Friday, 4 March 2016

Book Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

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.


My Review:
I was expecting a story about a group of stranded kids trying to deal with the world coming to an end with nobody to help and no idea if their families are still alive. It does start this way, with a huge hailstorm hitting the school bus and their teacher ramming it into a store front to get the kids somewhere safe. She then goes for help, leaving the older kids to take charge. It is when there is an explosion at NORAD followed by a contamination cloud that affects the kids in different ways that they need to work together and find a way to escape.

This was a bit different from what I was expecting. The initial sheltering from the hail turns into something really deadly with the kids blood types determining their reaction to the contaminated cloud. Blood type A get blistered skin, AB get paranoid delusions and hallucinations, B possibly go sterile and O get violent. I thought this was an interesting concept, having a bioweapon that can have differing effects on different blood types, causing chaos in crowded areas and communities. It would prove a good distraction for troops moving into an area of hostile people. So that was different and the kids had to find ways of dealing with the problems of the blood type illnesses.

The problem for me were the characters. Chloe is a spoiled and whiny little madam who needs a good smack most of the time. Batiste is spouting off about the end of days every five minutes which drives me up the wall. Brayden is a total asshat. Sahalia parades around half naked all the time looking for male attention and wonders why nobody takes her seriously, Jake is an obnoxious jock, Josie plays mum to everyone, Astrid is beautiful and perfect, Dean is smart and bullied...every steriotype is covered I think. Lets face it, my idea of hell on earth is to be stuck in a building with a group of kids, especially during armageddon and these kids are annoying on whole new levels!

Overall the book is a decent read but the style of writing for me is certainly more aimed at the mid YA readership as opposed to older teens and adults, which makes the amount of sexual content and language featured a bit of a surprise. So be advised that there is an attempted rape on a 13 year old girl, lots of sexual language and discussions of sex, as well as girls parading round semi clothed.
 
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2 comments:

  1. I actually enjoyed this, I have book two ready to go. The kids well they are typical stereotypes but it was a decent enough read.

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    1. I read the second one and wanted to scream at how stupid some of the decisions were! It was also a decent enough read though. I did really enjoy the short stories in the series which I grabbed from Amazon.

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