Monument 14 #3
The stunningly fierce conclusion to the Monument 14 trilogy. Author Emmy Laybourne ups the stakes even higher for a group of kids who have continually survived the unthinkable. Can they do so one last time?
In Monument 14: Savage Drift, the stunningly fierce conclusion to the Monument 14 trilogy, author Emmy Laybourne ups the stakes even higher for a group of kids who have continually survived the unthinkable. Can they do so one last time?
Dean, Alex, and the other survivors of the Monument 14 have escaped the disaster zone and made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Some of the kids have been reunited with their families, and everyone is making tentative plans for the future. And then, Niko learns that his lost love, Josie, has survived!
Or is it?
For Josie, separated from the group and presumed dead, life has gone from bad to worse. Trapped in a terrible prison camp with other exposed O’s and traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue. Meanwhile, scared by the government’s unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid—along with her two protectors, Dean and Jake—joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with Josie.
Title: Monument 14: Savage Drift
Series: Monument 14 #3
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends / Square Fish
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Retail Price: $17.99 (USD)
Retail Price: $7.80 (USD)
Format: Trade Paperback
Retail Price: $10.99
Retail Price: $12.24
Listening Length: 7 hours and 41 minutes
Niko’s eyes flashed to our faces, one by one.
“Josie’s alive!” he repeated. “She’s being held against her will in Missouri!”
We all boggled at the newspaper he was holding out. It was Josie. He was right.
“I’m going to get her. Who’s coming with me?”
I didn’t know what to say. I’m sure my mouth was gaping open like a beached fish.
“Let us see the thing, Niko. Are you sure?” Jake said. Ever the politician, he stepped forward and took the paper from Niko.
“Is it really Josie? Are you sure?” Caroline asked. All the kids swarmed to Jake.
“Hold on, hold on. Let me set it down.”
Jake put the paper down on the bedsheet that Mrs. McKinley had laid down as a picnic blanket. We were out on the green, celebrating the twins’ sixth birthday.
“It’s Josie! It’s Josie, it really is!” Max crowed. “I thought for sure she got blowed up!”
“Careful with the paper!” Niko said. The kids were pushing and jostling for a better look. Luna, our fluffy white mascot, was up in Chloe’s arms, yipping and licking anyone’s face she could reach. She was just as excited as the rest of us.
“Somebody read it out loud, already!” Chloe complained.
“Now, Chloe. How would you ask in a polite way?” Mrs. McKinley reprimanded her.
“Somebody read it out loud already, PLEASE!”
Good luck, Mrs. McKinley.
Mrs. McKinley started to read the article. It said that the conditions at the type O containment camp were negligent and prisoners were being abused. It said that there was limited medical aid reaching the refugees inside. It said that if Booker hadn’t given the power to govern these containment camps to individual states, none of this would have happened.
But I was just watching Niko.
He was bouncing on the soles of his feet.
Action. That’s what he’d been missing, I realized.
Niko was a kid who thrived on structure and being productive. Here at the Quilchena luxury golf club turned refugee containment camp, there was plenty of structure, but almost nothing to do besides watch the twenty-four-hour cycle of depressing news from around the country and wait in lines.
Niko’d been wasting away—consumed with grief and guilt about losing Josie on the road from Monument to the Denver International Airport evacuation site.
And he’d been starving for something to do.
And now he thought he was going to rescue Josie.
Which, of course, was completely absurd.
Niko started to pace as Mrs. McKinley finished the article.
The kids had a lot of questions. Where is Missouri? Why is Josie being hit by that guard? Can they see her soon? Can they see her today?
But Niko cut through the chatter with a question of his own.
“Do you think Captain McKinley can get us to her?” he asked Mrs. M. “I mean, if he got permission, he could fly us, right?”
“I think if we go through proper channels, we should be able to get her transferred here. I mean, obviously you children cannot go down there and get her yourselves,” Mrs. McKinley said.
I shared a look with Alex—she didn’t know Niko.
He’d already packed a backpack in his mind.
He turned to me.
“I think if you and me and Alex go, we’d have the best chances,” Niko told me.
Astrid looked at me sideways. Don’t worry, I told her with my eyes.
“Niko, we need to think this through,” I said.
“What’s there to think through? She needs us! Look, look at this picture. There’s a man hitting her! We have to get there NOW. Like, tonight!”
He was ranting, a bit.
Mrs. Dominguez edged in.
“Come, kids. We play more football.” Her English was a mite better than Ulysses’s. She led the kids away, out onto the green. Her older sons helped, drawing the little ones and Luna out onto the field.
Mrs. McKinley joined them, leaving us “big kids”—me, Astrid, Niko, Jake, Alex, and Sahalia—standing next to the picnic blanket and the remains of the twins’ birthday feast. (It featured a package of chocolate-covered doughnuts and a bag of Cheez Doodles.) There had also been some rolls and apples from the “Clubhouse”—that was what everyone called the main building of the resort. It housed the dining hall, the offices, and the rec room.
Astrid, who seemed more pregnant by the minute, had eaten her share, my share, and Jake’s share. I loved watching her eat. She could really put it away.
Her stomach looked like it was getting bigger every day. She had definitely “popped,” as they say. Even her belly button had popped. It stood out, springy and cheerful, always bouncing back.
When Astrid would let them, the little kids took turns playing with her belly button. I sort of wanted to play with it too, but couldn’t bring myself to ask.
Anyway, the little kids didn’t need to hear us fight, so I was glad they herded them away. Mrs. McKinley worked hard to arrange this little party and the twins should enjoy it.
