The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

15 Aug

Title: The Dead and the Gone (The Last Survivors #2)

Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer

Publisher: Graphia 2010

Genre: YA dystopian

Pages: 308

Rating:  4 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Support Your Local Library

How I Got It: borrowed from library

An asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, and every conceivable natural disaster occurs. Seventeen-year-old Alex Morales’s parents are missing and presumed drowned by tsunamis. Left alone, he struggles to care for his sisters Bri, 14, and Julie, 12. Things look up as Central Park is turned into farmland and food begins to grow. Then worldwide volcanic eruptions coat the sky with ash and the land freezes permanently. People starve, freeze, or die of the flu. Only the poor are left in New York—a doomed island—while the rich light out for safe towns inland and south. The wooden, expository dialogue and obvious setup of the first pages quickly give way to the well-wrought action of the snowballing tragedy. —Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library  Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Another mixed book for me.  Good, but not great.  In this volume we enter the same world as Life As We Knew It, but move the setting to NYC and the Morales family.  I definitely liked Alex much better than Miranda.  He was a much more sensible character.  I really rooted for him and his sisters to survive and escape from Manhattan.  I’m glad Pfeffer abandoned the first person diary entries for third person diary-like entries.  We don’t get as much inner blah monologue.  We see the story unfold from Alex’s perspective and hear his thoughts, but everything in much more streamlined.  The story was accurately horrific in scenes and actions.  The first book was almost completely insulated in the family home.  In this one we get out and about, seeing what has happened all over Manhattan and hearing about the rest of the country.

My complaints about the novel center on the focus on the Catholic faith.  The Morales family are devout Catholics.  Okay.  But often it seems that Pfeffer brings that fact to the forefront without much considering to its use.  Why are we constantly reminded by the Moraleses themselves that they’re Catholic?  I would think that they know that fact already.  I would have like to see the faith through actions as opposed to direct words.  Those passages started to grate on me, but the fast-moving plotline kept the book from being abandoned.

Now, off to the conclusion of the trilogy…

Last Survivors
1. Life as We Knew It 
2. The Dead and the Gone 
3. This World We Live In 


Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Book Reviews


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2 responses to “The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

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