The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau (Book of Ember #4)

Book of Ember

<–The Prophet of Yonwood (BOE #3)

Note: Since this is a sequel there are spoilers for the prior book even in the blurb.  Something to keep in mind if you haven’t read the prior books and don’t want to be spoiled.

Second Note:  TSN gets (US) political for comparison.


Title: The Diamond of Darkhold
Series Title: Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Date Added: September 17, 2017
Date Started: January 14, 2018
Date Finished: February 19, 2018
Reading Duration: 36 days
Genre: Mid-grade/Young Adult (YA), Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian

The Diamond of Darkhold coverPages: 285
Publication Date: August 26, 2008
Publisher: Yearling Adventure
Media: Paperback


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. Lina knows they are lucky to be there, but life aboveground is hard. Instead of opening a can for dinner, they must plant and harvest their food. And while there was no sun or moon in Ember’s sky, neither was there rain, sleet, or wind. Now, in the middle of their first winter, Lin finds herself feeling homesick for her old city.

It’s during this dark time that Doon finds an unusual book. Torn up and missing most of its pages, it alludes to a mysterious device, a piece of technology from before the Disaster. Doon becomes convinced that the Builders of Ember meant for them to find the device when they left the city, to help them in their new lives. 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 of hope, learning, and the search for truth. 


The final installment to the series finds Lina, Doon, and the other Emberites fully integrated into Sparks so they all live as one people, but times are hard, and Lina finds herself longing for the warm familiarity of her underground home.  Doon’s discovery of the blurb’s mentioned book gives them a reason to return to the now dark and dying Ember where things don’t go quite according to plan.  There are people living there, but if squatting were still a thing in this post-Disaster world then the Trogg family would be squatters.

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The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuPrau (Book of Ember #3) (DNF)

<–The People of Sparks (BOE #2)                              The Diamond of Darkhold (BOE #4)–>

Title: The Prophet of Yonwood
Series Title: Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Date Added: September 17, 2017
Date Started: December 23, 2017
Date DNF: December 27, 2017
Reading Duration: 4 days
Genre: Mid-grade/Young Adult (YA), Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian

The Prophet of Yonwood cover

Pages: 289
Publication Date: April 1, 2006
Publisher: Yearling Edition
Media: Paperback


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?


There seems to be some disagreement with whether or not this is the 3rd or 4th book.  Goodreads has it marked as the 3rd, but in my set The Diamond of Darkhold is the third installment and Yonwood doesn’t even have a number.  I can kind of understanding putting the prequel in the midst of the series to have readers reflect on how the world arrived at this point while the resolution to the narrative is still up in the air, but I see better advantages of reflecting when the original story is full told.

Regardless, The Prophet of Yonwood wasn’t nearly as engaging as the other books.  This is disappointing since the lead up to what caused the conditions prompting Ember’s construction could’ve been a gripping tale.  While I didn’t finish it, it seems like the author’s focus was on prophesy and proselytizing instead.

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The State of the Writer: 6/17/18

<–The State of the Writer: 6/3/18          The State of the Writer: 7/1/18–>

A biweekly post updated every Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 5


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 260,969
Prior Word Count: 261,043
Word Difference: -74
Status: Revising
Progress: Chapter 7 review

What am I doing?  Like seriously.  What am I doing?  I finished up the revisions I said I wanted to do, so what am I doing now?  Well, I’m reading through the remaining beginning chapters just to make sure there’s nothing I missed.  I haven’t done any major edits since Chapter 6.  It’s also not taking me that long to read through them, so as long as I keep up a decent pace with that, I should be back to a posting schedule by next month.

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The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau (Book of Ember #2)

Book of Ember

<–The City of Ember (BOE #1)                                      The Prophet of Yonwood  (BOE #3)–>

Note: Since this is a sequel there are spoilers for the prior book even in the blurb.  Something to keep in mind if you haven’t read The City of Ember and don’t want to be spoiled.


Title: The People of Sparks
Series Title: The Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Date Added: September 12, 2017
Date Started: October 22, 2017
Date Finished: October 23, 2017
Reading Duration: 1 day
Genre: Mid-grade/Young Adult (YA), Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian

The People of Sparks coverPages: 338
Publication Date: May 25, 2004
Publisher: Yearling Adventure
Media: Paperback


When Lina and Doon lead their people up from the underground city of Ember, they discover a surface world of color and life. The people of a small village called Sparks agree to help the Emberites, but the villagers have never had to share their world before. Soon differences between the two groups escalate, and it’s up to Lina and Doon to find a way to avoid war!

