Sky on Fire (Monument 14 Series #2)by Emmy Laybourne
Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of
Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope.
Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . .
Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . . .
Gr 9 Up—This action-packed sequel to Monument 14 (Feiwel & Friends, 2012) is darker and more suspenseful than the original.. It begins with a note to "whoever finds this," which reacquaints readers with the characters and plot of the first book. They are then plunged back into the chaos of postapocalyptic Colorado, without a moment lost between the ending of the first book and the beginning of the second. Brothers Alex and Dean are back, alternating chapters with their clear, riveting narratives. Alex, 13, and half of the contingent of children and teens sheltered at a Greenway superstore, set off on a bus to find medical help for severely wounded Jake and a rescue party for those left behind. Dean, 16, remains with the rest, those whose blood type causes them to become psychotic in the post-disaster air. Both Dean and Alex are no longer the children who boarded the school bus on the fateful day the world changed. Their childish optimism has gone. They are both world-weary and have matured, but neither one is fully prepared for the events that befall him in this survival tale. As the days and tragic events mount, patience and tempers wear thin, creating a realistic but less appealing group of characters. The well-paced plot leads to an ending that provides just enough closure to satisfy and a clear opening for a third book. Libraries that own the original need the sequel. Those without it should consider purchasing both titles.—Cindy Wall, Southington Library & Museum, CT
“A nifty plot that provides unexpected moments of chaos.” The Horn Book
“Pretty darn breathless.” Booklist
“The well-paced plot leads to an ending that provides just enough closure to satisfy and a clear opening for a third book. Libraries that own the original need the sequel. Those without it should consider purchasing both titles.” School Library Journal
“Since reading Monument 14--in one edge-of-my-seat, non-stop read--I've been unable to go into a department store without planning my survival strategy. Paranoia, Aisle 23!” Eric Walters, author of The Rule of Three
Read an Excerpt
Monument 14: Sky on Fire
By Emmy Laybourne, First Edition: 2013
Feiwel and FriendsCopyright © 2013 Emmy Laybourne
All rights reserved.
It was a lovely moment. Astrid hugging little Caroline and Henry. Luna barking and licking all the faces she could reach.
Of course, we were all wearing five layers of clothing to protect our skin from the compounds. And I had on my air mask. And Chloe was off to the side, masked and layered up and lying in a drugged sleep on an inflatable mattress. But for us, in the Greenway, it was a nice moment.
Seeing Astrid kiss them all over their little, dirty, freckled faces made me feel hopeful and happy. I guess seeing Astrid expressing love for them made my own feelings for her swell up. I felt like my heart would burst.
Then Astrid took in a deep breath.
And I saw her nostrils flare. She inhaled too long and I knew the rage was kicking in.
"Why did you stay?" she moaned. "You dumb, DUMB KIDS. WHY DID YOU STAY?"
She crushed the twins to her chest, holding one of their redheaded skulls in each hand.
And then I had to tackle her and hold her down.
So much for lovely Greenway moments.
Caroline and Henry were crying as I wrestled Astrid to the ground.
"Get her mask!" I yelled.
Astrid lashed out, pushing up against me.
Luna was barking her fluffy white head off.
"Caroline," I hollered, my voice muffled by my mask. "Get her air mask! Bring it here."
Astrid had let it fall to the ground when she saw the twins and started hugging and kissing them.
Caroline brought me the mask, as Astrid kicked and bucked. It took everything I had to keep her down.
"Put it on her!" I shouted.
Caroline, crying hard, pressed the mask over Astrid's face. Henry came over and helped her hold it in place.
"Stop fighting me!" I yelled at Astrid. "You're okay. You just got a hit of the compounds. Just breathe."
"Do it harder," Henry said to Caroline and she nodded. They crushed the mask down more firmly.
Astrid looked at us, at me. The fury in her sky-blue eyes receded, slowly, until finally she closed them and her whole body softened underneath me.
I stayed on top of her until she said hoarsely, "I'm all right."
I got to my knees, then to my feet.
Astrid put her hand up and placed it on the mask, gently pushing the twins aside as she sat up.
Caroline patted Astrid on the back.
"It's okay, we know it wasn't really you."
"Yeah," Henry agreed. "It was Monster-Astrid, not Real-Astrid."
"Come on, everyone," I said. "We gotta fix the gate! Now!"
