraq war is a big mistake and how religion only makes people fight. There is more hope in science and studying the stars than in saying prayers. The story was engaging, but I'm getting tired of the religious being treated as zealots and mindless sheep looking for any type of leader. This book was ...more
Nov 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2008
This should be called "The prophet of Yawnwood". I can overlook flaws in a book if the story and characters are interesting enough, but this was pretty boring and the main character was annoying. My biggest problem is that as a prequel to "The City of Ember", this book should have given us a clearer picture of the world before people decided to go into a city underground to save themselves from disaster. The first two books hint at wars and terrorism and I was hoping that this one would give us ...more
May 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
When I finished this book, I was left feeling a bemused combination of "huh?" and "so what?" - feelings which had been growing on me since the beginning of the book.

In the first two books of the Ember series, there are deep and thoughtful morals that can be drawn, but this book's message was glaringly overstated. The heavy-handed moralizing in "Yonwood" made for a plodding pace and an anticlimactic conclusion. Worst of all, while there were several interesting "clues" throughout the book (her gr
I enjoyed this story, although at times I found it a bit slow.

I think it put the dangers of blind acceptance and obedience to a self-proclaimed prophet, forced adherence of others to those who claim to speak for God, (and how not everyone who claims to speak for God actually does), in terms a child could easily relate to.

I think this could give kids good food for thought in a world where there are places where people live under this kind of religious tyranny today, even in some communities in th
Feb 16, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
The following review has SPOILERS. Lots of 'em. I can't talk about it without them, so consider yourself warned.

I literally don't know why this book exists in this series or even in the world at large. I'd say there's no point to it, but that's not entirely true. There was a Point. A really big Point the author was trying very hard to get across. Whether or not that was a Point that needed to be made or if she was successful in doing so... well, let's talk about that.

While looking at reviews be
Sara Saif
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, i-like-you-a-lot, eh
I feel dangerously close to being cheated. This book was not what I was anticipating. The whole book read as a warning of what was to come, since this was a prequel and we know what the world is like in The City of Ember and The People of Sparks. But it was a whole lot of...nothing. Absolutely nothing. The book creates such tension and nervous excitement and that is what keeps you glued to it, just waiting for everything to blow to hell, literally, but nothing happens. In a super anti-climatic w ...more
Dec 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 05, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book is a "prequel" to the City of Ember. I did not like it. This book is not essential to reading book four, which is again about Lina and Doon, so I would recommend just skipping book three. There is only one reference to book three on the last couple of pages of book four, and you don't really loose anything by not reading book three.

In a prequel to The City of Ember, I would be interested to learn more about the City of Ember and the Builders. I would like to know more about why the dec
May 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010s, read-2010
Do not read this book as a prequel to the Ember series. Four paragraphs do not a prequel make. There are two more installments that should be added between this one and The City of Ember: Nickie's dad's story (same 50 year time frame as The Prophet of Yonwood) and an actual prequel beginning where The Prophet of Yonwood ends.

Read this as a stand-alone story. It will be more enjoyable if you aren't constantly looking for how it ties into the first two books. Also be prepared for tangents that go
Jennifer Hardcastle
Nov 06, 2012 rated it did not like it

This book doesn't even need to be read. Hopefully the forth book will be a lot better.
Nov 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
Having previously read DuPrau's "The City of Ember" and "The People of Sparks" and thoroughly enjoying both, I was really looking forward to reading "The Prophet of Yonwood" and I had very high expectations for the third book! However, I was very disappointed.
I found all the characters in "The Prophet of Yonwood" to be quite flat and the storyline was random and unrelated to Ember. I was eager to find out the history of Ember and the Builders, as this is the prequel to the series, but it actuall
Be nice with yourself, skip this one, it's uninteresting and useless in the series.

Well. I enjoyed very much the first two books. The Prophet could be pretty much summarized by "boring". The main characters were once again a boy and a girl, which was appreciated, but none of them was interesting to follow, the events they were involved in being quite flat, except for the fact there were pets. The story was set in a future not really distant from nowadays, so nothing new here, and it was focused
May 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
I quit reading a third of the way through. I haven't liked it so far, and scanning through the rest, here seems to be nothing worthwhile about the book; no reason to keep going. I was expecting it to tell about how the City of Ember came to be, but it is only very distantly connected to that story, so my curiousity was disappointed.

