Category Archives: Sarah Beth Pfeffer

Review ~ The Last Survivors Trilogy by Susan Beth Pfeffer

The Last Survivors Trilogy by Susan Beth Pfeffer

   

First off, I have to say that I have a crush on these covers.  They are stunning and provide a perfect visual for the world these characters are living in.  Second, I devoured these books in two days.

Although I believe these three make up a trilogy, I noticed the author is scheduled to release The Shade of the Moon (Last Survivors #4) in 2012.  I am not sure if that book will start a new trilogy or if the books will become a series.

Book #1 ~ Life as We Knew It

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We are introduced to Miranda Day, her two brothers, Jonny (age 14) and Matt, who is away at college, and her mother.  She’s a typical 16-year old and has typical worries until the moon is struck by a meteor.  Everyone is aware it’s headed for the moon, many people are even excited to watch it happen, but it’s what happens after that turns the world upside down. The impact caused the moon to shift closer to Earth and out of its normal orbit.  That in turn causes major devastation all over the world – tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

I was so impressed by her mother’s forethought and planning that I felt like I should be taking notes.  She had the presence of mind to buy up as many supplies, food items and clothes as quickly and as soon as she could in hopes of keeping her family safe during the coming months.  Others weren’t so lucky.  Many people all over the world are dying and as winter approaches more are sure to.

It was very interesting to be able to see Miranda and her family life pre-devastation.  While she struggled, as anyone would – especially teenagers, with the changes forced upon her and her family, she grew throughout the story.  Her brother, Matt, makes it home from college and she would like nothing more than to have him taken care of the family.  But, she learns to take some responsibility for the safety and well-being of her family.  Her father and step-mother, who is pregnant, set off to find their parents.  Miranda begins to wonder if she will ever see them again.  The story is written like Miranda’s diary entries and takes us through the first year.  It is so realistic in parts that it is truly scary.  Scary because you know this is something that would possibly happen.

Book #2 ~ The Dead & the Gone

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This story introduces us to Alex Morales and his two sisters, Julie and Briana.  The Morales family live in an apartment building in New York City.  Their father left for Puerto Rico prior to the meteor/moon shift and their mother is at work during it.  Neither return, so Alex, who was looking forward to going to college, must take charge of his family and do whatever it takes to keep his sisters safe.

I had serious issues with this book.  Mainly, WHY was Alex so worried about staying in his apartment when it wasn’t safe?  WHY wouldn’t they break into other apartments (or use his father’s super key?!) to check for food, clothing and other necessities?  Most everyone is dead or dying, there was no reason for them to suffer as they did.  They may not have found much, but it would’ve been more than they had.  I also did not like or understand the relationship between Alex and his Uncle Jimmy.  Jimmy comes to Alex’s apartment to ask if he can take Briana with him.  It would really help them out (babysitting).  Alex says no, he wants to keep his family together.  Jimmy doesn’t say much else, even when Alex tells him that his parents are most likely dead.

So much of this series feels very realistic to the point of being frightening, but the ending of this one just didn’t fit for me.  It seemed very convenient that a former, not-so-close friend’s father is able to quickly and easily get Alex and his family passes for a safe haven.  If this book had been the first in the trilogy, I probably would not have continued on.  But, after realizing that book #3 brought these two families together, I couldn’t wait to read it to find out how Miranda and her family were doing.

Book #3 ~ This World We Live In

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It’s been a year since the moon was struck.  Miranda and her brothers are scavenging for food and supplies while mom stays at home.  They are getting low on food and begin rationing even more.  So, when Miranda’s dad, pregnant step-mother AND three strangers arrive at her house she’s surprised, relieved and angry.  While she’s thrilled to see that her dad and step-mother are safe, she’s angry because they just don’t have the food to split between SIX more people.  Lisa, Miranda’s step-mother is pregnant, so she’s being fed extra.

While they do make some smart decisions in this one, there are still moments when I got frustrated with their lack of doing even more.  At this point, they are on the verge of dying from starvation, their home is not entirely safe and they STILL don’t move to a better location.  They are having to take more risks in order to find food.

A constant throughout this series was the fear that something like this could happen.  It wasn’t like your zombocalypse (which Shamblin’ Dave did actually did make me wonder about), but rather an event that made you really think what would I doWould I surviveWould I be willing and able to do what it took to survive?  I think my answer to all would be HELL YES! But, don’t we all?   Overall, a very quick read and an intriguing look at one event that threw the world into death, destruction and chaos.  I really enjoyed it.

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