Jun 01, 2021RebelBelle13 rated this title 1.5 out of 5 stars
Why? Why is this book a thing? Why did this story need to be told? I don't understand the drive behind getting this story out into the world, and selling it as part of the Book of Ember series. I think it would have been ok as a stand-alone ('ok' might be stretching it a little) but certainly not as a sequel to the well beloved City of Ember. DuPrau could have done so many things with a prequel to City of Ember- talk about the first generation of people in the underground city, or the actual war that led up to the small group of folks retreating to the underground, or even Lina and Doon's parents generation, how everything used to be great but things were rapidly deteriorating in the city. But no. Instead we get the story of one of the first residents of Ember, 50 years before she lived there. In a random podunk town where folks are led to believe weird stuff and are easily swayed by a crazy lady's vision.
Nickie doesn't act like an 11 year old. Not only that, she makes terrible decisions and can't for the life of her figure out right from wrong. And what 11 year old has a goal to fall in love?
There are also plot points that go nowhere, or by themselves would have made a much better story than the one that the author insisted on telling; like Hoyt McCoy and his interaction with aliens (I'm not kidding), the strange appearance of an albino bear in the woods, the history of Greenhaven (the house that Nickie's aunt is insisting on selling in Yonwood), or Grover's trek through the world as the next Steve Irwin. We are given tidbits of these ideas and stories and left to fill the gaps ourselves.
The Prophet of Yonwood reads as a weird morality tale cautioning against religion- not something I was expecting from a City of Ember book. Seriously, if you're reading the series, skip this one, or take it out of the library to read only the last chapter, as it's the only thing that connects to the rest of the series. What a missed opportunity.