The City of Ember

I recently read a book I would never have read except that I had to read it for a freelance project. It’s a young adult book, about an underground city set in the future. One thing that made my heart stop and put me into a panic everytime in this book: sometimes, the city experiences a ‘black-out,’ due to the failing generator, and then the lights flicker and go out and they are plunged into complete darkness. They have no flashlights and they do not know how to make fires. It’s just dark! And…if the generator fails, that’s it!  They have no idea that they are underground, that there are ways out of the city–no idea! (due to the Instructions for Egress having been lost, at one point).

It creeped. me. out. when the lights failed. -shudder- -shudder- -shudder- Every single time.

And, on top of that, the shelves of the supply depot–which was stocked to last the city for 200 years–are becoming bare. They are running out of things, and have no idea they were supposed to re-surface about, oh, 50 years ago?

God, this book made me feel SO claustophobic and desperate! But, it had a happy ending, of course. And awesome, quirky passages, such as this one:

At a house on Calloo Street, Lina delivered a message to a worried-looking man whose living room was completely dark. “I’m saving on light bulbs,” the man said. And when Lina took a message to Can Cafe, she learned that on certain days the back room was used as a meeting place for people who liked to converse about Great Subjects. “Do you think an Invisible Being is watching over us all the time?” she heard someone ask. “Perhaps,” answered someone else. There was a long silence. “And then again, perhaps not.


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