It’s been several months since Lina and Doon escaped the dying city of Ember and, along with the rest of their people, joined the town of Sparks. Now, struggling through the harsh winter aboveground, they find an unusual book. Torn up and missing most of its pages, it alludes to a mysterious device from before the Disaster, which they believe is still in Ember. Together, Lina and Doon must go back underground to retrieve what was lost and bring light to a dark world.
In the fourth Book of Ember, bestselling author Jeanne DuPrau juxtaposes yet another action-packed adventure with powerful themes about hope, learning, and the search for truth.
"Chronologically third, but listed as fourth in the Book of Ember series, the latest entry begins with an enticing vision of pre-Disaster events, in which the Builders of the underground city make provisions to assist the emerging Emberites. Things are not going well in Sparks, as the stress of the Ember newcomers is bringing back a frightening scarcity of food, warmth and hope. This hard life pushes Doon and Lina into adventure as they discover an artifact that inspires them to return to their abandoned city to relieve their troubles. In so doing, the pair meets odd characters who add spice to events by managing to be humanely kind and selfishly scary in almost equal measure. Doon and Lina's knowledge of Ember helps them find solutions in dire straits, but it also takes work and grit to discover the true meaning of the jewel-like object central to the plot. Readers will find this fast-paced and clever final installment closer to the original than either of the other sequels and will enjoy the logical future detailed at the end." Kirkus Reviews
"A solid and satisfying conclusion to the "Ember Saga," set in a post-disaster future. Hostilities have died down between the citizens of Sparks and the refugees from the underground city of Ember, and all are working together to survive the brutal winter. A roamer brings forth the barest remains of a book that intrigues Doon and Lina because it alludes to a mysterious device that may still be in Ember. They decide to go back to see if they can find any answers or, if nothing else, food. What they find is the Trogg Family, travelers who have taken over the remains of the city, scavenging supplies and making grand plans. Doon is caught and shackled, leaving Lina to try and make her way back to Sparks to get help. Once again, the teens, both remarkably self-sufficient and imaginative, are able to save themselves and figure out at least a small part of the mystery left behind by the Builders. In doing so, they help their community and ultimately the entire planet. And the epilogue gives the answer to a question raised in the series' prequel, The Prophet of Yonwood (Random, 2006), namely, what Hoyt McCoy was up to with that telescope of his. All the loose ends are tied up neatly and everything ends on a positive, hopeful note. Satisfying, indeed"-Mara Alpert, School Library Journal