Friday, October 9, 2009

The Dead and the Gone (The Last Survivors 2)

The companion to Life As We Knew It is told from the point of view of 17 year old Alex.  Worried about college, he and his family are unprepared for life after the moon is pushed out of its orbit by a asteroid.  With his parents missing and his older brother gone, Alex must take care of his younger sisters and navigate a new and dangerous world for the three of them.

*highlight white areas for spoilers*
"As long as he prayed he didn't have to think.  He didn't have to remember.  He didn't have to decide.  He didn't have to acknowledge he was entering a world where no one had laid out the rules for him to follow, a world where there might not be any rules left for any of them to follow."  p.65
I'm going to say that this was a very impressive book.  Usually sequels and especially middle books don't live up to the first book.  I think The Dead and the Gone completely lived up to Life As We Knew It.   There was very little rehashing of the events leading up to the moon crash and we get to the complex problem of living with hardly any resources very quickly.  I found it a little hard to believe that Alex's family didn't really know about it since Miranda's school made such a big deal about it, but maybe since they were in NYC they didn't think it would affect them.  I don't know.  But, while Miranda had her mom, Alex doesn't have any adults living with him to make the hard decisions so he has to make them for himself and his younger sisters and he questions his choices all the time.  And while Miranda's family had very little religion, Alex's family are devoted Catholics.  The Catholicism is very heavy in this book and while it bothered some people, I know families who are very Catholic so it was okay with me.

While I don't normally look at other reviews right before I write one, I did for this book.  It seems a lot of people had a problem with the switch from first person diary form to third person narrative.  This didn't bother me like it did others.  Only because I know that the third book (This World We Live In) will involve the characters from both books and I'm hoping that it is written from Miranda's POV.  To me that would make sense and the change of POV in TDTG won't matter since I don't like moving one person's head to another in a trilogy.  The only way I will care about the shift is if the POV alternates between Alex and Miranda and then I will call bull.  The OTHER big problem that people had so the stereotypical portrayal of a Puerto Rican family.  Now I will admit that I can't comment one way or the other on whether this is true or not.  But I will say that I remember wondering if this was really how Puerto Rican fathers acted towards their families and sons, especially.  But it played out since I know that a lot of fathers expect their sons to act a certain way, no matter their nationality and that since it was Alex's impression of his father, it might not be the most accurate.  Sometimes what we think people think about us is not the actual truth.

As dark as LAWKT was, it was nothing compared to TDTG.  Dead bodies, rats, riots and violence permeate this book and it seems completely natural given that all this takes place in a large city.  The threat of violence in LAWKT is almost non-existent since Miranda is sheltered and separated from the rest of her town, but living in NYC increases Alex and his sisters contact with others and, of course, they are teenagers living alone so it heightens the reality of their situation.  One of the good things is that you get more information on what is happening worldwide and more about the cause and effect of the moon crash. And while the ending was sad and abrupt, it was also hopeful.  TDTG could almost stand on its own.  Meanwhile, I can't wait for the third book to come out.  I have high hopes.


  1. I admit that this one does worry me, but then again, I haven't read the first book yet so I'm not going to let myself worry too much.

  2. I think both books had a couple of credibility issues, but I really loved them both. Great stuff! And I look forward to book three. :)

  3. Just finished listening to this one! Loved it. I didn't hear the issues you talked about (actually didn't notice the switch from 1st to 3rd!) I just heard some people didn't like it as much. In my opinion it's so different from LAWKI that they are kinda hard to compare. Thanks for your review.

  4. I just finished Life as We Knew It and loved it. I wasn't sure how the second one would work out. Glad to hear that it was just as good as the first one!

    I love your blogs new look!


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