Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sky On Fire by Emmy Laybourne

Series: Monument 14 (bk. 2)

Genera: Dystopian Sci-Fi

Subjects: survival, post-apocalyptic, stores, Colorado

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 215 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Macmillan: Feiwel & Friends

Summary/ product description: “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. . . .”


My Review: I enjoyed this short, fast paced sequel and I wasn’t entirely sure if there was a 3rd book, because the ending seemed to wrap things up. But there is a 3rd book, called Savage Drift. I will of course read it next year when it comes out. Still, I enjoyed the 1st book more because a lot more survival stuff happened, it being the 1st book and all.

I liked how the story switched between Dean and Alex’s 1st person perspectives. They have such distinct voices because Dean is 16 and Alex is 13. Dean was the only narrator of the 1st book. Alex’s perspective was in a condensed san-serif typeface that wasn’t really the best type to use for body copy. I still enjoyed it.

The pacing of this story was great. Maybe a bit too fast. I feel like the book could have been longer, but sometimes short is good. I read the 2 short stories before this, which were only about 30 pages each. I didn’t like them because they were in 3rd person, but they gave good background info on the chemical and what Jake was doing.

Some people think the characters are one-dimensional or something. They seemed well developed to me. They have their own personalities. Emmy really knows how to make characters that act their age. And they are pretty funny sometimes. You got to watch and listen to little kids to know how they behave. They story seems well researched.

I loved the way she chose to make the chemical affect different blood-types differently. That was very creative. Better than making everyone raging zombies (Only the type Os). This made if an effective and realistic survival story. Also, there’s a rubber eating fungus, which was cool and kind of gross.

I like the setting because I’ve been to Colorado. The Denver/Aurora area to be specific. I could picture the dark and decimated world. And the fact that it’s 10 years in the future only makes it more relatable.

Overall, great story. Similar to Quarantine by Lex Thomas and No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz and Ashfall by Mike Mullin. If you like survival stories or post-apocalyptic stories, you’ll enjoy this series.

Cover Art Review: Perfect cover. The bus that many of the kids are on and the white tire-eating fungus and the dark sky. It’s a well done post-apocalyptic illustration.



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