The People of Sparks – Jeanne DuPrau
Very different in tone and setting than the first book in the series, The People of Sparks is a kind of in-between book. The people of Ember have to learn to make their way in the world, a hostile place where they can’t understand the simplest things and their survival is dependent on the largesse of others. It continues to have a lot of big ideas about human nature and overcoming our baser selves.
The plot doesn’t really seem to be the point of this book, it’s more about establishing new places and characters. The first and last parts of the book were interesting and exciting, while the middle dragged. Such care was taken with the sequence of events that the story got bogged down and moved too slowly. Which is a shame, because the first hundred pages were full of ideas worth chewing on. And not the big obvious themes of the rest of the book like cults of personality and war and greed and generousity, but there was room for the reader to make comparisons between Ember and Sparks. Luckily, the end picked up and stuff happened and the very end was exciting and hopeful and makes me want to keep reading.