“It pains me to say it, as I love this series, but this book was not good. While billed as a "prequel" it really has nothing to do with the other Ember books until nearly the final page, where the connection is made. Unfortunately, though, the connection reads like it was conceived just to make the book connect to the stories of Ember, and seems totally contrived.
As a stand alone book, I still wouldn't have enjoyed it much. The story isn't very exciting, it has none of the suspense of the other Ember books.
Honestly, it feels like Jeanne DuPrau had an unpublished manuscript lying around and decided to try to bank on the success of the Ember stories by changing a few details and publishing it as part of the series. Here's hoping that at some point she writes a *real* prequel for the books -- it does seem like there's a fascinating story there waiting to be told.”
Zoe wrote this review Monday, August 30, 2010.