It’s been a little while since I posted a review, although I have been done with the Prophet of Yonwood for a while now, I have been writing this review in pieces ad my attention span has been spastic to say the least. (Thanks ADHD…)
I have been taking a break from binging, I mean reading. While I enjoyed reading The Prophet of Yonwood, I enjoyed it for different reasons. This story didn’t feel like it fit so much for me with the other 2 books. It feels like a separate story, and only really ties everything together in the last few pages. I liked the approach of the power of faith, which is a big theme in all the Ember books, and the juxtaposition of how damaging people’s beliefs can sometimes be. I much would have rather had a prequel about the destruction, and the main character Nicki on her journey to the City of Ember, and the story finish with the discarded lockbox.
I enjoyed the book on a spiritual/philosophical level rather than as a part of the series. There were very strong messages and opinions in this book, much more than the other 2 in some cases, and made me stop and re-read a few lines with awe. I felt as strongly as it was written, it should have been its own book, separate from the series. Up until the very end of the book, I kept waiting for it to tie in and the tie in felt very rushed. The story is about a small North Carolina town, who has become very religious based on the discovery of an older resident having a vision of the future, and being deemed a prophet. Mrs. Beeson, a righteous woman, and a few select community members are the ones who decipher the prophet’s musings and mumblings, often mistaking what the old woman is saying, and spreading what they THINK she is saying as the word of God, that they must all obey to avoid being destroyed with the rest of the world. During this time, the nation is on the verge of war with another nation, and people fear the end is near. It turns out *SPOILER ALERT*, that the vision the old woman has is true, but it’s 50 years off. Our main character Nicki, who is 11- her father is away on top secret business, and we find out he is one of the Builders who helped construct Ember, and 50 years into the future, Nicki volunteers to go to Ember, out of her love for the world, and desire to preserve it.
There’s other characters in the book, an 11 year old boy named Grover who loves snakes, Mrs. Beeson the righteous and faithful, power driven community pillar, Nicki’s aunt who seems to have trouble staying married and is preoccupied with the notion, Amanda the homeless 17 year old with a very low self-esteem and easy to manipulate, but the core of the story follows Nicki and her trip to Greenhaven; her family’s historical mansion which is being sold after the death of her Grandfather, and her journey through this strange God Fearing town. The residents believe if they follow the word of God spoken by the prophet, they will be spared in the destruction. When the old woman says “No sinnies” Mrs. Beeson translates it as ” No sinners” while we find out much later that the old ill woman was trying to say “No cities” as in there are no cities left. People who go against the prophet’s words and tagged with a strange buzzing bracelet to let everyone know they were defiant. It’s an interesting story that shows the power of suggestion, and how sheep like humans can be, blindly believing things because of our need TO BELIEVE and self-preserve.
I also enjoyed some of the other plot points in the story, but those didn’t seem to resolve. The mansion of Greenhaven seems to have a life all of its own, being in Nicki’s family for decades; something that intrigues our main character. She discovers many photos from guests in the past, and journals written by her grandfather with musings about multiple dimensions existing at once. These things could have been resolved for me, I wanted to know more about them. Instead, their vaguely brought up and don’t really go anywhere. It makes the details in them feel misplaced; if you weren’t going to go anywhere with it, why mention it to begin with? The story would have moved along just fine considering they weren’t detrimental to the plot or character development.
All in all, I appreciated the book, but I wished it tied in more with the other 2 books in the series. I have ordered the final book, The Diamond of Darkhold and expect it to be delivered Sunday (yes UPS delivers on Sundays here) which means as soon as it gets here I will crack it open. I always get antsy when I know I am going to be finishing a series. There’s an instant gratification factor for me, when I get hooked into a series I just want to live the story until it’s finished and I can come up to breath reality again. But after I have finished, I suffer from that hole that exists when you have nowhere to go, so knowing that it will be the end is both cathartic and anti-climactic for me. I felt the same way when I finished Twilight and The Hunger Games, and after I finished the first and ONLY season of Firefly. (Including the movie).
Until next time, folks!