Wednesday, November 3, 2010
The People of Sparks
by Jeanne DuPrau
book 2 of the Books of Ember series
audiobook: 7.9 hours
narrated by Wendy Dillon
*** About the Book ***
Continuing the story that began in The City of Ember (my review here), the Emberites try to adjust to their new life on the surface. They find a town where they are grudgingly welcomed – there are more people from Ember than from the town! – and they begin to learn about their new lives. Tensions escalate, however, as the two very different groups of people are forced to live in close contact on a daily basis. Will they learn how to live peaceably or will they come to blows?
*** Why I Listened To It ***
Kiddo and I enjoyed book one in this series and we wanted to continue with it. We got the audiobook from the library.
*** My Thoughts ***
I have a hard time reviewing middle grade books like this. Part of me was really bothered by the simplicity of the plot and the way the author almost beats the reader over the head with the message (it’s a good message, it’s just REALLY obvious). Then again, this book is not designed for adult readers so I don’t feel I can hold it to the same standards of complexity. Kiddo really enjoyed it and I’ll bet that he understood the message that working together, listening to others, and making compromises is the best way to live (we haven’t had much time to discuss it so I can’t be sure).
Still, I enjoyed the series so far and am definitely interested in seeing what happens next.
*** Thoughts on the Narrator ***
Wendy Dillon does a reasonable job with most of the characters in this book but there are times when she tries too hard; every person does not need a completely unique voice. Her tendency to do just that leads to some rather painful-sounding voices for a few characters. The rest of her narration is quite good though.
*** Your Thoughts ***
Are the next two books in the series worth reading/listening to? My library only has them in the audio format that my mp3 player does NOT use so I’ll probably have to buy them if we do decide to listen …