In the riveting sequel to the highly acclaimed The City of Ember, Jeanne DuPrau explores the nature of conflict and the strength and courage necessary to overcome it.


We will renounce violence, which is so easy to start, but so hard to control.

In the second Book of Ember, Lina and Doon play Moses in leading the exodus from their dying city.  The find a settlement called Sparks where the descendants of the Disaster survivors live.  Having absolutely no experience or even knowledge of the world they’ve found themselves in, they ask the leaders of the village for help.

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The State of the Writer: 5/6/18

<–The State of the Writer: 4/22/18          The State of the Writer: 5/20/18–>

A biweekly post updated every Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 4

Tags: 10 Things That Make Life Worth Living – 4/24/18
Awards: Liebster Award #4 – 5/3/18
Tags: The Writer’s Tag – 5/3/18
Book Reviews: The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau – 5/5/18

Two tags and one award out of the way means I can check three things off of that combined list.  The book review took so much longer than I anticipated, and I now want to do a book to movie comparison.


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 261,419
Prior Word Count: 261,491
Word Difference: -72
Status: Revising
Progress: Third edit of Chapter 3

Black and white drawing of Aeris/Aerith

No source available

I might be done this revision sooner than anticipated.  I was trying to remember why the hell I’d decided to do it anyway, and thankfully I was smart enough to leave myself a checklist of what I wanted to update.  It seems as though there were portions of the beginning I wanted to change for better accuracy.  This leads me to believe the chapters after 4 may not really need an update, though I am finding I’m doing more refined editing as I go through.  which is never a bad thing.  I’m hoping I can convince the perfectionist side of myself that I don’t need to go over the first 10 chapters (again) with a fine-toothed comb, but she’s a stubborn bitch, so I hope she can be persuaded.

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The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (Book of Ember #1)

Book of Ember

The People of Sparks (BOE #2)–>

Title: The City of Ember
Series Title: Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Date Added: June 28, 2016
Date Started: August 30, 2017
Date Finished: September 12, 2017
Reading Duration: 13 days
Genre: Mid-grade/Young Adult (YA), Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrauPages: 270
Publication Date: May 13, 2003
Publisher: Yearling Adventure
Media: Paperback


Many hundreds of years ago, the city of Ember was created by the Builders to contain everything needed for human survival. It worked…but now the storerooms are almost out of food, crops are blighted, corruption is spreading through the city and worst of all—the lights are failing. Soon Ember could be engulfed by darkness….

But when two children, Lina and Doon, discover fragments of an ancient parchment, they begin to wonder if there could be a way out of Ember. Can they decipher the words from long ago and find a new future for everyone? Will the people of Ember listen to them?


“But what if they don’t find them? What if they never come out again?” “I think they will. People find a way through just about anything.”

The City of Ember is a marvelous example of the necessity of a prologue in some cases since it lays the foundation of the story to follow: how Ember came to exist, created by the mysterious and long dead Builders to harbor humanity from some unknown disaster two centuries ago.   The only record they left of their existence was a timer box set to open in 200 years with instructions therein.  Each mayor of Ember was supposed to safeguard the vessel, passing it on to their successor when their time came to an end, but as things often go, the vital information was lost ad now Ember is dying.  Food is growing scarce and famine is imminent, but even more dire is the instability of their aging generator, because if it fails, Ember will go completely dark.

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The State of the Reader: 2/28/18

<–The State of the Reader: 2/14/18          The State of the Reader: 3/14/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 1


Finished: 3

Title: The Diamond of Darkhold
Series Title: The Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Date Added: September 17, 2017
Date Started: January 14, 2018
Date Finished: February 19, 2018
Reading Duration: 36 days

The cover of The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrauMedia: Paperback

It wasn’t as good as the first or second book, but it was better than the prequel The Prophet of Yonwood.  What diminished it was the ending where the author just pulled something completely out of left field, and it was a space flea out of nowhere, though she did try to set it up earlier, but there just wasn’t enough.  It’s possible I missed something from Prophet, since I didn’t read that, but even so, it’s completely unnecessary to the series as a whole.  I’ll obviously be discussing it when I do my review.

