REVIEW: The People of Sparks

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About the Book

People of SparksTitle: The People of Sparks

Author: Jeanne DuPrau

Series: Books of Ember #2

Genre: YA/MG Sci-fi Dystopian

Pages: 338

Edition Read: Paperback

Dates Read: January 8-10, 2023

Blurb: When Lina and Doon lead their people up from the underground city of Ember, they discover a surface world of color and life. The people of a small village called Sparks agree to help the Emberites, but the villagers have never had to share their world before. Soon differences between the two groups escalate, and it’s up to Lina and Doon to find a way to avoid war!

In the riveting sequel to the highly acclaimed The City of Ember, Jeanne DuPrau explores the nature of conflict and the strength and courage necessary to overcome it.


I really wish it hadn’t taken me this long to read this book because it was really good. Honestly, with the cliffhanger at the end of The City of Ember, I don’t know how I didn’t run out immediately and get this one. It absolutely did not disappoint.

We have both of our main characters again, Lina and Doon, and they are now leading the people who escaped Ember across the plains to a new place. These kids are survivors but I also loved how they were not written as perfect protagonists. Doon gets taken in by a charismatic young man who may not have peoples’ best interests at heart. Lina is still very reckless and takes risks when she maybe shouldn’t. They drift apart in this book but come back together when it is important.

The thing that is truly the centerpiece of this book is the world building. We still don’t know all the details about how Ember came to be, but we learn that there were plagues and wars that devastated the world. Now the people of Ember are outside of their underground city and there is so much that is new to them. They don’t know what seasons are. They don’t know what the sky is, or clouds or wind or weather. They didn’t have animals down in Ember. There is so much for them to learn and I loved how DuPrau portrays this level of discovery. It was very good writing.

The people of Ember come to the village of Sparks and, while the people of Sparks don’t have much, they initially welcome the Emberites and share what they have, but they also don’t have a lot. Tensions inevitably flare up with both sides behaving badly and it is very realistic how this escalates. Again, it was just very good writing and very good world building. This book was a solid follow up to The City of Ember and I enjoyed it very much.

GoodReads rating: 4 stars

Categories: Books I've Read

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