Book Review of Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

Posted June 3, 2013 by Kara in book review, Kara / 18 Comments

Book Review of Sky on Fire by Emmy LaybourneSky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne
Series: Monument 14 #2
Published by Feiwel and Friends on May 28th, 2013
Genres: post apocalyptic, science fiction, young adult
Pages: 224
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

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. . . . Monument 14: Sky on Fire is the second installment Emmy Laybourne's thrilling series.

I should have known that reading Sky on Fire was going to be a bad idea. I didn’t really love the first book in the series, but it ended in a way that made me have to continue with the series. And I found out. And no, I didn’t care. I shouldn’t have. The writing declined in such a visceral way that I found myself cringing more than once. I’ll get to that shortly, but I also need to mention that if you are a fan of writing and great prose, you won’t find it here. There are very few paragraphs longer than two sentences. The book is almost entirely in dialogue. There is very little imagery, sensory language, and the writing is incredibly juvenile in a really obvious way. Second books are supposed to improve on the first and this one just got worse.

If you weren’t a fan of the characters in the first one or you couldn’t connect to them, it won’t get better. There is very little character development in this one. It’s just moving from place to place. The characters don’t grow at all, except for Astrid, and that’s just a tiny bit. I guess if you really liked the first book, you may like this one, but I was not impressed. 

Not even a little. I love that girl, by the way. She has an amazing sense of humor. 
So in this book, it’s all about half of the kids trying to make it from the Greenway do the Denver airport and all of their troubles and obstacles in between. They run into some more bad people (are you surprised?) and another dude that wants to do bad things to Sahalia. This one was only subtly offensive, but it still annoyed me because every single girl in this book is pregnant, a sex object, a babysitter, or a helpless child. Sexism at its finest. And then something kind of epic happens at the end, and then 
So I thought I would share some quotes to show you just exactly HOW bad the writing is and why I got pissed off at one point, and then I am just going to close up shop because I have nothing good to say.

“There was the body of the dad. He was lying on top of a rock. He’d fallen on it during his fight with Josie and he must have broken his neck, because his head was cocked to the side and he was looking up at the sky with an open mouth like he was stargazing.

But, no, he was not looking at the sky. He was dead.”

“His eyes were the color of yellow mud.”

You mean, GOLDEN? Yellow mud? Really? This is the best there is?


“Right before Castle Rock, there was a long stretch of open highway. (“Open” meaning that there was one clear lane with no obstacles to go around.)”

Yes, because I forgot, readers are stupid, right? We need everything explained to us, yes?
OH, and finally, the icing on the cake:

“He wheeled toward Monument and I held on and even though I am agnostic, I prayed.”


Because if you don’t offend us already with bad writing, sexism, and treating us like we are ignorant, you insult atheists and agnostics everywhere by being disrespectful to the fact that they would probably NOT pray in a situation like this. If I have to not insult religion when I write, why is THIS okay? Seems a bit hypocritical, no? Also, agnostics and atheists are NOT the same. This quote makes it seem like they are. Also, not okay. 

Oh, and I am so done with this series because there was this ridiculous cliffhanger on the end. The series should have ended there. Not EVERYTHING has to end perfectly. You can leave things a little open ended. I just can’t. It was SO STUPID. I can’t read another word. And I don’t hate read, usually. That’s just not me. So those of you that choose to continue, I wish you luck. You’ll need it.
I’m done. *drops mic*


18 responses to “Book Review of Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

  1. Yikes, you’ve made me want to run away from this series now. After all the reviews I’ve seen on them, I’ve already been pretty wary. I think I’ll leave this series alone for the time being.

    Love the gifs and stunning review, Kara! <33

  2. Hahaha, this review still cracks me up. I cannot believe how bad this was. If you see me talking about requesting the next one, thump me on the head.

  3. Amy

    The writing wasn’t very great at all, but I actually liked this one more. I found that I was bored out of my mind reading the first one and this one switched it up a little for me. There was way too much sexism in it, that’s for sure. Great review Kara! It had me laughing!

  4. Let me just say, I loved this review. I don’t know why I even read it. I don’t read YA. I don’t read Post-Post Apocalyptic. I especially don’t read Young Adult-Post Apocalyptic.

    I thought it was just because I was getting “old”. You know, at a certain age the Teen Drama Trauma just makes you want to stab yourself in the ear. I kept hearing all about how YA is the best and dsytopian/apocalyptic is the next new thing. Ha! Now I have a review to point to if someone asks me how I feel about the genres. I will tell them, just read this review. It covers it all.

    • LOL thanks, I think! But I really do enjoy YA and read it more frequently than anything else. I am 32 and there are certain topics in YA that don’t work for me, but I do love the dystopian genre. Just not this particular book.

  5. Oh, man. That writing was terrible! The yellow mud was my favourite, but then again, I never knew what an open highway was before. Thank the author for enlightening me. Pfft. Thanks for the honest review, Kara! Definitely wouldn’t bother touching the series with a 5ft pole 😛

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