* * *
We had needed to open the gate to let out the bus with Alex, Niko, Josie, and the rest of them. The layers of blankets and plastic and plywood we'd used to seal the gate and make the store airtight were all messed up now.
First we had to reseal the gate and then, somehow, purify the air. Would the entire store be contaminated now? I didn't know.
I grabbed the blankets and plastic sheeting that hung from the gate and pressed them back into place. "Hand me a staple gun!" I shouted to the twins.
The staple guns were still there, set to the side, from the first time we'd sealed the gate. I was now glad we were so sloppy as to leave our tools around. Or maybe Niko had left them there on purpose. He was very thorough that way.
I got the blankets and plastic back up in the time it took for Astrid to get to her feet and drag the first plywood sheet over.
I tried to staple it but only got three good hits when there was a hollow CLINK-CLINK sound from the staple gun. I was out of staples.
"Shoot," I mumbled.
There weren't any extra staples in the box, either.
"Be right back!" I hollered.
You had to shout to be understood in the stupid air masks.
I didn't want to think about Niko and Josie and Alex trying to communicate through them on the bus.
They should never have left and every time it even came into my mind that they had left, I got angry.
I didn't need to be angry just then, though. I needed to be smart. We had to get the store sealed up quickly.
* * *
I headed to Home Improvement.
I passed Chloe on her air mattress. She still had her mask on and all her layers and was totally out cold. The sleeping pill Niko had given her was strong.
She was going to be so pissed off when she woke up and discovered that Niko and the rest had gone on without her.
She had missed the whole drama of Astrid and me telling everyone we weren't going. That it wasn't safe for us to go out, because of our blood type.
She certainly hadn't been consulted when Niko took her off the bus.
But we were right, I told myself. It was too dangerous for us to go out there. Astrid had gotten just a momentary whiff of the compounds and had gone berserk. Us out in the open air, trying to make it sixty miles to Denver? We would have murdered them.
I was sure of it. We made the right choice.
And we had enough supplies in the Greenway to last us for weeks or months. Long enough for the others to make it to DIA and arrange some kind of a rescue. Or long enough to wait out the compounds — we had heard the effects would only last for three to six months. ...
As I got back with my reloaded staple gun, I saw that Caroline and Henry were gently bouncing next to Chloe's slumbering form on the air mattress. Luna was curled up next to them.
They looked like three little aliens and their pet dog, out to sea on a raft.
Then there came a loud THUNK from the gate.
Astrid jumped and looked at me.
The THUNK came again.
"Hey!" came a voice.
"Hello?" Astrid yelled.
"I knew it! I knew I saw a light! Hey, Jeff, I was right! There's somebody in there!"
"Who are you?" I shouted.
"Name's Scott Fisher. Open the gate and let us in, would ya?"
"Sorry," I lied. "We can't open it."
"Oh, sure, you can. You just did. It was just open a minute ago. We saw the light! Come on!"
"Yeah! Let us in," echoed another voice. Jeff, I presumed.
"Dude, you have to let us in. It's like an emergency out here!"
"Yeah, I know," I said. "But we can't."
"Well, why the hell not?" he demanded.
Astrid came and stood next to me.
"Because we let two grown-ups in before and one of them molested a girl and tried to shoot our leader!" she shouted through her mask.
"Well, now we're not like that. We're real nice."
"Sorry," Astrid said. She patted the plywood and nodded for me to nail it.
"Come on!" he yelled. "We're thirsty and hungry. People are dying out here! Let us in."
"Sorry," I yelled.
I shot a staple in.
Scott and Jeff rattled the gate some and cursed a fair amount, but by the time we got the rest of the plywood back up, we could hardly hear them.
I was examining the wall, and had made up my mind to add another layer of plastic sheeting, after we got the purifiers running, when Astrid tugged on my arm.
"While we're all geared up, let's go throw some food down to that guy from the roof."
"What?" I asked.
"Let's throw them down some food and water!" she yelled.
"Why?" I asked.
"We have so much and they have nothing. We should help them."
Aargh, I didn't want to go up on the roof. Not at all.
I was exhausted and I wanted to get the air purifiers set up.
But Astrid stood there looking at me like it was obviously a good idea. Like it was obviously the right thing to do.
"I want to get air purifiers set up first," I argued.
