The Dead & the Gone, by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Earlier, I wrote about Susan Beth Pfeffer’s young adult novel, Life As We Knew It. In LAWKI, high school sophomore Miranda finds her life altered dramatically when the moon is hit by an asteroid and weather patterns and gravitational force on Earth change abruptly.
The Dead & the Gone is the second in what I’ve learned is a trilogy ending with This World We Live In. This second novel is about Alex Morales, a seventeen-year-old boy in New York City who experiences the same lunar event as Miranda. The abrupt climate change knocks out all the power in New York City and creates horrific tidal waves along the continents’ coasts which drown millions. When his mother fails to return from her hospital job in Queens, and his father is stuck in Puerto Rico after going there for a family funeral, Alex must take care of himself and his two younger sisters.
New York City without electricity can be a scary place. It’s cold outside, and there’s no heat. The elevators don’t work. Looting is a big problem, as in short order, finding food and warm clothing has become everyone’s highest priority. Crime in the city escalates. The Morales siblings get some help both from the government social services, which function minimally, and from the priest at the Catholic Church. Alex’s faith is challenged as he wonders how God could allow such a catastrophe.
One thing I like about both of these Moon Crash Trilogy books so far is how realistic Pfeffer’s characters are. Her writing makes you feel as if you are experiencing the pain, fear, suffering – and, despite it all, hope — her characters experience. Alex and his circumstances in life are very different from Miranda and hers in the first book. Both, however, have to use their wits and strengths to survive in a world made suddenly very different.
Check the WRL Catalog for The Dead and the Gone