Last week when I reviewed the first book in the Moon crash Trilogy, Life As We Knew It, I mentioned that I was saddened by the portrayal of Christians. Becky commented that the second book, The Dead and the Gone, took a different approach. Additionally, the ad for The Dead and the Gone in the back of Life As We Knew It said it was an exploration of faith. That, and the fact that I couldn't stop thinking about Life As We Knew It made me feel like I had to read it right away. But I knew even if I ordered it through Amazon I wouldn't get it for a few days. And since the paperback version is coming out soon, most stores wouldn't be carrying the hardcover version. Luckily, one of my Borders had it in stock and I had them pull it for me and went to pick it up.
The Dead and the Gone covers a lot of the same time period as Life As We Knew It, but takes place in New York City instead. The story is told in third person instead of diary format. I have to say, it seems New York and the main character seventeen year old Alex, had it much worse than the Miranda's family in Life As We Knew It. Alex's father is in Puerto Rico for a family funeral and his mom takes the subway the first night the crisis happens. Alex and his two younger sisters never hear from them again.
In a city, things are worse. When people die, and die they do, they just stay in the spot where they died, waiting to be stripped of anything that might get food for others and to be eaten by rats. Alex and his sisters try to survive and Alex works hard to take care of his sisters. The advantage that Alex and his sisters have is their church. They are devout Catholics and the church does do a lot to take care of the people, including distributing food weekly, keeping lunches at the school, and using the students to do work for the community in exchange for food. But I wouldn't say this is a really deep exploration of faith. Faith enters into this story in a way it didn't in Life As We Knew It, certainly, though.
I felt so much affection for the character of Alex and his sisters. I absolutely loved them and felt very much invested in their outcome. I raced through this book and felt miserable when I had to set it down. In fact, the entire cast of characters is rich and interesting and it was heartbreaking to lose any of them. Pfeffer's New York during this crisis is a bleak and miserable place and this book is darker than Life As We Knew It. But the same resiliancy of the human spirit, power of love and sacrifice is present.
I honestly don't know how I'm going to recover from these two books. I don't feel interested in reading anything else at the moment. The next book doesn't come out until April, though. Until then, I'll just have to pick up something totally different to cleanse the palate. :) So in short....if you're looking for a book to give you characters to care about deeply, ruin you emotionally, and steal your sleep and free time...well I really recommend these two books! :)
Source of Book: I bought it.