"Me and the kids will do that," she yelled through her mask. "You should take the food up while the guys are still outside."
I couldn't think straight enough to tell her why it wasn't a good idea. Maybe she'd think I was lazy or scared to go on the roof or something.
"All right," I said. "I'll do it."
She turned toward the kids without even, I don't know, saying thanks.
"Caroline and Henry," she called. "Grab a cart and come with me."
"Wait," I said. "First we get the purifiers running. Then I take the food."
Astrid looked at me and sighed.
Okay, it's hard to read expressions through the plastic visor of an industrial face mask, but what I read in her expression went something like:
Ah, this dumb kid feels like he's getting pushed around so he's taking a stand on a small, insignificant detail. But I guess if he needs to win this little victory for the sake of his pride, then I will give in.
Then she said, "Fine, but let's hurry."
* * *
We had eight different models of air purifiers in the Greenway and four to six units of each. Astrid and I set up the larger ones, and Caroline and Henry were in charge of putting the smaller ones around the store.
We used a lot of extension cords, as most of the outlets were on the walls.
* * *
I headed to the Pizza Shack. We had moved all the food into the big refrigerators there when we realized we'd be staying for a while.
I grabbed some EZ cans of tuna and a bunch of old bread and some fiber breakfast bars no one liked and some horrible Popsicles not even the least discriminating of our kids would eat. And a couple gallons of store-brand lemonade.
I threw the stuff into an empty plastic storage bin that was sitting around from before and carried it back to the storeroom.
We'd been alone in the store for all of two hours and already she was bossing me around as if I were some little kid or something. Not good.
* * *
Holding the tub in my arms, I entered the storeroom backward, nudging the doors open with my back.
I turned and nearly dropped the tub.
I was so wrapped up in thinking about Astrid I had forgotten about the bodies.
It was bloody back there. Robbie's body lay half off the air mattress. The air had mostly gone out of the mattress, so his bloody corpse was just lying on a flattish rubber mat. The blanket we'd thrown over top of him was saturated with blood in a couple of places.
Just beyond him lay Mr. Appleton, who had died in his sleep. A more peaceful way to go, to be sure. As if to prove it, his air mattress was still pleasantly inflated.
The outsiders who had come and torn our group apart were now dead in the storeroom.
I hadn't had time to really think about Robbie and the way he betrayed us.
He and Mr. Appleton had come to the store and we had let them in. But when it came time for them to leave, Robbie hadn't wanted to. Mr. Appleton fell ill and then, later that night, we had found Robbie with Sahalia.
In the scuffle, Brayden had been shot and Robbie had been killed.
Mr. Appleton died later in the night. There wasn't much we could have done to change that, I don't think.
But Robbie ...
I could have looked at Robbie there and been angry. As far as I understood it, he had tried to get Sahalia to sleep with him. Whether by force or by manipulation, I'm not sure. But he showed his true colors and they were disgusting. A, like, fifty-year-old man with a thirteen-year-old? Disgusting. We thought he was a loving father-type guy and he turned out to be a letch.
And if Robbie hadn't assaulted Sahalia, Brayden would still be okay. Niko and Alex and the rest wouldn't have had to try to make it to Denver.
But I just felt sad.
Robbie and Mr. Appleton were just two more people dead from this chain of disasters.
The little kids knew nothing about what had happened and I had to keep it that way.
I added "Hide the bodies" to my mental list of things to do.
After I fed the stupid strangers outside the store.
* * *
The hatch to the roof was easy to unlock. Niko had fixed sheeting over it with Velcro, so you could just rip it open and it would hang off to the side. And the padlock had the key right in it.
I set the bin down on the step in front of me and pushed the hatch up and open.
The last time I'd been on this roof we hadn't known anything about the compounds. We had watched the cloud going up from NORAD, thirty miles away.
The last time I'd been on this roof I tried to kill my brother.
It was dark now. The air seemed to absorb the light seeping out from the hatch. The sky above was opaque black. No stars. No clouds. Just black mud suspended in the air.
I cursed myself for not bringing a flashlight.
I didn't want to go all the way back for one, though, so what I did was set the box down on the roof and scooted it toward the edge, crawling behind it.
I sure as hell didn't want to fall off the roof in the dark.
After a minute of undignified crawling and scooting, the bin came up against the edge of the roof. I tipped it up and over and listened to it come crashing down.
