Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review - The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors, Book 2) by Susan Beth Pfeffer (4/5 stars)

The Dead and the Gone (The Last Survivors, Book 2)Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Post-apocalyptic
Size: 336 pages
Publisher: Graphia
Release Date: January 18, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0547258553
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd Book in Last Survivors Trilogy
Source: Swapped through
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the second book in the Last Survivors trilogy by Pfeffer.  I didn't like this book quite as much as the first, but I did enjoy finding out how a large city dealt with the apocalyptic events that took place in the first book.

This book follows around a young boy (17 years old) named Alex who lives in New York City.  It is not a journal like the first book, but tells the story by date and time.  Alex's parents are lost during the event; one is in Puerto Rico and one is working in a hospital when things start to go South for the city.  Alex is left to take care of his twelve year old sister Julie and his fifteen year old sister Bri.  Their day to day survival is chronicled from the point of the moon moving on forward; it seems to cover the same period of time that the first book did.

This book wasn't quite as good as Life As We Knew It.  To be honest I think this book suffered some because it wasn't done in a journal-type format.  Because of this we weren't able to follow Alex's thoughts and speculations as well.

I did enjoy seeing the events from the first book in setting of a big city.  Pfeffer did a pretty good job of detailing all the things that could go wrong in that type of setting; she thought of some things I hadn't considered.  There are some pretty grisly things that happen in this book, they aren't described in stomach turning detail, but they are there.  Honestly I thought maybe the violence was toned down a bit since this was a young adult book. 

Religion features in this book since it plays a big part in Alex's life.  I am not big on books that feature religion, but for this book it worked well.  In the end it was Alex's involvement with his church (or just with a tight-knit community in general) that really helped his survival.

The book makes you ask questions and think about what you would do in a similar situation.  You can't help but compare the issues with surviving in a rural area (as depicted in the first book) to the issues with surviving in the city.  In general there were easier and harder things about both situations.

Overall this was a solid book and I enjoyed reading it.  It was neat to see the events from the first book, but set in a big city.  This book wasn't quite as good as the first and I think not having it be a journal made it suffer some.  I will definitely be reading the third and final installment, This World We Live In.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 100+ Reading Challenge

The Dead and the Gone (The Last Survivors, Book 2)


  1. I agree this one wasn't quite as good as the first one but I still enjoyed it. It was interesting to see the change in Alex in book 3.

  2. I'm so glad to finally see a review of Pfeffer's series. Like you I liked the first book much more than the second one. I really felt like this one constantly was hitting me over the head with the religion stick but it did have so much more action in it. I loved seeing how people in a big city reacted though. Just wait till you read book three, you will be blown away. I really loved the conclusion to this series.

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com