Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Publisher provided through Netgalley
Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope.
Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . .
Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . .
It was a surprise when I ended up liking Monument 14 last year, but it was definitely not a surprise when I enjoyed Sky on Fire, the sequel, just as much. With higher stakes and time running out, Dean, Alex, and the other kids have to survive split apart, without a means of communication between the groups.
With the group split between the bus and the Greenway, Sky on Fire is told by both Dean and Alex. Dean decided to stay behind, along with the other kids with type O blood, in order to protect the others from their adverse reactions to the air. But this means they have to defend themselves from desperate people trying to get in and somehow find permanent safety. Alex and the rest of the group are travelling to Denver International Airport, clinging to the hope that the military is stationed there and can help them. Despite their best planning, the journey is far from easy.
Adding the duel narration really makes Sky on Fire a much better book. In the first book I was dying to hear about what was happening outside of the Greenway, and in the sequel, we find out. Seeing what was happening only made me more curious about what's causing the problems--a question I hope will be answered in the last book! Not only that, but we get to balance Dean's decision to stay at the store against the other's to go out, and see if one was better than the other. We can see the repercussions of actively seeking out help, even if it is dangerous, and of staying put where it is mostly safe.
Whereas Monument 14 wasn't especially action-packed, Sky on Fire is absolutely brimming with action! The plot twists and turns with both good and bad luck for each group and it's such fun to read. Even though the book is pretty short already, it felt even shorter because reading was such a thrill. If you liked the first book, I would definitely recommend Sky on Fire.