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Monument 14: Sky on Fire

Sky on Fire - Emmy Laybourne Every so often, a series comes around where you know it has problems in the way it handles issues, but something about it nags your heart until you give in and admit that you’re actually quite a fan. Maybe not a fan of the writing, or the characters, or the situations, but it’s a fun little book with a very engaging story, lots of action, and a pace that keeps you in your seat and propels you forward. You say, “Just another chapter,” but soon you’ve reached the ending wondering where two hours have gone.For me, the MONUMENT 14 series is a perfect example of this – an imperfect story that somehow manages to entertain me into reading the book in one sitting. While the pieces itself are not worthy of any spectacular praise, the resulting product is a fun, enjoyable story with a few distinct flaws. As such, the second book in the series, SKY ON FIRE, repeats what we find in book one – except in a shorter, even more action-packed form.LOOKING PAST THE FLAWS…Yes, MONUMENT 14: SKY ON FIRE has flaws. I’m going to be blunt here, so bear with. The writing isn’t great, there sure is a lot of emphasis put on one poor character getting molested/almost raped/almost molested/perved on, there are some really shoddy and nonsensical reactions to the apocalypse, the government is acting even more ridiculous than I think possible, and normally teenagers aren’t all ridiculously joyous to find out they’re pregnant while they’re about to die painful deaths.That about sums that up. But if you can look past the flaws which do single this book out as being a bit outlandish, what you find is a rather fun story that requires you check your brain at the door. Don’t think about it, just enjoy it. It’s like a popcorn blockbuster with Will Smith blowing things up while you sit in your seat and laugh like a hyena. Is it bad that I kind of laughed when some bad things happened to these kids? I mean, how can you not laugh when someone steals a helicopter to fly straight toward the future scene of an incinerating bomb that obviously won’t work?MIND-NUMBING ENTERTAINMENTWriting this review actually did make me revise my rating down to a three star. Outside the mind-numbingness of it, the story doesn’t have a lot going for it sadly. But it’s fun, and fun should let you give a few stars where otherwise the product doesn’t especially warrant it. Other reviewers have rightfully called out a number of issues with this book, and I must admit – I really did look past a few that I should call out, such as rape as a plot device to portray evilness, and I don’t really like to have done this.SKY ON FIRE, though, is not seeking to be a literary take on the apocalyptic situation. The way I look at it, it’s trying to be one of those popcorn blockbusters people flock to see to forget their worries and focus on things exploding. At least that was how I took it and how I handled my experience reading this book. And I do indeed plan on reading book three. Only after I check my mind at the door, that is.VERDICT: Don’t go into this one expecting the most literary, thought-provoking apocalyptic story of the year. You won’t find it here. You will, however, find fun, excitement, and mind-numbingness. Recommended with a few reservations.