REVIEW: The Prophet of Yonwood

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About the Book

Prophet of YonwoodTitle: The Prophet of Yonwood

Author: Jeanne DuPrau

Series: Books of Ember #3

Genre: YA/MG Sci-fi Dystopian

Pages: 289

Edition Read: Kindle library book

Dates Read: January 12-14, 2023

Blurb: Nickie will grow up to be one of the first citizens of the city of Ember. But for now, she’s an eleven-year-old girl whose father was sent away on some mysterious government project.

So when the opportunity to move presents itself, Nickie seizes it. But her new town of Yonwood, North Carolina, isn’t what she’d anticipated. It’s a place full of suspicion and mistrust, where one person’s visions of fire and destruction have turned the town’s citizens against each other. Nickie explores the oddities around her—her great-grandfather’s peculiar journals, 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. Or is it already too late to avoid a devastating war?


This book wasn’t what I expected at all. For starters, it is a prequel. Instead of being in the strange world of Lina and Doon, we are in the more contemporary world of Nickie, a young girl who is living temporarily in a very small town in North Carolina. There are some very strange things happening in this town (like in most small rural towns), but for the most part, everything is familiar.

Since this book details the events leading up to the remnants of humanity essentially disappearing into the underground city of Ember, you can imagine that there is a lot of tension. The world is on the brink of a world war that we know will decimate the entire planet. The town of Yonwood has (what they think is) inside information through a woman who had a vision of the destruction and is now barely conscious and muttering rules that the people of the town believe they should follow to be safe. The regular local church has now been taken over by believers of the Prophet’s message.

It was an interesting study in human nature and in superstition. The Prophet’s words don’t always make sense, but when the world feels scary and out of control, it is comforting to have something to follow if you believe that it might make a difference. The people of Yonwood sincerely believe that their town will be spared if they just follow these rules. Even though Nickie comes from a larger city, she is easily swept into the town’s dictates on how to be a *good* person. She wants to help, but quickly learns that things are much more complex than she ever knew.

This book provided a good explanation for how Ember came to be and, while it wasn’t what I expected, was a very good read.

GoodReads rating: 4 stars

Categories: Books I've Read

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