"Hey!" I heard Scott Fisher yell.
"You're welcome!" I hollered.
They'd find the loot. And I'd be inside by the time they did.
They were lucky Astrid had a nice streak in her and that I was such a pushover.
I edged my way back toward the light coming from the hatch. I couldn't wait to take the air mask off.
The whole mask/glasses combo was driving me crazy. The mask was large enough to fit over my glasses, but it made them cut into the bridge of my nose. And my nose was still battered from when Jake had beat me up, so that hurt. A lot.
And I wanted to get my layers off. The layers were starting to bunch up under my arms and behind my knees.
Again, I tried not to think about Alex and Niko and the rest.
They had sixty miles to cover, wearing their layers and air masks, on a half-fixed school bus on a dangerous and dark highway. And I was whining to myself about a couple of hours in layers and a mask.
I got to my feet and started to make my way, slowly, back toward the hatch. In a dark world, that leaked light looked really bright, I tell you.
But I went slowly, because the roof was uneven and dented in places from the hailstorm a million years ago that had landed us safely in the Greenway.
I was thinking about the hailstorm and about how lucky we were that the grade-school bus driver, Mrs. Wooly, had not only thought to drive the bus into the store to get the little kids out of the hail, but had then returned to rescue us high school kids. I was thinking about Mrs. Wooly and wondering what had happened to her in the end. Had she made it to safety? Had she even thought about returning for us, as she promised, or had she just decided to fend for herself?
I was thinking about Mrs. Wooly when the light from the hatch went out.
I was alone, on the roof, in the dark.CHAPTER 2
This is slow going.
In 3 hours, we have gone approximately 8 miles.
Denver International Airport is more than 60 miles away.
This is going to take longer than I had hoped. It took us 20 minutes just to get from the Greenway parking lot onto I-25.
It's hard to see out of the windows because of the Plexiglas, which is not clear like regular glass. It's like driving through fog.
The highway is cracked in places. Sometimes there are gaps and craters in the asphalt. But so far there's been nothing the bus couldn't make it over.
Every 200 yards or so, there are big, battery-powered floodlights. These are good:
1. They lead the way.
2. They help us to see better as we pass.
3. They give us hope that there's someone looking out for us.
There are cars densely packed on each side of the highway and just one lane going through the middle. My best guess is that the military came along and cleared a path through. In some places, cars have just been lifted up and pushed on their sides to make room.
The cars are not what is scary, of course. Nobody would just get scared in a long, weird parking lot like the I-25.
It's the bodies.
We see them, dead where they were crawling out of their cars.
Some are just bloody messes — they must have been type A, like Niko and Max.
In some cars, as we pass by, our headlights shine on slick, black liquid splashed all over the inside of the car. It's blood. I guess those people were type A, too. Or maybe those cars had two people in them, a type O and something else, and the O just ripped them apart or something.
The other thing that's scary is the white mold.
There is a kind of white foamy substance growing up over the car tires and up onto the bodies of the cars.
It looks almost like the car tires have frozen, with snowdrifts of ice particles covering them, but we had to drive through some of it at one point and it didn't seem like ice when we drove through. It seemed wet and dense, like mold.
I think it's a rubber-eating fungus.
Anyway, it explains why we're not seeing more cars out driving.
Only tires that have been kept out of the air aren't covered in the mold.
Excerpted from Monument 14: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne, First Edition: 2013. Copyright © 2013 Emmy Laybourne. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
EMMY LAYBOURNE is a novelist, teacher, and former character actress. Emmy's Monument 14 trilogy has earned critical praise ("Frighteningly real… riveting" - New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice) and has been nominated by readers to the YALSA Teens Top Ten in 2013 and 2014.Before her life as an author, Emmy performed original comedy on Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1; and acted in the movies Superstar, The In-Laws, and Nancy Drew, among others. Emmy lives outside New York City with her husband, two kids, and a flock of 8 nifty chickens.
