Friday

The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau

What happens in Ember stays in Ember, or does it?

The people of Ember have emerged into the light... they are above ground where "it is green and very big and light comes from the sky" - and this is all thanks to Lina and Doon’s wisdom in deciphering the Instructions of Egress left by "The Builders". Once above ground, they come upon the people of Sparks, a small farming community. Here the town residents, barely remember the "old times" with incorrect names for old devices, and they have scavengers who pick over the remains of the previous industrial society from several hundred years back. Neither community knows what to make of the other but Sparks takes in the strange 'cave' people - feeding them, giving them someplace to sleep and eventually granting them a six month time frame to learn how to survive in this post-apocalyptic world and start their own community. But soon jealousy and resentment leads to disastrous events and the threat of war looms between the communities.

I have to admit that this story didn't capture me like the first book of Ember did, but yet I still enjoyed it and I found it satisfying in the end. The themes of this book echo the themes of the first book in many ways. You ask yourself - Just what does it take to survive in a new world? How does human kindness or the lack thereof affect and come into play towards the repetition of history?

My favorite quote from the book (and there were many) but this one stood out the most:
"People didn't make life, so they can't destroy it. Even if we were to wipe out every bit of life in the world, we can't touch the place life comes from. Whatever made the plants and animals and people spring up in the first place will always be there, and life will spring up again."

Ms. DuPrau is very good at writing a child's perspective without it seeming overly simplified or unreal. I’m looking forward to the next installment (The Prophet of Yonwood) - from what I read it’s a pre-quel to the first two books so it should answer some of the niggling loose ends about how this world came to be. Once again, this book was a page turner and I read it in a couple of hours. It is highly recommended no matter what the age.

7 comments:

NotNessie said...

You didn't like it? I liked this one. The third one I thought was disappointing, so I'll be interested to read your thoughts.

I'll be reviewing these books in a few weeks. Do you mind if I link to your reviews, too? I'm trying to get in the habit of adding links to other reviews in my post when I can.

Dar said...

This sounds like a good book. I've never heard of it before. I certainly like the cover-it reminds me of the beginning of life.

Nymeth said...

This cover manages to be as pretty as the first, and that's hard! I definitely have to get to this series.

Kerry said...

Be warned: The Prophet of Yonwood isn't really a prequel to the Ember books. Rather, it's a story set at an earlier time in the same world. If you read it that way, it's a decent story, but if you're expecting direct connections to the Ember books, you'll probably be disappointed.

Book Bird Dog said...

I gave you an award! You can pick it up at www.bookbirddog.blogspot.com

Jenne said...

I agree that it wasn't quite as good as the first book, but still an excellent and imaginative sequel.

Tea said...

I enjoyed your review. I'm glad you mentioned that there is a book before this one. I would like this one, I think, an old set of values and new set of values.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Blog designed by Dreamy Blog Designs using Cré@Bisontines I'm Yours Kit