Susan Beth Pfeffer, an American author, well known for her Young adult science fiction novels published The Dead and the Gone. She fascinated the youth by delivering a boundless variety of literature from historical fiction to family dynamics. The Dead and the Gone is a dystopian science fiction novel.
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Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Genre: Young Adult Science fiction
Page count: 336
Good reads ratings: 3.8 of 5
My ratings: 7.3 of 10
Publisher: Graphia Books; First edition (January 18, 2010)
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***Warning Spoilers Below This Point***
The plot of this novel addresses a family living in New York, who encounters a terrifying apocalyptic event when an asteroid struck the moon and knocked out of its orbit. The story begins with a young 17-year-old boy, Alex Morales when the asteroid collision occurred. His father worked as a maintenance man in the area, but he had gone for their grandma’s funeral happening in Puerto Rico. While on the other hand, his mother is in the hospital due to an emergency call. The entire city experience a blackout and Alex is home alone with his two sisters, Brianna and Julie.
When Alex heard about mass flooding, he tried contacting his parents but didn’t get a word. Alex felt bitter about life, but he knows he has no chance to abandon the only family he now had. After some time, the schools are back on track but staff and students went missing, new ones got appointed. Alex can’t sit wringing his hands so he went to Yankee Stadium in search of his mother but didn’t find her. Unluckily his father had contacted no one. After all this, Morales believed that they only have each other now. Their world came crashing down. Alex worried as he is the only man in the family, and they are now running out of supplies. On the advice of Father Franco, he sent Brianna to convent upstate until they have better choices.
Alex’s Uncle came to pick Brianna to babysit his children. Instead insisted on taking Julie with him as Brianna was away. Alex denied and kept his words with his older sister. He discovered that they evacuated Manhattan due to flooding. A food campaign started and turned into chaos as the food was all taken, Alex trampled a baby and a man trying to save his sister.
Meanwhile, Alex befriended with a guy named Kevin, both struggles to collect food supplies. The conditions in the city worsened as the air was now a mixture of ashes because of volcanoes erupting in the west. People were dying frequently; bodies left on the streets causing an increase in rats in the city. Alex met a man called Harvey with whom he started trading the stolen goods for their survival. The weather turned cold and dark as the ashes blocked the sun. Meanwhile, Brianna returned home, Alex celebrated Julie’s thirteen birthday and tried to take a break from all the harsh things.
Brianna suffers from asthma due to sick air, so Alex proposed to shift her in the basement. Julie told them about a lottery ticket that won ten thousand dollars, Alex took the ticket to Harvey but he said nobody uses money anymore. Instead, Harvey suggested a safe way out of the town in return of his sister, Julie. Alex refused the offer without a second thought. Alex has no other alternative but to seek help from Mr Flynn, a friend’s father. At long last he got three tickets to a safe town; he was told that the convoy will leave in two weeks.
When Alex and his friend were collecting goods from dead bodies, a frozen branch fall over Kevin and he died. Alex gets affected by the flu for a week, Brianna goes to church to light a candle for Alex despite being severely ill. Unluckily, she loses the battle of her life. Alex and Julie came to search for their sister, who suffocated to death in the service elevator. They were heartbroken. Alex consults Father Mulrooney and sister Rita for guidance, and at last, by their aid, Alex and Julie escaped the city safely.
I rate this novel 7.3 out of 10 as a fact that it’s a tragic fiction story. The last pages left me in gloom and despair, not as good as the last novel but a nice sequel. Would I re-read this novel? No. Am I glad I read it? Yes.
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