Friday, January 27, 2012

Marvelous Monument

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

* Book will be released June 5, 2012
ARC read via Around The World ARC Tours

5 out of 5 gnomes

This book was a fast paced and entertaining read.  It takes the fantasy that most kids have of staying in a store overnight and doing whatever you want and adds a lot of cataclysmic events to the mix.

This isn't a happy-go-lucky kind of story.  A bunch of people die in the very first chapter and they aren't the last to die throughout the course of the book. 

The action starts right away as a hail storm starts on the way to school.  This is no ordinary hail storm though, massive hail stones break through the windows and batter the bus.  Having no other choice these kids end up inside a store that sounds a lot like a Super Target or Walmart.  

The main character Dean is a quiet guy for the most part and is seen as a little weird because he actually likes to write stuff down.  Writing is seen as weird because in this future time it seems that most everything is done on tablet-like machines.  He's pretty much a loner and at first doesn't really seem to be a heroic type of person. 

There are a plethora of personalities all stuck in one place.  The youngest kids are only five-years-old.  As you can imagine there are lots of power plays and kids behaving badly.  Watching this little group struggle and bond does makes the story fly by.

Calamity after calamity befalls this group and they try to make some sense of normalcy in a world that has turned horrifying.  As cliché as it sounds they or at least groups of them anyway become like a family.  It feels like you're watching some kind of great social experiment.  You'll think that you know where everything is going but then WHAM, you're in for a surprise.

It's not all gloom on doom though either.  There's humor to be found among all this chaos.  The funniest character is a first grader named Max.  He's my favorite of the little kids because of the hilarious stories he tells.  Batiste is also great because he annoys the heck out of everybody but also turns out to be an amazing cook.  All the little kids put into the mix of this horrible situation makes for quite an interesting read

I would definitely recommend this read.  This book was a pleasant surprise and the ending made me even more interested in reading the next book.


  1. This story had lots of gritty details and lots of perilous situations. I think adventure lovers would enjoy it. Because the pacing got slow, I started asking myself some questions. How did NORAD get involved with chemical weapons? I mostly know NORAD for its annual Santa tracker and know that its mission is aerospace warning and aerospace control. Twelve years in the future all students are required to ride the bus to school because of fuel shortages? The Net goes down because three towers on the East Coast are destroyed by a massive tsunami? Readers who ignore these questions can get swept up in the adventures of the kids.

    1. Yes, I love how intense this book is. It's a great adventure/survival story. Yeah all the situations and questions that it brings up are definitely worth pondering (I was the same way about NORAD, mostly knew them from the Santa tracker thing they do.)


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