Wednesday, 16 September 2015

REVIEW - SAVAGE DRIFT - MONUMENT !4 BY EMMY LAYBOURNE

Title: Savage Drift
Series: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Genre: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, Hodder, Macmillan
Release Date: 6th May 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
The stunningly fierce conclusion to Emmy Laybourne's Monument 14trilogy.

The survivors of the Monument 14 have finally made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Dean and Alex are cautiously starting to hope that a happy ending might be possible.

But for Josie, separated from the group and trapped in a brutal prison camp for exposed Type Os, things have gone from bad to worse. Traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue or safety.

Meanwhile, scared by the government's unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid (with her two protectors, Dean and Jake in tow) joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with his lost love Josie.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emmy Laybourne is a novelist, public speaker, screenwriter and former character actress. 

Emmy’s Monument 14 trilogy has earned critical praise ("Frighteningly real… riveting" - New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice) and has been nominated by readers to the YALSA Teens Top Ten in 2013 and won in 2014.!

Emmy’s new book SWEET tells the story of a luxury cruise to launch a new diet sweetener that goes comically, then tragically, then terrifyingly wrong. It got a perfect 10 from VOYA and hits the stands on June 2, 2015

Before her life as an author, Emmy performed original comedy on Comedy Central, MTV and VH1; and acted in the movies "Superstar," "The In-Laws" and "Nancy Drew," among others. Emmy loves visiting school and libraries.

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REST OF THE SERIES

Title: Dress Your Marines In White
Series: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Genre: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, Hodder, Macmillan
Release Date: 22nd May 2012

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It was just a test report. Like one of many, many he’d written up in the past. Except this time, several of the test subjects are dead…”

At first, Dr. James Cutlass had thought his new job at NORAD was thrilling and full of opportunities, but that was before the demonstration… “Dress Your Marines in White” is the story of the terrifying choices surrounding a chemical weapons demonstration gone horribly wrong.


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Title: Monument 14
Series: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Genre: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, Hodder, Macmillan
Release Date: 5th June 2012

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Your mother hollers that you're going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don't stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don't thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not-you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it's the last time you'll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you'd stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.


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Title: Jake And The Other Girl
Series: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Genre: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, Hodder, Macmillan
Release Date: 26th June 2013

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The apocalypse has hit Monument, Colorado, and Jake Simonsen, captain of the football team, is caught in the middle of it. A series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a terrible chemical weapons spill that affects people differently depending on blood type, has torn the world as he knows it apart. Now Jake has to decide how to pick up the pieces.

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Title: Sky On Fire
Series: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Genre: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, Hodder, Macmillan
Release Date: 28th May 2013

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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. . . 


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Title: What Mario Scietto Says
Series: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Genre: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, Hodder, Macmillan
Release Date: 15th April 2014

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Despite all his disaster planning, and the bomb shelter he built under his shed, Mario Scietto was not prepared for the apocalypse that hit Monument, Colorado. A series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a terrible chemical weapons spill that affects people differently depending on blood type, has torn the world as he knows it apart. “What Mario Says” is set in the world of Emmy Laybourne's Monument 14. 

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MY REVIEW

Title: Savage Drift
Series: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Genre: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, Hodder, Macmillan
Release Date: 6th May 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
The stunningly fierce conclusion to Emmy Laybourne's Monument 14trilogy.

The survivors of the Monument 14 have finally made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Dean and Alex are cautiously starting to hope that a happy ending might be possible.

But for Josie, separated from the group and trapped in a brutal prison camp for exposed Type Os, things have gone from bad to worse. Traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue or safety.

Meanwhile, scared by the government's unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid (with her two protectors, Dean and Jake in tow) joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with his lost love Josie.


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INITIAL THOUGHTS
I have loved this series from Bk#1, I have yet to read the novella's, but I am looking forward to reading this one to find out if the Monument 14 will be reunited and/or get their happy ending.