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Only twelve days have passed since the apocalyptic hailstorm and earthquake that devastated Monument, Colorado. While other parts of the country were experiencing their own horrific events, Monument and the surrounding area was hit by not only what mother nature handed out, but also by a man-made disaster when a crippling warfare compound was leaked from the nearby NORAD facility. Fourteen children were stranded in a Greenway superstore in Monument and forced to survive on their own. Now after holding things together for just short of two weeks, the group has decided to split up. Their faithful leader Niko is taking part of the group and heading for Denver International Airport in hopes of finding family members and arriving in time to participate in the evacuation program. Dean, who has bravely written an account of their adventure so far, decides it is best to remain behind with Astrid, Chloe, and the McKinley twins. Since Dean, Astrid, and Chloe have blood type O which causes them to react violently if exposed to the compound, they hope by staying behind, the rest of the group will have a better chance of reaching the evacuation site safely. SKY ON FIRE is the second book in the MONUMENT 14 series by Emmy Laybourne. With the fourteen kids separating into two groups, the story continues in alternating chapters narrated by Dean and his brother Alex. Dean continues to relate the adventures at the Greenway store including someone's attempt to break into the store and the arrival of a group of thugs who threaten to take over and endanger the small group of survivors. Alex relates the events that unfold as the rest of the group boards the ravaged school bus and heads toward the airport. They must face the frightening, deserted landscape, the dangerous effects of the compounds, and a few other refugees out to get their hands on anything of value to prolong their own lives. A journey that in ordinary circumstances would take barely over an hour becomes the longest, most dangerous trip of their lives. SKY ON FIRE is an all-too-real tale of determination and survival. Fans of Laybourne's first novel MONUMENT 14 will be thrilled to rejoin the kids to learn what happens next.
I love these series!!! Hopefully a 3rd book of Josies resque!
This Book is amazing! I went through Monument 14 and Sky on fire within 2 days! I loved it! Can't Wait For #3!!!
Sky on Fire is the much awaited sequel to Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne. Ever since I finished Monument 14, I've been dying to get my hands on Sky on Fire. I have to say, I wasn't disappointed in the least when it came to the sequel. My only minor complaint is that the book was a bit too short, at 213 pages. The sequel continues from the ending of Monument 14 and this time it is told from two POVs, Dean and Alex, who are brothers. I would recommend anyone who hasn't read Monument 14 to not continue with this review because it might contain minor spoilers for it. This book has a dual POV because there are two different settings, one in the greenway store with Dean and Astrid along with three other kids, and the other is Alex on the bus with 5+ others trying to drive 60 miles to the Denver International Airport where it seems to be a sort of safe house meet up for the surviving people. To say that this book didn't keep me on the edge of my seat is a lie. I was frantically flipping the pages trying to find out what happens next in the greenway store then back at the bus. The ending of each chapter is like a mini cliffhanger that makes you read the next chapter (which is told from the other POV) as fast as possible.. and the cycle continued. It was a vicious one that wouldn't let me put down the book at all. While some may think the greenway mall POV is repetitive, since that was the setting of the first book, but it really isn't since the circumstances changed. As for Alex and the rest of the gang, boy, did they get into a lot of crap. I felt so sorry for them at times and prayed that they would all make it back safe to the DIA. I know many people who read Monument 14 thought Dean was a bit too whiny and lovestruck to be a pleasant narrator, but I believe he has redeemed himself in this book. Also, I am sure people will really enjoy the chapters told from Alex's POV. Those were very thrilling! As for the way this book ended, I am not sure if there will be a sequel, the way Laybourne finished the book hints at another possible book, but if she doesn't write one, readers do get a good satisfying ending. All in all, I do recommend this series to fans of post apocalyptic and survival novels, especially fans of male POVs! Though I am not fond of male POVs, I have to say that I really enjoyed this series.
Good easy reading
I'm just loving this story so much. For some reason, while others may not have liked this series, I took to it immediately, and am still with it in this second installment. There's just something I love about it that's hard to put my finger on. First of all, I'm really down with the whole zombie and/or people-turned-uncontrollably-evil type stories right now. They're exciting, and I could see them happening, sort of. Well, maybe not the zombie type books, but I can definitely see it happening for some sort of chemical to turn people into raving lunatics and killing their fellows. So that's a scary thought and makes these types of books possible than you'd think. Aside from all that, I just love the characters...the older ones and the newer ones too. Once again, I'm just really amazed at how the older kids go to such lengths to take care of those little kids, mother and father them, make sure they're fed, happy, safe, etc... It's so sweet, and it shows you what kids are really capable of. In this story, everyone has evolved somewhat to the point where, at least once in this book, everyone ends up showing their bravery as they fight to get through their separate trials. There's some great romance that I truly didn't expect, but that was so fitting. I loved the daring scene at the end. It was suspenseful and had me hopping up and down in my seat as I read. The writing is fast-paced, intriguing, and well plotted. I am so invested in this story, and after that ending, I can't wait for the next installment!
