One of the latest series I’ve read is the Monument 14 Trilogy by Emmy Laybourne* and I thought I’d share these three books together, keeping the review vague enough that there will be no spoilers if you haven’t picked up any of the books yet.
This trilogy that begins with Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne and a premise that reminds me an awful lot of Stephen King’s The Mist, which I haven’t actually read but I have seen the movie (terrible, I know). Basically a group of people, in this case 14 teenagers and kids, are trapped inside a grocery store while the world goes crazy outside it. As they struggle to figure out what’s going on and how to get to safety, things only escalate outside. But inside the store might not be safe either, as kids become suddenly violent or ill. Monument 14 has plenty of excitement, and it was an entertaining and quick read, but the story itself was definitely focused on plot over character development and writing, an issue that only worsened as the series progressed.
All three books in the Monument 14 trilogy are 320 pages or less, although the shortest by far is the middle book Sky on Fire at only 212 pages. At that length, it’s not surprising that I didn’t have a lot of time to really connect with the characters, however it did manage to keep my attention. In book two, Laybourne switches to two narrators, and it’s not a transition I mind as I do like the added narrator. The writing itself is okay, but it is really just there to get the plot across, and I actually managed to finish both the first two books in the same day.
Even though there are a lot of characters in this trilogy, I didn’t have any issues keeping them all straight. I also thought Laybourne did a pretty good job realistically addressing how people might react in this kind of chaos, although I definitely wanted a better explanation of what was happening, especially by the time I got to the third book, Savage Drift. Honestly, while at least the first two books kept my attention, the same cannot be said of the third, which added a point-of-view I didn’t care about and managed to be quite repetitive at times. It was definitely a situation where by the end I doubted if there needed to be a third book at all, as despite being the longest book in the trilogy it didn’t seem like much happened at all in the final adventure. In fact, I often found the characters annoying and by the end I was just glad to be done with them. I also really felt like a lot of their decisions were stupid.
So, overall, while Monument 14 offers some promising elements, if you’re looking for a post-apocalyptic adventure this probably isn’t the one I’d reach for.