Book Review: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Just as raw as its predecessor, but even more enjoyable!

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on!


After a series of escalating disasters, the outside world has now become a desolate wasteland. Breathe the outside air for too long and you might find yourself in caught in uncontrollable rage, overwhelmed by hallucinations and extreme paranoia, or even on the brink of death.

Following the events of Monument 14, our young group of survivors has split up. Now in two separated groups, brothers Alex and Dean document their journeys of survival as one group struggles to make it to the Denver International Airport to get government help, while the other continues to hide out in the local superstore until they return.

But with no means of communicating to each other, how will one group know if the other makes it through the disaster alive. Will Alex and his group be able to make it 40 miles to the airport with nothing but a barely-operational bus and a few backpacks of provisions? Can Dean and his group hold off the violent outsiders who are attempting to claim their sanctuary as their own?

Purchase this book (affiliate links): Amazon (Sky on Fire), Amazon (Monument 14)

Review (No Spoilers)

I read Monument 14 back in August when I was taking part in the Trope-ical Readathon. Because that was the month that I read 53 other books, I never took the time to review it. To compensate for that, I’ll use the next paragraph to talk about my feelings on that first installment before getting to my review for Sky on Fire.

Monument 14 was probably the most realistic apocalyptic book I’ve ever read, and it doesn’t even seem to take place in the same reality as ours (though admittedly it is very similar). What makes Monument 14 so real is the fact that these characters are just children and the book does a really good job and reminding you of this fact. A lot of YA novels will have protagonists who are 13-17 but this is often easy to forget as you read through the book. Monument 14, on the other hand, makes it clear from the get go that these kids have no idea what to do and they are scared out of their minds. It’s something that I really appreciated because it was a rawness that I think is so rare when it comes to novels like this.

Moving on to Sky on Fire, much like its predecessor, this book is does a great job at being raw and realistic. The two books take place immediately after one another so it makes sense that this would be the case. Still, the book is also really good at showing the character devolpment that each child was forced to go through. While they still are clearly young and foolish, they have also just been through months of living on their own and have matured quite a bit as a result.

I think what I enjoyed most about Sky on Fire was how Emmy Laybourne succeeded in making me care about basically all of the survivors. A lot of post-apocalyptic novels only focus on small groups of around 2-4 people, but this series managed to make me care about over 10 people. It is the ultimate example of the Found Family trope as these survivors have formed such a tight-knit bond with each other that you can’t bare to see them apart.

After I finished this book, Rob (my partner) asked me if I was going to read the next one in the series and to be honest, I thought this was the end. Now that I know there is more to the story, I’ll definitely be giving the next installment a try and I hope that this review can convince you to as well.

Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

7 thoughts on “Book Review: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

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