I wanted to know what happened at the end so i kept reading faster and faster. Wish it was longer.
Sequel Lives Up to the First Book in the Series If you haven't read the novella that falls between books one and two, <em>Jake and the Other Girl</em> , I strongly advise reading it before starting in on book two of the trilogy. It will give you more insight regarding the triangle between Jake, Astrid, and Dean. Goodreads Blurb: <blockquote>Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope. Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . . Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . . .</blockquote> After the disaster with Mr. Appleton and Robbie the group decides they can't trust any of the information they got from the two men that betrayed them. So they load up the repaired bus with the intent being to get Brayden to a hospital or doctor. For the Type Os the plan is to knock them out with sleeping pills and tie them up to prevent them from harming anyone. But like many plans, this one doesn't work out as anticipated. In the end Dean and Astrid argue they are too much of a liability being Type Os. Niko agrees, much to Alex's anger, and then end up offloading the drugged Chloe as well. At the last possible minute Caroline and Henry, the twins, decide that they will stay at the Greenways because it's just too scary out "there." So Niko, Josie, Alex, Sahalia, Max, Batiste, Ulysses, and Brayden set out for Denver on the bus. From this point on it is as if there are two separate stories being told, one for those braving the outside, hoping for rescue and to send rescue back for the rest, and the rest who feel they must stay to protect the others, or are too young to really grasp what is going on. Niko does his best to lead his group, but they are beset by one problem after another, culminating in their losing the bus and risking their friends they left behind by potentially sending it straight back to them. But the bus that returns would be loaded with the enemy, and they have no way to warn them. As they make their way towards the Denver International Airport for the evacuation they've pinned all their hopes on, Niko and Josie develop a close bond, one that eventually blossoms into a romantic relationship. But something happens that stuns them all, and has one member sacrificing themself to protect the rest of the group. Back at the Greenways things aren't going as well as they'd hoped. They were discovered shortly after they'd finished resealing the riot gates. They do what they can by dropping food off the roof, but while all this is going on they'd forgotten about their power, and the lights have suddenly gone out, leaving them in total darkness. Thank goodness they have all those supplies at hand. A few more attacks are weathered, and then they get a huge surprise. Jake is back, telling Astrid he returned for her. While Jake's return increases the tension, it turns out to be a good thing he arrived when he did. Each of the kids matures in some way, with the young ones proving just how resilient youth can be. Each of them learn things about themselves, things they can be proud of as well as things they wish they'd never discovered. The trick will be taking the things they don't like about themselves and turning them into something to be proud of. Not all of them are as successful as others, but then some have the advantage of family to support them, or have extremely strong motivation to make the smart choice(s) going forward. Old friends are found, new friends are made, and some miracles take place. It seems as if all is over for the group, but then a missing piece of information is discovered. It looks as if the older kids may be up for one more heart pounding journey to rescue a friend. The only question that remains is who will be going and who will be staying behind?
"Monument 14" is a great series and this book is a great addition to that series. This is book 2. Exciting, scary, sad, and gross. There are even some "Ahhhhhh" moments. Good reading for adults as well as teens.
I absolutely adored the first novel in this series, and while this second novel is very well written, it just didn’t grab me like the first. While part of this has to do with needing to rekindle my relationships with the characters, and thankfully Laybourne gives readers all the reminders they need to get back on track, the main issue for me was the font. Normally, I don’t discuss layout or font when critiquing a novel, especially since it generally has no barring on the story itself—the author doesn’t control font in a big publishing house—but I just can’t get over it. The novel is split between two characters, Dean and Alex, as they branch off from one another and tell their stories as the days unfold. Dean and just a few young survivors are staying behind at the Greenway Superstore due to blood toxin issues, and so events unfolding there are told through his eyes, in a normal, every day font. On the other hand, Alex, Dean’s brother, and the rest of the young survivors have taken the bus and are driving 60+ miles to the airport in attempts to bring people to help rescue Dean and the other survivors who can’t weather the toxins in the air. And here is where the story lost me—I had trouble reading Alex’s point of view because the font changed, and it wasn’t a normal easy font for me to read. It was lighter than normal font, with the letters elongated and spaced out, and it really impacted my reading. One can’t enjoy something they struggle to read, and while I get the idea behind different fonts, I think it was a not so great move on the part of the publishers. I just couldn’t get into Alex’s story because I struggled so much to follow it. This novel is actually rather short in the realm of things, sitting at 213 pages, and truthfully, not a whole lot happened. There were a few issues that arose, but our heroes and heroines were able to smooth things over quite quickly, which is good, but doesn’t leave much in terms of excitement. Don’t get me wrong, I did like the story, and I’m excited to see what happens next for the characters, but I hope there is just a little more substance and, of course, a normal font throughout.