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The State of the Reader: 2/14/18

<–The State of the Reader: 1/31/18          The State of the Reader: 2/28/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 1


Books DNF: 1

  • Shadow Stalker Part 1 by Renee Scattergood – I knew the main character was going to be a “chosen one” paradigm, and I’m fine with that, but after finishing the first part, I’m going to leave it there.  I think what got under my skin was her foster father/trainer told her she can’t stop him when he messes with her mind to calm her down, and that really rubs me the wrong way.  Mental meddling is an invasion, and if someone doesn’t want you to do it then you respect that.  Also the fact that he’s been doing it her entire life without telling her (leaving her to figure it out) bugs me, too.  I get why he’s doing it, but it’s still troublesome.  There was a character named Sephir, so…that was pretty cool.

Finished: 2

Title: Saga, Vol. 8
Series: Saga
Author: Brian K. Vaughn
Illustrator: Fiona Staples
Date Added: July 2, 2017
Date Started: February 4, 2018
Date Finished: February 8, 2018
Reading Duration: 4 days

The cover of Saga, Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona StaplesMedia: Paperback

Do you even have to ask if it was good at this point?  Saga is quite possibly the best graphic novel series I’ve ever read.  It’s amazing how something that can take place in space involving aliens can be so “human” and relatable.  The ending to this volume is almost literally the polar opposite to the ending of 7.

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The State of the Reader: 1/31/18

<–The State of the Reader: 1/17/18          The State of the Reader: 2/14/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 15

  • Witch Hunt on Crystal Lake by Brittany Batiste – $2.99 @ Amazon
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka – $0.99 @ Amazon
  • The Emerald Dragonfly by Shaun Hume – $0.99 @ Amazon
  • Evolution by Kelly Carrero – $0.00 @ Amazon
  • The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories by Robert W. Chambers – $0.99 @ Amazon
  • Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by H. R. Ellis Davidson – $4.49 @ Amazon
  • The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley – $8.50 @ Amazon
  • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton – $8.69 @ Amazon
  • The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses by Johann Schiebel – $9.95 @ Amazon
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – $11.35 @ Amazon
  • Modern Man in Search of a Soul by C. G. Jung – $8.95 @ Amazon
  • The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller – $10.20 @ Amazon
  • Saga: Volume 8 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples – $9.35 @ Amazon
  • The Fall of Lilith by Vashti Quiroz Vega – $2.99 @ Amazon
  • Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics by Jim Al-Khalili – $1.99 @ Amazon

Yup, I bought a shit ton of books in the past month or so.  Those Amazon gift cards really came in handy.  I’ve already finished Witch Hunt on Crystal Lakeas the author asked me to a beta reading, but since I like to support fellow authors, bloggers, and friends, I bought it as well.  Obviously, I bought Saga (once I reminded it was out.  Thanks Ignited Moth!), and I’m probably going to read it next before I continue with the Death Note series.  The purchases were a mixture of eBook and physical (the less expensive ones are the eBooks), and I currently have a box of books sitting under my end table.

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The State of the Reader: 1/3/18

<–The State of the Reader: 12/20/17          The Final State of the Reader–>

A weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 0


Books DNF: 1

Title: The Prophet of Yonwood
Series Title: Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau

Media: Paperback
Percentage Finished: 21%

Not nearly as engaging as the other books.  This prequel wasn’t compelling in the least, and it’s disappointing since the lead up to what caused the existence of Ember could’ve been a rousing tale.  We could’ve found out if there were other underground cities and/or how the rest of humanity survived, but the author choose to focus on prophecy and proselytizing instead of that.  I still have the final Book of Ember to read, which I’m looking forward to, as it involves Lina and Doon’s return.

Books Finished: 3

Title: Strange the Dreamer
Series Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Date Added: April 18, 2016
Date Started: August 26, 2017

Media: Physical/Hardback

Oh my god this book was so good.  I don’t know how I’m going to review it, since I can’t say much without spoiling, but it took so many familiar tropes, cliches even, and yet they didn’t come off as trite.  While I figured it out about a chapter or two before the reveal, I still covered my face with my hands.  All the pieces just fell together beautifully, and I think it worked because it’s not like the author doesn’t give away an integral part in the very prologue.  I kept going back and forth from there to my current place just to make sure all of the ends matched up.  They did…to tragic effect.  I hope the sequel comes out sooner rather than later sometime this year.

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