Niko’s eyes were snapping and there was a little flush of color on his tan face. That only happened when he was really mad—otherwise he’s kind of monotone. Straight brown hair, brown eyes, light brown skin.
“I can’t believe none of you care,” Niko said. “Josie’s alive. She should be with us. Instead, she’s locked up in that hellhole. We have to go get her.”
“Niko, she’s thousands of miles from here, across the border,” I said.
“What about your uncle?” Alex asked. “Once we get in touch with your uncle, maybe he can go get her himself. Missouri’s not so far from Pennsylvania, compared with Vancouver.”
“It won’t work,” Niko interrupted. “We’ve got to go get her now. She’s in danger!”
“Niko,” Astrid said. “You’re upset—”
“You don’t even know what she did for us!”
“We do, Niko,” Alex said. He put a hand on Niko’s shoulder. “If she hadn’t gone O, we’d be dead. We know that. If she hadn’t killed those people, we’d be dead.”
“Yeah,” Sahalia added. She was wearing a set of painter’s coveralls rolled up to the knee, with a red bandanna around her waist. She looked utterly, shockingly cool, as usual. “Whatever we have to do to get her back, we’ll do it.”
“Fine,” Niko spat. He waved us away with his hands, as if to dismiss us. “I’ll go alone. It’s better that way.”
“Niko, we all want Josie free,” Astrid said. “But you have to be reasonable!”
“I think Niko’s right. He should go get her,” Jake announced. “If there’s anyone on this black-stained, effed-up earth who can get to her, it’s Niko Mills.”
I looked at him: Jake Simonsen, all cleaned up. On antidepressants. Working out. Getting tan again. He and his dad were always tossing a football around.
Astrid was so happy about how well he’s doing.
My teeth were clenched and I wanted so badly to punch him.
“Come on, Jake!” I said. “Don’t do that. Don’t make Niko think this is possible. He can’t cross the border and get to Missouri and break her out of jail!” I continued. “It’s crazy!”
“Says Mr. Safe. Says Mr. Conservative!” Jake countered.
“Don’t make this about you and me!” I shouted. “This is about Niko’s safety!”
“Guys, you have to stop fighting!” Sahalia yelled.
“Yeah, watch it, Dean. You’ll go O on us.”
I took two steps and was up in his face.
“Don’t you ever, EVER talk about me going O again,” I growled. His sunny grin was gone now and I saw he wanted the fight as bad as I did.
“You guys are a-holes,” Astrid said. She pushed us apart. “This is about NIKO and JOSIE. Not you two and your territorial idiot wars.”
“Actually, this is supposed to be a party for the twins,” Sahalia reminded us. “And we’re ruining it.”
I saw the little kids were watching us. Caroline and Henry were holding hands, their eyes wide and scared.
“Real mature, you guys,” Sahalia said. “You two had better get it together. You’re going to be dads, for God’s sake!”
I stalked away.
Maybe Astrid would think I was being childish, but it was either walk away or take Jake’s head off.
Niko’s uncle’s farm was the common daydream that kept Niko, Alex, and Sahalia going. And me and Astrid, too, to a degree.
Niko’s uncle lived in a big, broken-down farmhouse on a large but defunct fruit tree farm in rural Pennsylvania. Niko and Alex had schemes for fixing up the farmhouse, reinvigorating the crops. Somehow they thought the farm could house all of us and our families when and not if we found them.
It was a good dream anyway. Unless the farm was overrun with refugees.
Excerpted from Monument 14: Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne. Copyright © 2014 by Emmy Laybourne. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
BUY THE BOOK
PRAISE FOR SAVAGE DRIFT
“Gritty and violent, this is a tale of endurance and tenderness, with a group of teens who will do whatever it takes to protect the people they love.” —The Horn Book
“A dizzying alternating-perspective climax.” —Booklist
“SAVAGE DRIFT brings the Monument 14 saga to a satisfying close, finding enough new juice in its post-apocalyptic scenario to carry it through a third installment. Gripping, sad, and occasionally funny, this saga is a cut well above the rest in this crowded field.” —Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
“Fans of the trilogy will likely be looking for this title.” —VOYA
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING
“I have so much love for this series! Emmy Laybourne paints a frighteningly realistic portrait of ordinary teens coming of age during an extraordinary time. The highlight of this series is the character development at which this author excels… I’m so going to miss these kids!” —Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
“I suppose I will have to succumb to the mind-blowing, gut-wrenching aftermath of reading a fantastic book. My emotions are in upheaval. I loved Savage Drift. It was just as strong as the first two M14 books and I expected nothing less from Laybourne.” —Nadine Brandes, The Quest for Good Writing
“A plot that instantly captures your attention and makes you want to flip the next page just to see what happens to the developing characters.” —Cooper D., Goodreads Reviewer
“OMG, an amazing ending to an incredible series. This was action packed, back to back “OMG!” and just absolutely un-put-down-able. If I hadn’t desperately needed sleep I would have read all night. This is a series to read and read again.” —Trisha, Goodreads Reviewer
“Satisfying ending to an epic series: Overall a superb and intriguing story of survival. I highly recommend this series because you’ll find yourself drawn into this story and caring so much about all of the characters.” —Gecky Boz, Amazon Reviewer
“Wow, wow, wow! I’m obsessed with this series and am going to be going through major ‘book series hangover’.” —Karen, Goodreads Reviewer
“I’m glad to say that the ending was more than satisfying. Everything fell into place beautifully, all wrapped up in one powerful ending. I was left with a smile on my face. This series is definitely a must read. If you haven’t started yet, you probably need to now.” —Gisbelle, Goodreads Reviewer