"Monument 14," by Emmy Laybourne, bears several characteristics, including fear, that defines the novel as a thriller. One characteristic of a thriller novel that is exemplified in Emmy Laybourne's Monument 14, is the ominous atmosphere that gives the novel a foreboding undertone. In The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, Joyce G. Saricks indicates that "The tone of thrillers is often dark, and gritty" (Saricks 5). This dark tone keeps the reader on edge and turning pages. In the novel there is a chemical leak- that literally creates a dark environment. "The thick black cloud slowly rose toward the sun until it blocked it completely" (54). Without the sun the characters are left to live in an area that is unnatural to them and uncomfortable. Readers are intrigued by this disaster and are eager to read about further complications. Being stuck in the greenway store, the characters are forced to conserve all the limited supplies found in the store, which makes for an uncomfortable, gritty environment. On the second day, the characters begin to question their resources and supplies in ways suck as "'are we going to suffocate?" "'I'm more worried about power", and "I've been thinking about food"' (74-75). The characters are burdened with the dark, looming thought of running out of supplies and by the restricting conditions they are forced into by their limited supplies. .
Another distinct characteristic of thriller novels like Monument 14 is that they tend to move at a very high pace; the pace adds a disquieted urgency to the text. In thriller novels events of importance "Hit the reader from the very beginning" (Thrilling). This fast pace at the beginning encourages and engages the reader to continue reading the book. One of the first events in the novel- involves a school bus accident. "Our bus slid on the ice, swerving into a spin then we hit a lamppost and there was a sick metallic shriek" (5).