The City Of Ember Trilogy: Review

The City Of Ember trilogy follows the residents of a city encased in an opaque dome, surrounded by darkness. Through the series, the residents learn the true nature of their city, survive severe trials, and ultimately discover much more about the world beyond their city.

While the novels are marketed to children, the plot progression, themes, and tension are all compelling to adults as well. There are mysteries that get unraveled. The characters discover that certain truths they have been told are incomplete or changing. And even many adults are surprised as the world they know faces dramatic change.

The second and third novels expand the discoveries of the city residents, expanding their knowledge of the world around them and their place in it. The subsequent novels expand the scope of the world in dramatic and excellent ways, giving a whole new light on the dystopian world in which the characters live. The plot and character development happen at a complementary pace to the expansion of the world.

I found these novels quite compelling. Whether you are looking for a great read for yourself or a child in your life, I recommend The City Of Ember trilogy.


  • Recommend? Yes
  • Buy as a gift? Yes*
*Unfortunately a fourth book is bundled in the box set. It is nominally a prequel, but is so far removed in tone and setting that it seems like a different series. It has a strange tone and isn't nearly as compelling as the trilogy.
Last modified on 25 Apr 2022 by AO

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