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Encyclopedia > City of Ember

For the article of the upcoming film, see The City of Ember (film)

The City of Ember
Author Jeanne DuPrau
Country United States
Language English
Series The Book of Ember series
Genre(s) Young adult, Science fiction, Fantasy novel
Publisher Random House/Yearling
Released 2003
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
ISBN ISBN 0-375-82273-9 (hardcover first edition)
Preceded by The Prophet of Yonwood
Followed by The People of Sparks

The City of Ember is a 2003 apocalyptic book by Jeanne DuPrau. It's centered around the underground city of Ember, the one known surviving settlement and "the only light in the dark world" that's slowly dying as supplies run low and the electrical system starts to fail. Image File history File links The_City_of_Ember. ... Jeanne DuPrau is a fantasy writer, best known as the author of the book The City of Ember, its sequel, The People of Sparks and another as yet unpublished book that is reportedly not a direct sequel to the first two books but does relate to them. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Some notable science fiction novels, in alphabetical order by title: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke 334 by Thomas M. Disch An Age by Brian Aldiss The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard... Look up Fantasy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary For other definitions of fantasy, see fantasy (psychology). ... Random House is a publishing division of the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann based in New York City. ... The Yearling is a 1946 film which tells the story of a boy who adopts a fawn as a pet. ... See also: 2002 in literature, other events of 2003, 2004 in literature, list of years in literature. ... A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) book is bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth or heavy paper) and a stitched spine. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The Prophet of Yonwood is a 2006 apocalyptic novel by Jeanne DuPrau. ... The People of Sparks, a 2004 book by Jeanne DuPrau, is the sequel to The City of Ember. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Apocalyptic science fiction is a sub-genre of science fiction that is concerned with the end of civilization, through nuclear war, plague, or some other general disaster. ... A chained book in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University A Chinese bamboo book, in a collection at the University of California, Riverside. ... Jeanne DuPrau is a fantasy writer, best known as the author of the book The City of Ember, its sequel, The People of Sparks and another as yet unpublished book that is reportedly not a direct sequel to the first two books but does relate to them. ... The city of Chicago, as seen from the sky A city is an urban area that is differentiated from a town, village, or hamlet by size, population density, importance, or legal status. ... Lightning strikes during a night-time thunderstorm. ...


The main characters are Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow, two 12-year-olds who watch as the light of Ember flickers and race to discover a way out. Lina Mayfleet is one of the two main characters in Jeanne DuPraus Ember books. ... Doon Harrow is one of the two main characters in Jeanne DuPraus Ember books. ...

Contents

Plot summary

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Ember is a completely self-contained, self-maintained city. All food and supplies come from giant warehouses under the city and a handful of greenhouses. All the books in the library, apart from the city history "The Book of Ember", "The Book of Letters" and "The Book of Numbers", have been written by hand by residents. Most curiously, all the light in the city comes from lamps and floodlights; when these are extinguished, the city is completely dark, with no stars, sun, or moon. The electricity in the city comes from an ancient hydro-electric generator in the underground Pipeworks; keeping the aging generator operational is a constant task. Beyond the borders of Ember are the dark Unknown Regions, which are unexplorable.


The story begins with two of the Builders, creators of Ember, discussing what will happen after things in Ember start getting bleak.


Years later, it is Assignment Day at Ember's school, the day when 12-year-olds finish their education and are assigned jobs by picking a small piece of paper from a bag that the Mayor has. Lina Mayfleet is given the job of a Pipe-works laborer; Doon Harrow becomes a Messenger. Disliking their jobs, they arrange a switch. Pipe-works laborer is a fictional job in Jeanne DuPraus Ember series. ...


While Lina is thrilled to have the job of Messenger, Doon is more concerned with the state of the city. Blackouts and power outages are becoming common in Ember. In addition, supplies are dwindling, buildings are crumbling and the city seems to be breaking down piece by piece. On the job in the Pipeworks, Doon explores the tunnels and tries to discover a way to save Ember.


Lina works hard as a Messenger, puzzling over secret messages passed to the Mayor from a strange man named Looper. When her little sister, Poppy, discovers an ancient piece of paper in a box in their apartment, she becomes convinced it is a special message.


Eventually, Doon and Lina piece the paper together and discover that it includes "Instructions for Egress"--instructions to leave Ember. They descend into the Pipeworks and discover that the instructions are indeed valid, and that the underground river holds the key to escape from the city. They also discover that the Mayor is stealing the disappearing resources of Ember from the storerooms. They report the Mayor's theft to City Hall, confident that he will be arrested.


However, the Mayor sets his guards upon the pair, and orders their arrest for "spreading vicious rumors." Before they can tell the residents of Ember about the Instructions for Egress, they are forced to flee the city. Lina manages to take her little sister Poppy, and, with Doon, goes down into the Pipeworks and flees Ember by boat on the underground river. A boat is a craft or vessel designed to float on, and provide transport over, water. ...


The river eventually leads to a great rock slope. Poppy discovers a book on the riverbank; Lina and Doon keep it and bring it along to read later. After a long and arduous climb, Lina, Doon and Poppy emerge from the rocks into a new world, where they discover sunlight, moonlight, stars and nature.


This discovery is followed by another one, their history. The battered book turns out to be a personal journal; reading it, Lina and Doon discover that their city was founded by a group of one hundred adults and the same number of children as a measure to guarantee the survival of the human race in a disaster that obliterated civilization. Trinomial name Homo sapiens sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: wise man or knowing man) under the family Hominidae (the great apes). ... Cities are a major hallmark of human civilization. ...


Doon and Lina discover a nearby cave. Looking down from a high cliff in the cave, they are amazed to see Ember below them--and realize that they have been living underground all along. In a last-ditch effort to save their city's citizens, the three write a note with the Instructions for Egress, wrap it in Doon's shirt, and hurl it down into Ember. It is found by Lina's guardian, Mrs. Murdo.


Sequels

A sequel to Ember, entitled The People of Sparks, was published in 2004. Sparks picks up the story where Ember ends, and depicts the Emberites' encounter with an aboveground village, Sparks, which survived the Disaster. The People of Sparks, a 2004 book by Jeanne DuPrau, is the sequel to The City of Ember. ...


A third novel, The Prophet of Yonwood, was released in the United States on May 9, 2006. While it is billed at the third installment of the "Book of Ember" series, the novel is a prequel, rather than a sequel, to Ember and Sparks, and is set fifty years before the Disaster and the establishment of the City of Ember. The Prophet of Yonwood is a 2006 apocalyptic novel by Jeanne DuPrau. ...


A fourth novel, according to Jeanne DuPrau's website, is in the works, but is not expected out for "a while." An excerpt from the book, posted on her personal website, seems to indicate that the fourth book will pick up where The People of Sparks left off, during the winter.


Film Adaptions

External links

  • Jeanne DuPrau's website

  Results from FactBites:
 
The City of Ember - Introduction and Chapter 1 - Pages 1 - 16 (541 words)
The builders said the people must live in the city of Ember for at least ____ years before leaving.
The may of Ember with his vast, heavy build was a tyrant who loved to boss the students around.
In the city of Ember, the sky was always dark.
The City of Ember - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1015 words)
It's centered around the underground city of Ember, the one known surviving settlement and "the only light in the dark world" that's slowly dying as supplies run low and the electrical system starts to fail.
Ember is entirely self-contained; all food and supplies come from giant warehouses under the city and a handful of greenhouses.
The battered book turns out to be a personal journal; reading it, Lina and Doon discover that their city was founded by a group of one hundred adults and the same number of children as a measure to guarantee the survival of the human race in a disaster that obliterated civilization.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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