Friday, April 13, 2012
Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) by Emmy Laybourne
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.
This was a fun addition to the post-apocalyptic fare that is making the round apparently through every publishing house at the moment. There is nothing wildly original about it, but it was entertaining, and sometimes that’s enough.
No zombies! There were no zombies in this, people! Hallelujah. It seems like every one of these books needs to have a zombie or vampire infestation to work, but this one was cleverly done, using a nuclear spill to take the walking dead’s place. I think it even worked more effectively, because the author added the tension of not only can’t they step foot outside, but they can’t even use the water still coming from the sinks and toilets. All of it is polluted. To me, that created a much scarier environment than just having a bunch of dead people banging on the doors.
The characters were all quite fun, even though half the time I couldn’t keep the little kids’ names straight. Sometimes that happens when you use too many similarly “vanilla” names. Dean, the protagonist, is very amusing to follow. What I liked about him was that he was not made into the hero or the villain, he remained a person just trying his best to make a situation bearable. That gave him a realism that these types of book don’t always manage to get across.
This is one that I do recommend for all of you who love post-apocalyptic stories. It’s the first in a series, although I’m not too sure where the author is going to go with it in the following books. It seems like she’s written herself into a corner, but we’ll see, I suppose.