Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Monument 14


Title: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Series: Monument 14 #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Source: ebook purchased via Amazon


Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

I'll start off by admitting that I'm a huge fan of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic stories. Monument 14 fall squarely in this category. In fact, with all of the flooding and general natural disaster madness going on in my area (*hugs and prayers for my neighbours here in Calgary and area*), it hits pretty close to home these days.

My favourite part of these apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic stories is the survival aspects. Where do the characters find food and water? What dangers do they face? How does their resourcefulness help them in these tough times? Unfortunately, Monument 14 focuses much more on the human interaction and a lot on a small cross section of high school students. I really wanted more survival aspect! These kids are stranded in a mega-mart with everything they could possibly need! They don't even lose electricity, despite multiple natural disasters and near disintegration of society! They are protected by riot gates. Their biggest challenge was living with each other and taking care of some younger children. I wanted to see a bit more hardship for them! Does that make me a bad person?

The biggest issue for me though, was the writing style. It just didn't sit very well with me, which in turn make Dean a bit tougher to connect with as a character. Not to mention I thought the narrator was a girl for the first few chapters until they started calling him Dean and I was very confused!

Despite these issues, I still managed to enjoy this one. I loved the little kids, especially Max and Ulysses. Max had the cutest, craziest stories and I constantly just wanted to give Ulysses a hug. I was also a fan of Nico from the start, basically because he was a bamf. If I was in this situation, I would have teamed up with him right from the start. Nothing like being prepared!

Overall, I enjoyed Monument 14, apart from the narrator's voice, but it wasn't particularly memorable for me. That said, I am excited to start on Sky on Fire very soon to see what happens next.

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  1. Gah this makes me so sad. Like you, I love reading about the desperation in post apoc stories and I was super excited for this one but then the reviews of the second one started rolling in and I got scared. I think the writing in these books would drive me crazy. I have seen this one compared to "kids playing house in a store" and it shouldn't be like that :( Sad that this one doesn't work!

  2. I'm with you, I prefer my post-apocalyptic stories to revolve more around survival, rather than personal drama. I want to see the characters actually struggle to survive! Hmm, that sounded mean, but you know what I mean. But hopefully the sequel will get a bit more exciting!