September 15, 2013

Review of Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne


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. . . .

add to goodreadsSky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) by Emmy Laybourne
Publication Date:  May 28, 2013
Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends

Available for Purchase:

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

You can check out our review of Book 1, Monument 14, HERE!

Gabby NewI was in love with author Emmy Laybourne’s novel Monument 14. I remember that I’d read the novel and had been dying from all the unexpected turns that the novel would take and of course there was the ending that set up for a sequel. I’ve been eagerly awaiting Sky on Fire and from a first glance at the cover all I could think was: “You’ve gotta be kidding me! Is that bus broken down again!?” Fans of Monument 14 are gonna love Sky on Fire. Why? Because the suspense never stops. Never.

Sky on Fire takes starts where Monument 14 ends. The group has split, one side trying to get to the Denver International Airport the other (mostly consisting of people with type O blood) staying inside of the Greenway. Told between the journal entries of Dean’s younger brother Alex and Dean’s POV (point of view) we get to find out what happens next to the Monument 14 group inside of the town of Monument.

For the rest of the group and Alex the world beyond the Greenway is filled with bandits, death and type O rage monsters. To make matters worse, one of the group’s most valuable members is revealed to be type O. As Alex and the group descend what’s left of the streets in their school bus they are attacked by a group of ex-army cadets. The cadets steal their supplies and leave the group to fend for themselves. The group is left with only one option: To get to the Denver International Airport before things go from bad to worse, but to do this they have to overcome obstacles that this new world has to hold.

Dean, Astrid, the twins and Chloe are still inside of the Greenway. While inside of the Greenway Dean and Astrid begin to hear people outside of the Greenway trying to get in. The four inside of the Greenway have to deal with being type O and what they’ll do until they are rescued. Dean and Astrid fight and deny their attraction to each other. Just when things can’t get any more intense a past member from Monument 14 returns to the Greenway and the same cadets that stole the bus from Alex and the rest of Monument 14 show up at the Greenway. Their intentions: To take over.

I’ve really loved reading Monument 14 all of the dystopia and watching the world outside die really had me falling because I hadn’t read anything like it before. Sky on Fire was, I felt, not as lengthy in plot as Monument 14 was but it did have something that I felt Monument 14 didn’t have and that is plot twists. Literally every chapter contained or ended with a cliff-hanger or plot twist. Just when I’d think that I knew everything about the novel BAM! Plot twist that changes everything. Right when I thought that I couldn’t be surprised any more there’d be a plot twist that forced me to read on until the novel concluded. Seriously, it was awesome.

I found Sky on Fire to be a lot more dramatic than the novel before it. Dean’s chapters were more rage-filled with him being pushed to his limits like a character straight out of the Walking Dead (the show… definitely not the comics). Alex on the other hand was being forced to come past events that a kid his age shouldn’t have to undergo. I honestly preferred Alex’s chapters because I liked seeing the outside world in the Monument 14 universe. I thought that Alex’s chapters were ones that were more heartfelt and astonishing compared to Dean who is constantly getting chapters filled with action (and once you read the novel you’ll get that that was a pun).

The ending in Sky on Fire is awesome. The last few dozen pages were fast-paced and had me flipping pages to find out what happens next. I have to admit that I was glad for the ending, but am at the same time a little bit shocked at the choices of a certain character. Do I think there will be a sequel? Oh yeah. What do I think that sequel will hold? I’m unsure and want to leave it at that. I’d recommend Sky on Fire to the readers that finished Monument 14 and to readers that are looking for a new dystopia series like no other.



Emmy Laybourne is a writer, actress and teacher who lives in upstate New York. In June of 2012, Emmy’s debut novel, MONUMENT 14, was released by Feiwel & Friends, a division of Macmillan. 

MONUMENT 14 is a post-apocalyptic Young Adult thriller that follows the story of fourteen kids who get trapped in a superstore while civilization collapses outside the gates. 

The novel received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and was called “Frighteningly real… riveting,” by the New York Times Book Review and was an Editor’s Choice. The sequel, Sky On Fire, will be released in June of 2013. The final installment of the trilogy, SAVAGE DRIFT, is expected in 2014.

Emmy began her writing career as a playwright. The first play she wrote and performed was called, The Miss Alphabet City Beauty Pageant and Spelling Bee. The New York Post said it, “restores faith in our country’s comedic future.” The Daily News called it, “hilariously clever.” 

Her next play, Smorgas-Bourne, landed Emmy a starring role in the Paramount feature film, Superstar, opposite Molly Shannon.

As an actress, Emmy went on to have featured roles in the films “Nancy Drew,” “The In-Laws,” and “Lucky Numbers.” She was a season regular on the NBC sitcom “DAG,” and performed original comedy on Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1. She has improvised with the Upright Citizens Brigade, Chicago City Limits and the Heartless Floozies. Emmy has performed original comedy material throughout LA and New York, including the song she sang with her brother, Sam, “We Can’t Make Love Because We’re Related.” 

Emmy graduated from UCLA with an MFA in screenwriting in June of 2006. While at UCLA, Emmy won the Eleanor Perry Award for Excellence in Screenwriting from Women in Film for her screenplay, “Tulum.” 

She lives in Rockland county, New York, with her husband and two children.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



  1. Jeanz

    I also loved Monument 14 and have to admit would have loved an ARC of Sky On Fire to read and review for my blog. After reading your review you have made me even more eager to read Sky On Fire if that’s possible!!
    Thanks so much for the review now I really know that Sky On Fire is a MUST read for me.

  2. Joyousreads

    Must definitely read my copies of both books. I don’t know what I’m waiting for! It sounds like a well-evolved apocalyptic-type scenario that I’m fond of reading. Also, suspense! Who doesn’t love suspense?

    Great review, Gabby.

  3. JennRenee

    I loved the first book! Can’t wait to read this one. Great review.

  4. Sophia Rose

    I’m so glad this one measures up to the first one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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