This series is creative and entertaining despite the predictable heavy-handed anti-war moral, but I am getting quite tired of how it continually puts down religion an
Dec 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
I'm afraid that DuPrau has fallen into the all-too-common pattern of writing a series: great first book, a good second, by the third.... meh.

The real problem here is that this isn't an Ember book. It's billed as a prequel, but it's really a pre-pre-pre-prequel. I kept reading, waiting for this to all tie in somehow, but that doesn't happen until 2 pages from the end. Yes, 287 pages of waiting and anticipation just didn't cut it for me. What's more, the book is even more heavy-handed than its pre
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Summary From Goodreads:
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 sen
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it

I like books from Jeanne DuPrau. Though her books are intended for younger people, I couldn't help but notice that her books are filled with messages of humanity, peace and the need for us all to break the cycle of hatred. I think that her books suit current situation very well.

I would say that I could agree with 90% of what she's writing in her previous two books. I would definitely ask my future children to read the first two. As for this one, maybe when they are older.

In this book
Dec 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
*sigh* why do I do this to myself? I saw the multitude of 1-star ratings...I considered them...and I chose to read this travesty of a book anyway. Uuuuuhhhh...
I don't know what DuPrau was smoking when she wrote this crap, but it wasn't the same awesome stuff that created the first two. This was crap. I skimmed so much of it, after trying really hard to read thoroughly, and I still was able to grasp the basic, ridiculous plot. I didn't even have to try!
Mairéad (is roaming the Undying Lands)
{February 10th, 2015} MINI-REVIEW

2.5 stars (which is rather generous of me).


“The idea seemed to be that if you prayed extremely hard--especially if a lot of people prayed at once--maybe God would change things. The trouble was, what if your enemy was praying, too? Which prayer would God listen to?”

This book.... *sighs* ...was the boring way for the beginning of the end of the world to happen. There's 'terrorists' hiding in the woods, the pr
Josh Atkins
Nov 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Ehhh...this was okay. I thought the author would take a different direction with this prequel but it was interesting to see how this all started, and how the city of Ember came to be.
Steve Altier
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
The story was good and well written. However, I was left to wonder how this story fits in with the City of Ember? 289 pages and only the last few had any relevance to the first or second book. I was disappointed and felt tricked into buying book three. Why the prequel before the conclusion of the story, after all this is a four book series

I don't like or read prequels that often. I guess, I always felt if you had something to talk about before the first story, then why didn't you start there? I
Jun 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
I'll agree with many of the other reviews. This book just isn't up to par with the really amazing stories in the first two books of this series. The City of Ember and The People of Sparks are much better than this book.

The author does have some nice and believable characters, but the action and drama within the story just fall flat in comparison with her other books. I guess the difficulty is the post-Apocalyptic world of the first two books is extremely compelling, but the pre-Apocalyptic world
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it
At first I wasn't sure about this one. I couldn't really see the connection between this story and what had happened in the previous two books. Jeanne DuPrau is a good writer though and if you stick to the end of this one you do get the connection. It contains lots of social commentary about topics like war and religion and social constructs. The story of the nations at war isn't fully explained but that doesn't really matter. Only one more book to go in this series for me and I will finish, but ...more
Apr 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
I really don't see the point of an anti-religion tirade at this point in the series. Also, I'm weary of the ineffective adults in her books. Is any mother or father present in their child's life? ...more
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Did any of you dislike this book? 3 22 Dec 06, 2014 12:40PM  

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Jeanne DuPrau spends several hours of every day at her computer, thinking up sentences. She has this quote taped to her wall: "A writer is someone for whom writing is harder than it is for other people" (Thomas Mann).

This gives her courage, because she finds writing very hard. So many words to choose from! So many different things that could happen in a story at any moment! Writing is one tough de

Other books in the series

Book of Ember (4 books)
  • The City of Ember (Book of Ember, #1)
  • The People of Sparks (Book of Ember, #2)
  • The Diamond of Darkhold (Book of Ember, #4)

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“It’s for my God, the god of dogs, and snakes and dust mites and albino bears and Siamese twins, the god of stars and starships and other dimensions, the god who loves everyone and makes everything marvelous.” 15 likes
“The idea seemed to be that if you prayed extremely hard--especially if a lot of people prayed at once--maybe God would change things. The trouble was, what if your enemy was praying, too? Which prayer would God listen to?” 13 likes
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