Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review of The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Title: The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors #2)
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Narrator: Robertson Dean
Published by: Listening Library         
Length: 7 sound discs (8 hr., 51 min.)
Source: Library
Format: Audio
Rating: 4 stars
Summary from Goodreads: 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.

What's the key to surviving an apocalypse?  Luck and smart thinking!

I definitely think luck was on the Morales family side though I'm sure some would disagree with me.  Alex had to work hard to keep his family alive.  He made tough decisions and often sacrificed bits of himself just to provide for himself and his sisters.  While he didn't seem to plan anything, things would work out some of the time, but not always.  At times throughout the story Alex lost his head.  It would be incredibly hard going from a 17 year old boy that's having fun to now being head of the family and having to take care of his sisters.  I was hoping for a little more planning from him, but instead I got strength and an uncanny will to survive.

This story was so powerful in it's realism.  I feel like Susan Beth Pfeffer has an inner-eye that shows her exactly what would happen to New York should a meteor someday hit the moon.  This novel dealt with all aspects of this tragedy and how each person dealt with it differently.  It's not a light, candy-coated story, but it hits on both the good and the bad areas of human behavior.  There are tremendous losses and heartbreak, but sometimes the rays of hope would shine down.   

I had a hard time reading this novel as is.  I kept comparing it to the first book in the series and how organized Miranda's family was.  I think I would have enjoyed this story more if I had read it before Life as We Knew It (Last Survivors #1).  Where the first novel I was amazed by the survival skills and the planning, this novel took by storm the emotions and the tragedy.  Though both novels are both written about the same event they are completely different novels in the situations and the people. 

These books will not only captivate you while you read them, but also long after you've put them down.  They'll have you analyzing your thoughts and actions and trying to decide what you would have done. 


  1. I've heard of this series but I never thought to pick it up. I've never really been into books about the apocalypse. But this one sounds pretty good! Great review, Lisa!

  2. I have not heard of this series before, it sounds great. Thanks for posting about it!

  3. Beautiful new 'garden', Lisa!

    I don't think the unorganization bothered me as much as it did you. Miranda had her mother and older brother to guide her. Alex and his younger sisters were on their own. The settings were so different, so it made sense that Alex struggled a bit more. I'm foggy on the details since I read the books eons ago, but I remember loving this series. I hear a fourth book is in the making. *squee*

    How was the narration on this?

    1. I liked the narrator a lot. It was easily to follow and held my attention.


I love love love hearing your wonderful thoughts! Thanks for stopping by and happy reading.