City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (unabridged audiobook read by Wendy Dillon; 7 hrs on 6 discs): Lina and Doon live in Ember, the only city in existence. The sky is black; the streets are illuminated by huge floodlights. When the lights go out, the entire world is plunged into impenetrable darkness. All supplies come from the cavernous store rooms. This is how it has been since the beginning of time, but lately there have been fewer supplies and more blackouts. As a reader, you know that this city is most likely in a cave or underground, the power produced by a hydroelectric generator, but of course the characters have never known anything different. It is, truly, a fascinating idea. One day Lina finds a set of instructions, partially destroyed by her baby sister. She and Doon embark on an adventure as they attempt to decipher it. This is not an overly complicated story, but I really enjoyed all the subtle differences that living in such a place would imply. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

A note on the audio: Dillon’s character voices were excellent. I could have done without the rather loud sound effects, though. The rush of the river was especially distracting.

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