Book of the Week - People of Sparks

People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau

The second in the Ember series, I am shocked that I hadn't read this sooner. The first book, City of Ember, set up the story of a futuristic city build underground after some kind of disaster. The city itself is slowly dying, food has run low and the lights flicker, sending the inhabitants into darkness. Lina and Doon discover a way out of Ember after finding a series of clues. The second book picks up where the first leaves off. The people of Ember, having received Lina and Doon's message, emerge into the outside world. But they know nothing. They don't know what the sun, a bird, winter, fire, or even a cow is. They happen upon a town called Sparks who is hard pressed to take care of the 400+ people of Ember who know nothing.

This book was a little heavy handed as far a morality tale is concerned. Once the book ended I found myself shaking my head and thinking, yes yes, I get it. We all have something to contribute. We should get along. The story itself was engaging, predictable at points but not to the point of redundancy. The mystery and adventure that were present in the first book are greatly diminished, replaced by a simple survival story. All in all the story was rather ho hum. A nice edition to the Ember series, but not as exciting as the last. Here's to hoping the next one has a bit more--spark.