Saturday, August 3, 2013

Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Title: Monument 14
Series: Monument 14 Series 
Book #: One
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Library 

My Rating: fullfullfullfullBlank

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart. (taken from
Laybourne immediately drops you in the middle of the action in Monument 14. Without warning, Dean's world begins to crumble on a seemingly ordinary bus ride to school. This is just the first in a chain of devastating, chaotic events that will strike these fourteen kids within the next few weeks. From killer hailstorms to terrifying chemical weapons, things get pretty insane in Laybourne's apocalyptic tale. 

Fourteen kids. You'd think that would be a lot of characters to keep track of in the midst of the story's fast-moving plotline. However, Laybourne does an excellent job of creating distinct personalities for each child and teenager. There are genuine bonds, flaws, and interactions that keep the story believable and interesting. 

Also, who hasn't thought about what it would be like to survive inside a supermarket? Or is that just me? Either way, the idea of holing up inside a Greenway and scavenging for the items necessary to survive intrigued me. I read with interest as the characters set up living quarters in dressing rooms and cooked detailed meals in the Pizza Shack. Even the most monotonous tasks seemed interesting in this original environment. 

My one minor complaint was that I felt the story dragged a little at parts. Yes, I know I just talked about how living in the store made even boring things interesting, but there were some times when I grew bored. Thankfully, Laybourne remedied this by ending the story with a bang. I'm now determined to get my hands on the sequel, Sky on Fire, soon. 

One more thing. Why is the book titled Monument 14? Maybe I just missed it, but after I finished, I couldn't remember why the title had any significance to the story. 

Overall, I'd recommend Monument 14 to anyone in search of fascinating tale of survival. Yet another apocalyptic tale has captured my interest and earned a place on my shelf.