The Dead & The Gone- Susan Beth Pfeffer

Written By: Kellie - Feb• 27•12

Synopsis: Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event–an asteroid hitting the moon, setting off a tailspin of horrific climate changes. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales. When Alex’s parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle.

With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful new novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities. -Goodreads

Review: So, in case you didn’t notice it after last weeks review of Life As We Knew It, I am really enjoying the Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer. This series offers a really refreshing look at how people might behave at the end of the world.

The first book in the series focused on suburbia after a shift in the moon caused the worlds tides to go a little mad. In The Dead & The Gone, we get a look at how things were after this same disaster but in downtown New York City. With so many people stacked on top of each other, and no nearby food sources, it is arguably much harder to survive. The main character Alex, also doesn’t have either of his parents with him to lean on and guide him. He is solely responsible for his own survival and that of his two younger sisters.

Like Life As We Knew It, this book offers a stark take on how bad things could really get. So many books focus on the handful of heroes that step up when our world comes crashing down around us, but Susan Pfeffer has a way of showing the every day people who do what it takes to survive as the real heroes of these kinds of stories. Love it! Not a feel good read by any means, but every small victory seems that much bigger when you’re struggling to stay a live, and each month that passes seems like Eden compared to how much worse things have gotten even though you think you have hit an all time low.

I found Alex and his sisters a little hard to relate to but still very compelling characters. You will be rooting for them right away, even before they know they are in any danger. There are so many ups and downs in The Dead & The Gone that you will be holding on for dear life until the book ends and you collapse in a heap.

Granted, not everyone loved this book (or series, really) quite as much as I do. Mainly citing the lack of action as the biggest draw back, and while I love the non- stop action apocalyptic novels, I think this route of story telling has a lot of merit as well. Sometimes you can’t just strike out on your own and save the world, sometimes you have people that need you, people that you will do whatever it takes to keep alive. That’s what The Dead & The Gone gives us.

If I haven’t made it blatantly obvious yet, I think you should read this book. You can even read it before the first book in this series, just make sure you read both one and two before seeing how everything ends. Enjoy.

Buy the book @Amazon (US) @Amazon (CAN)

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