Book Review

Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

*WARNING: Possible spoilers for the previous book.*

Publication Date: January 1, 2013

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Genre: Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic

Series: The Monument 14 Trilogy, Book Two

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 215 pages

Source: Purchased

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

Rating: 3 sm

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. . . .


When we finished Monument 14, half of the kids from the Greenway had left in the school bus headed toward Denver. I really enjoyed that we got to see more of the world outside of the superstore in this second book. We see how truly desperate things are since the tragedies in the first novel. Emmy Laybourne did an amazing job of showing how completely ruthless and violent people can be when it comes to survival. There was also a very emotional side of this story, that I wasn’t entirely expecting after reading the first book.

This book, unlike the first, is told in dual perspective. The brother’s are now separated so we get to see how their struggles differ from each other. Dean’s struggles of staying in the store, and Alex’s struggles on the road with everything that they encounter on their trip. This book was shorter than the first, and just as fast-paced, which made it a super quick read.

Now, I want to touch a little on the trigger warnings that I listed for the first book. I had a lot of issues with the subject matter in the first book, but things did improve on that front in this book. There was still some alcohol/drug abuse by one of the characters; but I’m glad to report most of the slut shaming issues were put to bed. I do plan to read the last book, but I’m hoping my library has it because I really don’t care to own the books. (In fact, I will probably unhaul the first two.)

Although I enjoyed this second installment more than the first, I still have a lot of negative feelings about the story in general, because of the issues that I had with the first book. That being said, that is the biggest reason why I rated Sky on Fire, a three out of five stars.

Overall, I would recommend if you want to read the series that you borrow it from a library before committing to buying the books. I kind of wish I had done that for the first two books.

*The image and synopsis were both taken from Goodreads. Clicking on the “add to Goodreads” image above will take you to the Goodreads page for this book.*
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