The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors, Book 2) – Susan Beth Pfeffer
Genre: YA; Dystopia; Survival
Summary: In this post-apocalyptic world, an asteroid impacted the moon so forcefully, it actually moved its positioning in the sky. As a direct result of this, Earth is now facing catastrophic weather and climate events, and life as the characters know it (heh heh) is officially over. Alex Morales, a teenage boy living in New York City, is left to take care of himself and his sisters after his parents’ disappearance during the cataclysm. Will they be able to survive on their own, or will they succumb, like much of society already has?
Review: I read the first book in this trilogy, Life as We Knew It, in a YA Resources class during grad school, and I was one of very few people in my discussion group who enjoyed the book. To me, Life as We Knew It accurately depicted what would happen after a devastating event, regardless of scientific merit of said event, as many of the days would blend together and the focus of everyone’s life would be one of survival. Because of this, I was excited to read The Dead and the Gone, but ultimately, I didn’t enjoy it as much as its predecessor. Now that I’m thinking about it, I didn’t really like it at all.
The main problem I had with The Dead and the Gone was based around the story itself. Haven’t we heard this story before? We have, you say? That must be because it was exactly the same as the first book, but with a different character in a different city. There wasn’t really anything new here, besides the inclusion of Alex’s sisters and what happened to them, and I was very disappointed.
Furthermore, I did not like Alex as much as I liked the narrator in the other book, Miranda. Yes, Miranda wasn’t my favorite narrator of all time, but at the very least, I found her interesting. Alex, on the other hand, was dull as dishwater. I found it rather odd that he was still concerned about stealing food and whatnot because of the religious tradition he was brought up in. Um, Alex, you’re living through an Apocalypse; I think God will forgive you for stealing food from people who are no longer living/no longer live where you do in order to keep yourself and your sisters alive.
The Dead and the Gone started picking up steam towards the end (maybe the last chapter or two), but then it just…ended. Ahh, what happens next? I need to know! Even though I didn't enjoy this book, I think I’m going to have to read the next one. Curses!
If you’re a fan of dystopias, survival novels, or really liked Life As We Knew It, you may also enjoy The Dead and the Gone. This series would be especially good for reluctant readers.
Other Books in the Last Survivors trilogy: Life as We Knew It (Book 1), The World We Live In (Book 3)