Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: Monument 14 by Emma Laybourne



12753231Monument 14 Review
Title: Monument 14
Series: Monument 14; Book #1
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
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Are you tired of zombies, but still want to read an apocalyptic thriller? 
Then this is the book for you!

Fourteen kids, ranging from kindergarteners to high school seniors, are stuck in a Safeway (a store a lot like Target) while the world as they know it is being destroyed.  Within the first chapter the children’s bus crashes, due to a horrific hailstorm, and they are stuck in a Safeway.  The bus driver leaves the students at the store to get help.  Soon the students realize that Monument, Colorado isn’t the only city in a crisis.  A catastrophic tsunami has wiped out the east coast and has caused all communications via phone and internet to fail.  If that isn’t enough, NORAD, North American Aerospace Defense Command, has accidentally released a dangerous compound into the air, which means the Monument 14—the fourteen students living the Safeway—are stuck inside and cannot return to their families.  The students soon learn that their own worst enemy may be their peers.


I just want to start by saying…THIS BOOK IS FANTASTIC!  The action started from the very beginning.  I < 3 apocalypse books so this was a perfect book for me.  In the beginning of the story, I was worried that I was going to get the fourteen students mixed up, but Emmy Laybourne did such a great job writing this book that each of the fourteen was given their own individual personality and traits.  Not only are the characters distinctly different from each other and have a developed personality, but most are not purely good or bad.  Throughout the book, each character has both redeemable qualities and flaws.

Here's the dets on the characters:

1.      Dean Grieber—Junior, the narrator, he is considered a dork at school, he has a good heart and is willing to do his share of the work.
2.      Astrid Heymann—Senior, popular and beautiful by everyone’s standards, spoiled and doesn’t want to help, the apple of Dean’s eye
3.      Jake Simonsen—Senior football player, the big man on campus, has poor leadership skills
4.      Brayden—Junior football player, is a bully to Dean
5.      Niko—Junior,  a boy scout
6.      Josie—Sophomore, is in shock because her best friend dies in bus crash
7.      Alex Grieder—Thirteen years old, the brother of Dean, and is a tech junky
8.      Sahalia—Thirteen years old, wants to be noticed by the popular kids
9.      Chloe—third grader, obnoxious, whiny, doesn’t understand the seriousness of the situation
10.  Bastite—Second grader,  preachy Asian kid, who like to inform the sinners of the short-comings
11.  Ulysses—First grader, Hispanic, doesn’t know much English
12.  Max—First grader, sweet kids with a bad home life
13.  Caroline & Henry—Kindergarten, red-headed twins, always sweet and talk constantly about their mom, adores Dean

I enjoyed this book a lot and immediately read the second book when I finished this one, and now I eagerly wait for the third installment.  Monument 14 has many ‘on the edge of your seat’ moments that keep the book fast-paced and interesting. If read this book and the sequel, and are itching for another to read, Emma Laybourne wrote a prequel.  Here's the link: http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/05/dress-your-marines-in-white . I suggest reading it after the first book, so it doesn't spoil the action for you.

I think that if you enjoyed the TV Series Jericho or the book Life as We Knew It (Book #1 Last Survivors Series) by Susan Beth Pfeffer, than this book would be a good match you.

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