Tag Archives: Jeanne DuPrau

People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau

The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau (unabridged audiobook read by Wendy Dillon; 8 hrs on 7 discs): We begin not too long after City of Ember ended, with the Emberites having emerged from their underground home for the first time in many generations, and descending upon the first settlement they encounter: the village of Sparks. This tiny village cannot support these hundreds of refugees who have nothing to trade and no skills to take care of themselves, and tensions between the two groups steadily build. To be perfectly honest, I spent a good part of this book being angry at everybody. I know it’s supposed to be an allegory, but not a single person in Sparks showed any interest whatsoever in learning about Ember or its inhabitants. These people have been cut off from the rest of civilization for so long that they have never seen an animal and don’t even know what the moon is. I’d never stop asking them questions and answering theirs. Luckily, everything does eventually get resolved and I finished the story feeling more or less satisfied. I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series, however. From what I understand, the latter two books focus more on some mysterious prophecy (which is kind of annoying since part of the attraction of these books, for me, is their plausibility) and hardly feature Lina and Doon at all. This one ends in a good place, though, so I am happy to continue the story only in my imagination.

A note on the audio: Dillon was excellent once again. The sound effects in the background were much less intrusive this time around, and in fact added some ambiance to the fire scene.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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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