Are you looking for a book that will keep you riveted during a reading marathon, like Bout of Books or the 24 Hour Readathon? Are you a few books behind on your goodreads goal and in need of a boost? ARE YOU DYING TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO THE KIDS FROM MONUMENT 14? Did you answer yes to any of those questions? Well, Sky On Fire by Emmy Laybourne totally has your number. It is the exciting sequel to Monument 14 and so because it’s impossible to talk about it without spoilers, from here on out there will be Monument 14 spoilers discussed in this review of Sky On Fire which you guys, I am pretty sure I read in about an hour and a half, this book is SO FAST, but I actually quite enjoyed my time with it.
Sky On Fire opens exactly where Monument 14 leaves off. Basically, the kids have split into two groups. One group stays in the store because Astrid is pregnant and also because they have the type of blood that turns them into those fast zombies from 28 Days Later. The other group commandeers the bus and begins the drive to Denver airport because that is where the safe zone is, and they also leave in hopes of mounting a rescue mission for the people still in Monument 14. Sky On Fire is narrated in alternating chapters by brothers Dean and Alex. As you may remember from Monument 14, Dean was the main narrator and the one who had the crush on Astrid and Alex was his technologically adept younger brother. Essentially, this sequel gives us a glimpse of what’s going on in the outside world and shows that the kids are not the only people left in the world. It also shows just how widespread and bad the ‘apocalypse’ damage whatever you want to call it is.
Out of the two narrators, I liked Alex the best. It’s probably because he isn’t nearly as creepy as I find Dean. Also, he comes across as levelheaded and useful. While it sounds kind of bizarre, I quite like reading about useful characters during dystopias. I also thought Alex’s part was more complex because he’s treated as a child or a little kid, and yet he knows he is more mature than a child, intellectually. So, there’s sort of a struggle for him to be taken seriously and to actually be considered by the other kids. As for Dean, because he stayed back, he is considered the de facto leader of the group at the Monument store. Dean and Astrid also hook up and become a couple. As a reader, I am not entirely sure how I feel about that because Dean was kind of a creep show in the first book. Anyways, I just found myself sort of biding my time to get back to Alex’s chapters because they were much more interesting.
As for the side characters, I still really love Batiste, the religious little kid, Ulysses, the little kid who is Hispanic and Niko, the leader boy scout who brings the splinter group to Denver. There is not a crazy amount of character development for the minor characters or supporting characters I guess that’s the term, BUT I thought that was fine. Yo, Sky On Fire is only 212 pages so it is not like you can throw the entire kitchen sink in there. Plus, I read Monument 14 so I knew what to expect. I knew to expect characters with quirks and affectations, but not to expect some treatise on coming of ages and changes and what not. Hell no, I knew to expect PLOT PLOT PLOT.
That’s the thing, Sky On Fire is totally plot driven and not very character driven. I felt that the writing was alright, I mean I wasn’t highlighting the pages or anything. A need of mine was fulfilled though, the need for entertainment. Of course, there’s going to be a lot that you will have to suspend your disbelief for. I will say, there’s a ton of interesting coincidences as the characters venture into the outside world. Like, to the point of being unbelievable, which obviously duh, this is fiction so it’s not like it will be realistic. Still, I had to suspend a lot of my disbelief while reading and just sit back and enjoy the ride.
To be one hundred percent honest, I sort of wish the end of Sky On Fire by Emmy Laybourne had wrapped up better, but it totally makes it so there can be a sequel. There is not a huge cliffhanger or anything, you can close the book and basically be done with the series without a whole existential crisis of wondering what happened to the characters. Yet, the door is still open for a sequel. Personally, I didn’t think too terribly hard about while reading. Sky On Fire is a pure popcorn read, know that going in and you will be fine.
Disclosure: Received for review.
Other reviews of Sky On Fire by Emmy Laybourne:
Scott Reads It – “I definitely enjoyed it more than it’s predecessor.”
Chick Loves Lit – “a definite must read for fans of MONUMENT 14.”
Reading Teen – “I love the constant sense of danger in these books.”
Books by Emmy Laybourne: