Summary: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.
There is no lack of post-apocalyptic novels in the young adult genre; as authors have written everything from super-volcanic explosions (Ashfall) to a meteor crashing into the moon (Life as We Knew It). Yet none is more intriguing or engrossing than debut author Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed Monument 14, the first in a trilogy with large promise.
The story takes place in Monument, Colorado in September 2024. 17-year-old Dean’s world turns upside-down when his school bus is bombarded by huge pieces of hail. In an attempt to save the children on the bus, the bus driver crashes the bus into the local Greenway superstore – where they must all put their differences aside and cooperate if they want to get out alive.
The characters are where I felt a bit disconnected from the story. They all felt rather one-dimensional and stereotyped. There’s the computer nerd, the popular football player, the bookworm, etc. None of the characters are especially complex or developed to the degree I wished they would have been, which is disappointing because the characterization is where the book truly had the potential to shine.
All in all, this is an action-packed and entertaining book that I would recommend to fans of post-apocalyptic survival stories and the movie 2012.