Back of the Book:
It’s 50 years before the settlement of the city of Ember, and the world is in crisis. War looms on the horizon as 11-year-old Nickie and her aunt travel to the small town of Yonwood, North Carolina. There, one of the town’s respected citizens has had a terrible vision of fire and destruction. Her garbled words are taken as prophetic instruction on how to avoid the coming disaster. If only they can be interpreted correctly. . . .
As the people of Yonwood scramble to make sense of the woman’s mysterious utterances, Nickie explores the oddities she finds around town—her great-grandfather’s peculiar journals and papers, a reclusive neighbor who studies the heavens, a strange boy who is fascinated with snakes—all while keeping an eye out for ways to help the world. Is this vision her chance? Or is it already too late to avoid a devastating war?
In this prequel to the acclaimed The City of Ember and The People of Sparks, Jeanne DuPrau investigates how, in a world that seems out of control, hope and comfort can be found in the strangest of places.
Sara’s Review on Goodreads.com:
I liked Nicki as the main character and I sympathized with her wanting to be good and do good. I even thought the plot was decent: the country may be on the brink of war, and everyone hopes that by following the prophet, they will be saved from destruction. However, this book felt barely connected to the earlier two book in the Ember series. It’s not until the last two pages of this book that we find out how Nicki and her story tie in to Lina and her story in Ember. In that regard, it’s not much of an installment in the series. (read the entire review here)
Format Read: ebook
The very worst thing about this book is the dog. I hate dogs.
The very best thing about this book is the story line. As a stand-alone short story, it’s not too terrible. As part of the incredible Books of Ember series, it falls terribly short.
I’m glad I read this first instead of third (publication order) because I would have been even more disappointed in this book if I had already read “The City of Ember” and “The People of Sparks” before this prequel.