Dystopian Duo Reviews #1: Sky On Fire & Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2), by Emmy Laybourne
Published On: May 28, 2013, by Feiwel and Friends
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 212
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Rating: ½

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. . . .
After reading the first book, I was obsessed. I was on vacation at the time, and when I came back, I immediately ran out to the bookstore to grab the sequel at the bookstore… but that was in February. YES, IT WAS SITTING IN MY BOOKSHELF THAT LONG. 

Sky on Fire was literally one of the most powerful sequels that I’ve read in a long time. It takes dystopia to a whole other level, and I love the concept. There were longing moments when I teared up, I laughed and I feared for my life and the characters’ lives. 

Post-apocalyptic books are always survival-like. The message is always powerful and you find that you realize it in the first chapter of the book.This book dealt with friendship, love and suffering. There were some horrible and horrifying deaths, and plot twists between the characters’ personalities and moods that you felt like you had the need to pull your outrageous hair out of your scalp. Okay, I’m not going to go gory here, but there were some ew moments where shootings and traps were placed.

One of the best things here in the beginning was that Laybourne reminded us of what happened previously. Imagine those people who had to read the first book and then wait another full year for the sequel. That’s actually me in most situations, but not in this one. Actually, I did forget about who the characters were and all, but the author gave us a great reminder. 

So this is the aftermath of the first book. The characters are struggling, a few of them not knowing who they really are and what their futures will look like, and they’re all trapped in a grocery store. Now, you must be thinking that they have a huge advantage. Yeah, they definitely do, but there’s danger outside and they need to find their parents. If they don’t, it’s certainly possible that they’ll be living in that store for the rest of their lives. But do keep in mind that the air outside can eat you up, basically. So those with those O-negative blood types better be careful or else they’ll go against their friends/family and ruin it all.

*takes a deep breath* I’ve got to say that this book made me bloodthirsty for more. Laybourne has done all of the action scenes perfectly—especially the bus scenes and with the trailer and the trap. I swear that I had to take deep breaths and sighs for the characters because the action and sadness never let stuff happen for them, including happiness. 

The concept was something special, as was the plot. For a relatively short book, it was fast-paced and involved a lot of mind thinking from the reader’s point of views. There were many moments when I was making predictions and theories since I felt the need like I had to. 

What I did have a small problem with was the characters. Dean, Sahila, and most of the gang were okay as they all showed bits of friendship, love and prosperity, but then there was Adam, who was a little too mommy-like. For example, he thought that he had so much knowledge in him which made him feel like he can rule everyone around. He wasn’t supposed to be the boss. I felt like it was the roles for the other people. And really, why did he even go on the school bus? *face palms self*

Astrid and Dean were so adorable. OMG, the little kids even thought of them as mommy and daddy, and then the baby…. WELL AWWW TO THE MAX. I can’t get enough of them.

This was really a fantastic sequel. It was mind-blowing, racing and my feels were exploding all over the place. Just now remember that the ending was crazy and open. You'll be convinced to pick up the sequel right away.

Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3), by Emmy Laybourne
Published On: May 6, 2014, by Feiwel and Friends
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 305
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

The stunningly fierce conclusion to Emmy Laybourne's Monument 14 trilogy.
The survivors of the Monument 14 have finally made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Dean and Alex are cautiously starting to hope that a happy ending might be possible.
But for Josie, separated from the group and trapped in a brutal prison camp for exposed Type Os, things have gone from bad to worse. Traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue or safety.
Meanwhile, scared by the government's unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid (with her two protectors, Dean and Jake in tow) joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with his lost love Josie.
Author Emmy Laybourne reaches new heights of tension and romance in this action-packed conclusion to the Monument 14 trilogy.

I was honestly jumping up and down of happiness when I saw and figured out that my local library had this gorgeous book in their shelves. I ran to it in slow motion and grabbed it and ran to check it out. Sadly, it was sitting, waiting to be read for a long time until now. Savage Drift was a fascinating, action-packed ending to the Monument 14 trilogy that captivated me from the first page.

So at the end of the sequel, we found out that our lovely characters were brought and found at the airport and were brought to a refugee camp. Some found their parents, some didn’t. But together, they were still a family as they were always together since the start. But hey, they’re all looking for a happy ending, no? This is brought in Dean’s and Josie’s POVs, as Josie is in a separate prison camp for O’s where she’s been turned into a monster, basically. But the hearts of the people who she once loved are still with here even though she’s changed.

This was probably the worst book of the series. Haha, it obviously wasn’t hideous—nope it was great. Just the plot and the setting wasn't really for me as I felt like it was the action of many other dystopian books. I thought that this was a unique series?I thought the characters were an honest group of people? 

Lies. Lies were all over the place. For three books, we haven't found out much about the characters’ histories as we did here. I was so surprised to see what some of them had to deal with in the past, even before the whole massacre began. It was a book of character-development, but we sadly won’t see any of them anymore in the future except fanfiction, haha. 

The plot began out to be something quite interesting. For once, the characters were in different situations. Sure in the last book, the bus and the grocery store situations were different, but here, we had rebel vs. innocent people looking for happiness. I guess now, that was the main message of this trilogy: looking for happiness after catastrophe. It’s quite sad, if you ask me.

Dean was and always will be my favourite character. He took risks for so many people, including every single person in the Monument. And in the end, what he did for Astrid was utterly gorgeous. The child will definitely always call Dean “Daddy.” *squeals* Too bad we couldn’t get a little hint of what would happen in the future. ;_;

The worst thing here is that people haven't really noticed this trilogy as much as I wish for them to. It doesn’t get any attention, and if you love dystopias as I do, then you’ll adore this. So right now, and go out and grab not one, not two, but all three books in the trilogy, because you won’t be left disappointed.

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