Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books (4 April 2013)
Fourteen kids stranded inside a superstore. Inside they have everything they could ever need. There’s junk food and clothes, computer games and books, drugs and alcohol … and without adult supervision they can do whatever they want.
Sounds like fun?
But outside the world is being ripped apart by violent storms and chemicals leaking into the atmosphere that, depending on blood type, leave victims paranoid, violent or dead.
The kids must remain inside, forced to create their own community, unsure if they’ll ever be able to leave. Can they stop the world they’ve created inside from self-destructing too?
Monument 14 is narrated in the first person by Dean Grieder. We begin with a journey to school. Dean is thinking about rummaging for old electronics after school and we know there is a gas shortage. We move straight into the action with huge hailstones raining down on them, causing damage to the bus and driving haphazard. The bus skids and crashes into a lamppost, turning the bus on its side. Dean’s brother is in the bus in front which is being driven by Mrs Wooly – she manages to drive into the Greenway store window.
Already we have deaths in Dean’s bus and one of the young people, Brayden, starts filming. Mrs Wooly rescues those alive and starts to organise everyone in the store. She leaves to go to the hospital to get help.
The metal shutters come down locking them all inside and so our journey for real begins!
Through 12 days, we spend time with these 14 young adults and children as they move from fear and chaos into a party mood, on to conflict and finally organising themselves into a community, a society… I couldn’t wait to see if their strengths were enough for others not to exploit their weaknesses…
The plot is fast moving and carried me along on a wave of tension. The characters are so well portrayed I felt as if I was in the Greenway with them, facing everything they did! The chemical war compounds and the way they affect different blood groups is woven into the story beautifully and comes into play at a really important time when decisions are made.
There are a few scenes that had me in tears too. I think this shows how easy it is to identify with the characters and that Monument 14 will suit readers of all ages.
I have to admit I did wonder where it would end … gutted we’re left on a cliffhanger but am excited to see where the story will take us in Sky on Fire (November in the UK!) where there are two storylines.
Monument 14 is a debut post-apocalyptic novel that you will not want to put down. I couldn’t. I LOVED it. It hooked me in on many different levels …
Highly recommend this one whether you are a YA reader or .. older!
I would like to thank the publishers for providing a proof copy in exchange for an honest review.
Find out more and connect with Emmy Laybourne via her website.