I have waited for this sequel to come out and it did not disappoint! It was a fantastic, edge-of-my-seat read that I couldn't put down until the end. My only complaint is that I read through it in 12 hours but I can't fault the author for that. I am hoping there's a 3rd book coming in the future and if there is I will definitely be reading!
I was in love with author Emmy Laybourne’s novel Monument 14. I remember that I’d read the novel and had been dying from all the unexpected turns that the novel would take and of course there was the ending that set up for a sequel. I’ve been eagerly awaiting Sky on Fire and from a first glance at the cover all I could think was: “You’ve gotta be kidding me! Is that bus broken down again!?” Fans of Monument 14 are gonna love Sky on Fire. Why? Because the suspense never stops. Never. Sky on Fire takes starts where Monument 14 ends. The group has split, one side trying to get to the Denver International Airport the other (mostly consisting of people with type O blood) staying inside of the Greenway. Told between the journal entries of Dean’s younger brother Alex and Dean’s POV (point of view) we get to find out what happens next to the Monument 14 group inside of the town of Monument. For the rest of the group and Alex the world beyond the Greenway is filled with bandits, death and type O rage monsters. To make matters worse, one of the group’s most valuable members is revealed to be type O. As Alex and the group descend what’s left of the streets in their school bus they are attacked by a group of ex-army cadets. The cadets steal their supplies and leave the group to fend for themselves. The group is left with only one option: To get to the Denver International Airport before things go from bad to worse, but to do this they have to overcome obstacles that this new world has to hold. Dean, Astrid, the twins and Chloe are still inside of the Greenway. While inside of the Greenway Dean and Astrid begin to hear people outside of the Greenway trying to get in. The four inside of the Greenway have to deal with being type O and what they’ll do until they are rescued. Dean and Astrid fight and deny their attraction to each other. Just when things can’t get any more intense a past member from Monument 14 returns to the Greenway and the same cadets that stole the bus from Alex and the rest of Monument 14 show up at the Greenway. Their intentions: To take over. I’ve really loved reading Monument 14 all of the dystopia and watching the world outside die really had me falling because I hadn’t read anything like it before. Sky on Fire was, I felt, not as lengthy in plot as Monument 14 was but it did have something that I felt Monument 14 didn’t have and that is plot twists. Literally every chapter contained or ended with a cliff-hanger or plot twist. Just when I’d think that I knew everything about the novel BAM! Plot twist that changes everything. Right when I thought that I couldn’t be surprised any more there’d be a plot twist that forced me to read on until the novel concluded. Seriously, it was awesome. I found Sky on Fire to be a lot more dramatic than the novel before it. Dean’s chapters were more rage-filled with him being pushed to his limits like a character straight out of the Walking Dead (the show… definitely not the comics). Alex on the other hand was being forced to come past events that a kid his age shouldn’t have to undergo. I honestly preferred Alex’s chapters because I liked seeing the outside world in the Monument 14 universe. I thought that Alex’s chapters were ones that were more heartfelt and astonishing compared to Dean who is constantly getting chapters filled with action (and once you read the novel you’ll get that that was a pun). The ending in Sky on Fire is awesome. The last few dozen pages were fast-paced and had me flipping pages to find out what happens next. I have to admit that I was glad for the ending, but am at the same time a little bit shocked at the choices of a certain character. Do I think there will be a sequel? Oh yeah. What do I think that sequel will hold? I’m unsure and want to leave it at that. I’d recommend Sky on Fire to the readers that finished Monument 14 and to readers that are looking for a new dystopia series like no other.