The Dragon Whistler

The Dragon Whistler
Now available in paperback.


The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau

I am a HUGE "Books of Ember" fan. (I was a bit disappointed with the film, however, but that's another story.) City of Ember, the first in the series by Jeanne DuPrau, was in my opinion simply brilliant. A city powered by electric lights, but the generator is wheezing and the food stores are running out. Two kids find the secret of their lost city -- that hundreds of years ago, a world on the brink of destruction built Ember deep under the ground as a way to preserve human life. There was an escape plan, for 200 years in the future, but the line of secret keepers was broken and so more than 200 years went by until the City didn't even know where they were. Lina and Doon find the secret way out of the dying city, and in book two they come upon Sparks, one of the settlements above ground where the descendants of survivors live. These first two books were just great. DuPrau tells an intriguing and moving futuristic tale. I highly recommend both.

Then, in the third installment, The Prophet of Yonwood, DuPrau swerves off the storyline to backtrack and show us the time leading up to the population of Ember in the first place. This third book just didn't work for me at all; I suppose I really just wanted to know what was going to happen with Lina and Doon. Seems to me Yonwood would have been better as the fourth book, after Darkhold.

WHICH brings me to this review (finally!). The fourth book begins nine months after The People of Sparks ends. The winter is upon them, and much like the colonists or pioneers, the people of Sparks are having a tough time of it. When Doon's father cuts his hand and there is a fear of infection, Doon and Lina decide to head back to Ember to get some Anti-B. But when they get there, they discover not only has a strange family settled in the now dark and abandoned city, but they have come across yet another secret of Ember.

This book was so great -- I was totally hooked from the first chapter. We get lots of backstory to fill in the gaps and I would say it's still up in the air whether this is truly the last book of Ember or not. If you liked the other books in the series, you will enjoy this one.  4 bookmarks!

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