Comic con was full of celebrity sightings and artist signings, but it wasn’t on the showroom floor but rather in the press room where exclusive details on the “Monument 14” series were shared. “Monument 14” is the first of a three book series by Emmy Laybourne. The book, having just been released this June, has already received a great deal of positive press.
The post-apocalyptical tale, taking place in Colorado surrounds a group of 14 teens who struggle to survive after the “network” goes down and they lose all contact with the outside world. The kids then take refuge in a Target-like superstore where on a display television they find out there has been a slue of natural disasters that caused the release of horribly toxic chemicals.
The chemical reacts differently with each person, depending on what blood type a person has. The poison chemical leaves people sterile, paranoid, violent or just dead. The teens will have to rely on each other in order to make it out of the superstore alive yet they soon find out that survival may not be as easy as it seems.
“Monument 14” is the first book by Laybourne but already shows a great deal of promise. As a former actress and screenwriter Laybourne gave up her Hollywood life to focus on being a mother. Having always enjoyed writing and the freedom it offers, it was just a natural decision to write a novel. The idea for Monument 14 was just as easy for Laybourne. She references the uncertainty of the future as her major inspiration for the novel. With the tragedy in Japan and the variety of natural disasters that continue to happen in the world, “Monument 14” comes across as very realistic.
The characters too seemed very fleshed out and believable to current trends in teens. Although the fourteen are an assortment of both older teens and children as young as kindergarten age they represent a diverse group of youths coming together to survive. Each teen takes a role and as a society begins to form, more insight into each individual is given. This is definitely a book for the older set, those between the ages of 14-18. It tackles issues every teen faces as they grow older including drug and alcohol use and discovery of sexuality.
Even though the book was just released earlier this summer it gained national attention while Laybourne presented it on the Fierce Reads Book tour. It is to be announced in the upcoming weeks that the book was also opted by Strange Weather Productions. Should all go well with the screening writing and pitching, fans should be able to see the book on the big screen within the next few years.
With the sequel set to be released in June of next year, fans will have to wait a little longer before they discover what challenges the fourteen will have to tackle.