MY REVIEW
I was super lucky as I won this book via a Giveaway from Natalie at Book Lovers Life.
The cover depicts a depressing, desolate landscape with fires burning in the distant, billowing out black smoke into the sky, and also features a girl (we learn later who it is, and it fits really well. But no spoilers!) holding onto a wire fence that is topped with barbed wire. This girl's body language tells us the reader she is desperate to be on the other side of that fence. The fact her head is lowered, looking down makes me think she is almost at the point of giving up! Also featuring prominently on the cover are the words “14 kids have survived the end of the world. . . . but then they still aren’t safe” this acts as both a byline and a teaser of what is to come. I can also imagine it being said as an opening to a movie. .
 So would the cover make me pick this book up from a book store shelf? Yes, I would want to know more about the lonely figure who seems desperate to escape the place she appears to be trapped inside of. The fact the cover looks post apocalyptic would draw my attention to it as I'd say this one shouts out it's genre loudly!
The book begins with a letter that has been printed in a newspaper that circulates all the survivor’s areas. The Letter was written by Alex, on behalf of all the kids that survived and made it to the Quilchena Camp in Canada.  The letter basically tells the story of the “Monument 14” I think this was a brilliant idea from Emmy Laybourne’s as the letter recaps the basics of what has happened to the group as well as reminding us of their ages too, as they list all the names of the children/teens in their group at the very end of the letter/article. Brayden Cutlass died so he is listed as deceased and Josie Miller is listed as presumed dead as none of the kids/teens in Quilchena know what happened to her after she selflessly “sacrificed” herself to aid their escape. So Josie is listed as “presumed dead”.
So I guess this could be classed as slightly spoilerish but it was kind of revealed in Bk#2 that Josie Miller is in fact alive and you could say fairly well, but she is in a different type of camp. A prison camp for those that quite literally go crazy and become violent when they come into contact with the compounds in the air. These compounds are still rolling around the area in what people are calling "savage drifts". The people in the prison camp are reasonable until re-exposed and then it's a case of "all hell breaks lose" they lose all sense of normality and can fight and mortally injure someone they were previously best friends with. In Canada, the "savage drifts" have been put down to rumors and scare-mongering. The Quilchena group which consists of Alex, Dean, Astrid, Jake, Niko, etc all meet up to discuss the possibilities available to help their friend Josie, get out of the "prison camp". They do try things like asking for her to be transferred and all the ways they can but nothing seems to be working. Niko finally announces that he will go and rescue Josie and then go onto his Uncle's farm. They squabble between themselves who should go and could actually go, eventually it's confirmed that Dean, Astrid, Jake and Niko will go. Jake wants to get back to his mother and insists that is the right place for Astrid to have their baby. Naturally her current boyfriend Dean doesn't want to allow Astrid to go anywhere alone with Jake so he leaves his younger brother Alex in Quilchena and goes along on the mission in the hope of protecting Astrid.
There were some really sweet moments in this book, I want to share three with you. The first one I loved was when the "Josie rescuers" were raising money and the young Henry McKinley selflessly gives his birthday money towards the trip. Another moment is where Dean has to face Alex and explain he is once again leaving him to accompany his girlfriend Astrid. Alex ends up being mature beyond his years really in that scene. The last one I am choosing to share is a heartbreaking note that Jake has written for Dean. The scene is so emotional especially when Dean shows the letter to Astrid. I'm finding this review difficult as I don't wish to say too much and spoil your enjoyment of the book yet I want to say enough to encourage everyone to read the book as well as saying how much I adored it!
It was really good to catch up with all the characters, I think my favourite character in this part of the series is Niko he is determined, and so motivated that he is going to travel to the prison camp and he will rescue Josie and then travel with her to his Uncle's farm to meet up with all the others. We do actually get a glimpse of the "Uncle's Farm" that Niko has been talking about and promising 
I also really enjoyed reading how the love triangle relationship unfolded between Astrid, Dean and Jake. We also meet some new characters that our old favourite meet along their travels. One favourite is the little girl that they unwittingly take along on their journey for a while and how the teens manage to care for the child. It has some comedy moments, whilst you are reading how they cope with the child, they make you wonder how they'll cope when Astrid has her baby.
Another added drama in this book is the fact people are disappearing and the gossip is that they are being shipped off somewhere to be experimented on! It's at one of these establishments that the Monument 14 rescue team meet an old friends father and are able to tell this man what happened to his son. It's quite poignant, how the kids are wise beyond their years telling the grieving dad the good things his son did and just failing to mention the bad, and not so good things he did.
So did I enjoy the book? I loved it! The ending was, so emotional and well written as well as having a little added surprise too.
Would I recommend the book? Yes, if you enjoy the post apocalyptic genre then this is the book for you! It's a must read!
Would I want to read another book in this series? I am thinking about reading the novella's at some point. I think the way this one ended is possibly a good place for the ending to be. Though there's always a chance of a catch up after a few years have passed option.
Would I want to read other titles by this author? I would take a look at any book written by this author.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Loved it! Truly loved it! The ending was brilliant, perfect! A sneaky little surprise there too. Highly recommend it!

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