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

Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne
Series: Monument 14 #2
Published by Square Fish on 6th May 2014
Pages: 256

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. . . .
I think the scariest thing about this novel (and trilogy), is how realistic it is. The brutality of humans coming out becomes their only survival instinct, to save the ones they love, whatever the cost. Though the cover seems a little cheesy, it really highlights the danger and destruction in this world alongside setting the mood for the novel.

Following straight on from Monument 14 we witness the progressive destruction and damage to the world through two perspectives. Whilst Alex and his group are outside facing the dangers of the contaminated air to find help from the Army, his older brother Dean and the others must wait-it-out for them inside the supermarket. But desperation does different things to many people, and as the fight and wait carries on, their true characteristics are revealed; and the danger they face will certainly test their boundaries and loyalties, but also their need to survive.

One of the key things in this novel were the characters. Viewing the novel from the perspectives of two brothers, Dean who has stayed in the supermarket and Alex who has gone to search for help, it added an emotional perspective to the novel. You could not help but feel the rawness of their emotions, for the world that was created appeared so vivid causing their emotions to be incredibly realistic. The only thing I keep getting annoyed at was Dean's obsession with Astrid, but I could overlook that for the secondary characters in this novel were real and you as the reader had a brilliant understanding of them. There strong desire to always protect one another earned their respect, but what also made this novel what it was is the variety of ages, and how the older ones actions have changed who they are in order to protect the younger ones and those around them; many grew and matured as characters. The desperation and heartache was ever present, and you felt fully immersed in the novel.

The plot of this novel was fact-paced and dangerous. Continuously I found myself wondering what I would do if I was their situation, but the events that occurred were brutal and unimaginable, and yet it very realistic; you can understand how these events would occur because of the situations that they were in. It was one rollercoaster. The ending was a little too perfect, but the characters deserved it. I am just intrigued to see where the third and final novel will take it; their are so many possibilities.

Brutal, realistic and an emotional rollercoaster, this novel will certainly have you craving Savage Drift.

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