Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book Review: Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) by Emmy Laybourne

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Macmillan
212 Pages

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. . . .

This book was extremely hard for me to get through. I enjoyed Monument 14. It wasn’t without its faults, but the overall story was okay. I was extremely interested in reading the sequel because I wanted to know how everything turned out. Would the kids be saved? Would they make it to Denver? Would they find their families? Honestly, halfway through the book, I just didn’t care anymore.

Maybe it was me. I know, personally, I’m not a fan of end of the world type scenarios where it showcases the worst of mankind. I was sickened by the behavior of some throughout this book. And I do understand that in those types of scenarios, people would probably act like this, it just isn’t something I’m fond of. So that part was on me.

Looking at the book as a whole, I was disappointed. The writing felt very basic to me. The narrative wasn’t engaging and a lot of it was repetitive. There was no emotional attachment between me and the characters. Most of them, I just wanted to go away. I felt there was no real development with them. Here’s a quick rundown of my thoughts on them:

Dean: very passive, main goal is to be with Astrid despite her attitude, no backbone
Astrid: rude, floats from one boy to next depending on who is showing her the most affection, do not believe that her “feelings” for Dean are real
Jake: Douche
Chloe: just there to cry and complain
The Twins: they were cute and I have nothing bad to say about them
Josie: spent the whole book crying and running away
Niko: probably my favorite character even if I didn’t understand his love for Josie, strong, protective
Alex: he was kind of just there to be a co-narrator.
Max, Ulysses, Batiste: they all kind of became the same person here
Sahalia: oh lord, an older version of Chloe who apparently everyone wants to rape, I really didn’t like her

I think that’s all of them. It wasn’t just the characters, but the little things that happened in the story as well. The way the pregnancy was dealt with ( I don’t believe for a second two teenagers would be ecstatic about bringing a baby in this world), the cadets (pointless plot device), and children smoking cigarettes ( really? There wasn’t a better way to have them cleanse the air?). Everything just left a bitter aftertaste to me.
Based on the ending I’m pretty sure there is going to be another one. I’m honestly not sure if I will read it because I believe that this is going outside of my suspension of belief.  

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