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Monument 14: Sky on Fire

Review

Monument 14: Sky on Fire

After watching their world slowly destruct before them, teenage brothers Dean and Alex Grieder made a decision to try and save their group. The world outside the large superstore they were all trapped in has essentially become a barren wasteland. A chemical compound is moving through the air, causing infertility, immediate death, paranoid delusions or homicidal episodes depending on blood type. Dean decided to stay behind in the superstore with a small group of little children and girls. Alex, on the other hand, decided to set out with anyone willing to travel to Denver International Airport  (DIA), where it is rumored evacuations are taking place.

"The great aspect about SKY ON FIRE is the fact that even when the odds seem insurmountable, as long as there is some faith in humanity, then perhaps the end of the world won’t be as frightening as we imagine it will be."

Each group, though, was not prepared for the incredible journeys that would test their emotional and physical capacities. Dean has now become a pseudo father and leader to the group in the superstore. This means not only providing for their various needs, but also repelling any threat that may be trying to enter the store. Matters take a turn for the worse when, after helping a high school boy that had been part of the original group, some soldiers who have been affected by the chemical compound take over the store. Now Dean must find a way to protect those that he cares for and find a way to stop the soldiers from wrecking any hope for survival.

Alex and his friends have found that making their way to DIA is slow going. Some white, moldy substance has attacked the rubber in tires and has essentially ruled out any hope of traveling by vehicle. In addition, not everyone the group encounters on the road is friendly. Through various interactions, both friendly and hostile, the small group of kids finds the strength to finally get to DIA when everything goes awry. DIA is evacuating civilians out of the Midwest, but Alex runs into trouble when he tries to persuade some soldiers to go back for Dean and the others trapped in the superstore.

What was once a struggle to just survive has turned into a race against time. Alex and his friends are basically being pushed onto airplanes to get out of Colorado all because of a secret mission to try and destroy the chemicals wafting through the air. Any hope to save Dean is fading fast, and if Alex can’t convince the military to send out a rescue mission, then all will be for naught.

The sequel to MONUMENT 14 raises the stakes in every way. Despite surviving a deadly hailstorm and finding a way to at least temporarily resist the chemical’s effects on their bodies, brothers Alex and Dean and their friends have only just begun to figure out what it means to survive the apparent end of the world. The great aspect about SKY ON FIRE is the fact that even when the odds seem insurmountable, as long as there is some faith in humanity, then perhaps the end of the world won’t be as frightening as we imagine it will be. Still, this is some frightening stuff and it seems as though it has only just begun!

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on May 2, 2013

Monument 14: Sky on Fire
by Emmy Laybourne

  • Publication Date: May 28, 2013
  • Genres: Young Adult 13+
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • ISBN-10: 0312569041
  • ISBN-13: 9780312569044