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. . . .
Sky on Fire is the thrilling sequel to Monument 14 that contains the same level of dramatic action as the first book and as I’m happy to say, no middle-book syndrome. What I love most about these books is the cinematic feel to them. I could have been reading the screenplay for some post-apocalyptic movie and it would have felt the same – other that the format of course. It contains all the action and drama expected from a movie but nothing feels far-fetched or overdone.
The double setting allows us to still spend time in the supermarket, where we’ve spent most of the time with the characters, but also to get a glimse of the outside world and a sense of the mass destruction that was caused. This keeps the story from feeling repetitive and allows us to meet Alex, Dean’s younger brother. I liked how the group dynamics changed depending on which groups of characters were together and the tight bond the kids formed with each other. Also each POV ends with a cliffhanger so you’re racing through the story with the other characters always on your mind.
This book sucked me in and didn’t let me go until the last page. I was tempted to yell at the characters at multiple points in the story to react quicker or to know something they couldn’t possibly have known because I wanted them all to be safe. The ending was crazy. You get this crazy nail-bitter of scene and then everything seems to resolve itself when you are struck with a huge cliffhanger and the book ends.
In the chapters with Alex narrating, the bottom of the pages count down the number of miles to go to the airport while the scenes with Dean continued from the last book; counting the number of days. This adds suspense to the book as you can monitor the characters progress and is a really cool feature of the book.
I cannot wait for the third book as I’m sure it will be as awesome as the other two and hopefully will provide some explanation. Especially about the chemicals because I suspect that there is more to them then meets the eye. If you are a fan of post-apocalyptic novels, I highly recommend this trilogy!
Other books by Emmy Laybourne
Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) – Expected publication 2014!